Our facilities are located in San Antonio, and provide housing for approximately 70 birds on any given day. Some are unreleaseable permanent residents, while many others are in various stages of convalescence and preparation for release. Some seriously injured birds may stay with us for as long as two years before they are able to take flight again.
Birds start off their stay with us in a treatment room, where they are evaluated, banded, and given initial medical care. From there, they may be transferred to our hospital or to allied specialty clinics for surgery or other acute care. We receive patients with virtually every illness or injury imaginable, from west nile virus to gunshot wounds, electrocution to lead poisoning.
In the springtime, young orphans pose a significant challenge. Rather than acclimating these birds to human contact, we often are able to place them with "foster parent" permanent residents who will bring up the youngsters with all the appropriate behaviors and socialization for their species.
Elsewhere, birds are housed in a variety of chambers. Constructed to provide sufficient space for flight, shelter from the elements, and access to the outdoors, they offer as comfortable an environment as we can provide our guests while in captivity. On sunny days, many of the birds may be perched in a tree-lined weathering area.
All those hungry mouths to feed means handling a serious amount of food every day. What do these birds eat? Everything from beef heart to rooster chicks, plus special blends of vitamins and minerals. Each bird has a diet tailored for its needs. In one year, Last Chance Forever uses over 14,000 pounds of food.
As birds heal, they require physical therapy just like we do after a serious injury or illness. Birds can stretch their wings farther in long flight chambers, and we use a variety of falconry techniques to get them to exercise and strengthen their muscles. We evaluate their progress carefully - releasing a bird before it is fully capable of capturing prey and evading predators means death.