Rehabilitated Birds of Prey

Chance Encounter Leads Epping Woman to Raptor Rehabilitation
By Penny Williams   4-5-16

Finding 10 dead barred owls on the shoulder of Route 101 between Auburn and Hampton six years ago changed the life of an Epping woman.

Jane Kelly said the experience motivated her to help out and advocate for raptors. The disquieting experience led her on a path that would provide assistance for other wildlife as well.

Kelly's excursions outdoors as a child and her experiences with her father predisposed her to helping the raptors. Being drawn to falconry helped as well, and over time she gained training on rehabilitation of raptors and founded On The Wing, a rehabilitation facility at her Epping home.

"Growing up in Wisconsin, hunting and fishing with my father, shaped my appreciation and understanding of the role of land and wildlife," she said. "I was naturally drawn to the sport of falconry, hunting with a bird of prey. Falconry was instrumental in my personal growth of grieving the loss of my husband to cancer 2-1/2 years ago, as well as an aid to both rehabilitation and training for the education team of birds at On The Wing.”

Attending workshops and networking with others involved in rehabilitation and falconry helped with establishing On The Wing. Kelly spent 3-1/2 years volunteering at a wildlife center in rehabilitation and education, and is now state and federally licensed to practice falconry, and to educate with and rehabilitate raptors.

She has developed education programs that consist of two to eight live birds and brings them to classroom settings ranging from preschool to college, as well as to programs in libraries, Scout meetings, private parties, and raptor workshops.

According to Kelly, "Falconry not only has helped me understand raptors’ behavior while hunting but has been instrumental in the rehabilitation and rescue of raptors, such as trapping a bird caught in a large store or warehouse and conditioning a bird by flying it on a creance line, gauging the bird’s endurance and condition prior to release (A creance is a long cord used to tether a flying hawk or falcon during training in falconry). Falconry has taken my education of birds to a higher level, which is easier and less stressful on the birds."

Kelly said she has been fortunate to have been able to work with Drs. Timothy Lampman and Selvi Kumaresan-Lampman, owners of Veterinary Emergency and Surgery Hospital in Brentwood.

"It's a team effort," she said. "The Lampmans’ generosity in sharing their state-of-the-art hospital and their amazing staff who are available to medically treat injured raptors 24/7 is beyond words. Between On The Wing, Veterinary Emergency and Surgery Hospital, New Hampshire Fish and Game, the Animal Control Officer, local law enforcement, volunteers and the general public, injured raptors are getting medical care and treatment with realistic goals of getting them back to the wild in a short period of time. New Hampshire Fish and Game conservation officers play a huge role in helping raptors that are injured or in need of rescue, along with volunteers and the general public willing and able to stop and help an injured raptor."

Kelly said she only rehabilitates hawks - sharp-shinned, Cooper’s, red-shouldered, broad-winged, red-tailed, northern goshawks, and harriers; owls - northern saw-whets, screech, long-eared, barred, great horned and snowy; and turkey vultures, osprey and falcons, both kestrels and merlins. She said the majority of the cases she sees are raptors injured in collisions with automobiles.

"However, there are a handful of cases each year where birds have been shot or are sick due to poison or West Nile Virus,” she said. “The species of birds we see most often is cyclical. Two years ago, there were a lot of Cooper’s hawks, barred owls, and merlins. Last year, there were a lot of screech owls, barred owls, red-tailed hawks and broad-winged hawks, This year I have seen more great horned owls than usual.

"I rely on offsite programs and donations to raise money for utilities, maintenance, and for future buildings, food, and medical care for the birds," she said. "Hopefully, with continued support, we will be able to expand, creating a structure that will allow us to take in eagles. I am always looking for volunteers with various backgrounds, such as business development, bookkeeping, carpentry, technology, welding, landscape, artists, graphic designers, and so forth to help with the future growth of On The Wing in order to continue making a difference for raptors."

The public is welcome to attend a presentation on Rehabilitated Birds of Prey by Jane Kelly at the Epping Elementary School on Saturday April 9, 2016 from 10 am to 11 am.

For more information, call Kelly at 686-2129 or email:





















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