Update: On January 31, 2018, Judy Drake announced she was retiring and closing SOAR. Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives wishes her all the best for her well-deserved retirement and we are grateful for her years of service in support of wild birds.
Judi Drake, a licensed bird rehabilitator, has run SOAR — Songbird Only Avian Rehabilitation — in Rockwood, Ontario, for almost 25 years. Over that time, she’s rescued thousands of birds. From one nest of starlings in their first year, SOAR has grown to rescue 200-300 birds a year, and now covers most of Southern Ontario.
Providing quality care to orphaned, abandoned or injured songbirds, SOAR provides a suitable habitat for rehabilitation, in the hopes of releasing each bird back into its natural environment.
They have a 60-70% success rate. Up at 5 am daily, Judi and the volunteers feed baby birds every 15-20 minutes, clean cages, release birds back into the wild and provide special care to birds in need of medications, etc. Many of the birds they care for come in as a result of encounters with cats or windows.
SOAR sends statistics on their birds to the Canadian Wildlife Service and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, helping to provide those organizations with accurate information on how and where birds are injured.
SOAR, a registered charity, depends entirely on donations to meet the annual costs of their operations, under $25,000 / year. Aside from being able to cover vet bills, their current wish list includes an x-ray machine to help them diagnose injured birds, and a small gas furnace to replace the electric baseboard heaters.
Watch the video below to learn more about this wonderful organization.
Or find them on Facebook.