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updated: 12/5/2010 6:41 PM

Up close and personal with an owl and a hawk

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  • Spirit, a long-eared owl named for her will to live after being brought to the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, always has the same expression says Dawn Keller, founder of the center. Spirit was part of Keller's presentation to the Kane County Audubon Society at the Pottawatomie Community Center in St. Charles.

       Spirit, a long-eared owl named for her will to live after being brought to the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, always has the same expression says Dawn Keller, founder of the center. Spirit was part of Keller's presentation to the Kane County Audubon Society at the Pottawatomie Community Center in St. Charles.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • Dawn Keller, founder of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Inc., holds Pennsylvania, a large female great-horned owl during the Kane County Audubon Society monthly meeting at the Pottawatomie Community Center in St. Charles. At 4 pounds, Pennsylvania is considered heavy. She is one of six birds of prey Keller uses for education purposes and cannot be released.

       Dawn Keller, founder of Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Inc., holds Pennsylvania, a large female great-horned owl during the Kane County Audubon Society monthly meeting at the Pottawatomie Community Center in St. Charles. At 4 pounds, Pennsylvania is considered heavy. She is one of six birds of prey Keller uses for education purposes and cannot be released.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

  • The namesake of the red-tailed hawk is evident on Volo, a juvenile hawk that was given to the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation center from an person in Volo. This raptor has organ damage and could never live in the wild. This type of hawk is abundant in Northern Illinois and can live for more than two decades. Volo is part of Dawn Keller's group of education birds.

       The namesake of the red-tailed hawk is evident on Volo, a juvenile hawk that was given to the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation center from an person in Volo. This raptor has organ damage and could never live in the wild. This type of hawk is abundant in Northern Illinois and can live for more than two decades. Volo is part of Dawn Keller's group of education birds.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

Dawn Keller, founder of the Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation center, recently visited the Kane County Audubon Society's meeting in St. Charles.

Keller and her staff treat 3,400 animals each year. Some cannot be released into the wild because of severe injuries that would hinder their ability to gather food.

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Six of the 250 birds of prey that she treats annually have become her education birds, used at gatherings such as this.

Flint Creek is one of the largest privately funded animal rehab operations in Illinois. Keller has three locations in the Chicago area; the Barrington office is equipped for use by volunteer veterinarians.

The center is state and federally licensed with the goal of returning fully rehabilitated wildlife to its natural habitat. Flint Creek promotes respect for wildlife through public education programs.

To learn more about Flint Creek, visit flintcreekwildlife.org, or visit its upcoming Furry and Feathered Holiday Open House, set for noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 18-19, at Spring Brook Nature Center, 130 S. Forest Ave, Itasca. Visitors can meet the education birds and get a behind-the-scenes look at the wildlife rehabilitation center, including a tour of the facility and a look at the wildlife hospital.

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