Andrew Enjoys Caring for God's Creatures

New Opportunities Abound for Him and His Birds

by Dale Fisher

Once again, during winter time, my son Andrew spends every Saturday morning volunteering at a bird sanctuary in Ramona (near San Diego). Last March, I wrote about his work with birds and presented his amazing action photos on this family Web page. Today, I can describe with some detail a few of the many things he does on behalf of God's creatures.
At about 7 a.m., he and his team go out in pairs, driving cars to locate and catch raptors, which are birds of prey that hunt for food, primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. Andrew's team of volunteers usually catches red-tailed hawks, red-shouldered hawks, kestrels, and coopers hawks. Once caught, they bring the birds back to the Wildlife Research Institute.
At 9 a.m., a lecture and bird-banding demonstration are given to the public at the center, free of charge. Last week, as shown in one of the photos below, Andrew was given the opportunity to apply a custom, numbered, aluminum ID band to a bird's ankle, for the first time!
Afterwards, Institute Director Dave Bittner often takes the public to see burrowing owls. Andrew usually remains behind the scenes, holding one or more hawks, answering visitors' questions, and letting people What an amazing "God creation" that Andrew holds up close to a camera! take close-up photos of these birds in hand (shown below). He certainly enjoys informing visitors of the beauty of these little creatures and what's needed to ensure their peaceful and healthful existence.
Marti and I are excited when we see the joy in Andrew's heart and eyes that he has for God's little creations. We'll visit him at the institute next week and soon share with you more amazing wildlife photos.

In these three photos, Andrew holds birds captured as part of an institute research project to study the population of those raptors that spend the winter in eastern San Diego County. He and his team capture the birds, apply a metal band to a leg (as shown in two photos), and release the birds back into the wild. Leg bands enable researchers to track the location of the bird when caught again or found dead.

Click each thumbnail image to enlarge it, read its caption, and shrink it.

Andrew holds two Cooper's hawks, a male and a femaleTwo Cooper's hawks caught: the smaller male with a leg band is in Andrew's right hand,
the larger female in his left. The female is created larger to enable her to lay eggs
and raise the young. Cooper's hawks eat birds. They're often seen at backyard bird feeders,
picking off finches eating seed.
A female kestrel with a leg bandThis female kestrel that Andrew's holding has an aluminum ID leg band. Kestrels eat small mice
and a lot of insects, such as grasshoppers. Seconds after Andrew took this shot,
he released this stunning creature back into the wild.
Smiling Andrew holds two American kestrelsAndrew holds a pair of American kestrels (a male is in his right hand, a female in his left).
Both caught in the same trap, the male escaped before he was banded.

The LORD is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made (Psalm 145:9).

another Christian fish with a cross

Take a look at two other February family photo pages.