Providing orphaned wild birds with a role model of their own species ensures they imprint properly, learning normal and natural vocalizations and behaviors, which gives them a better chance of survival upon release.

Fellow Mortals’ co-founder Yvonne Wallace Blane worked with Marlys Bulander, former permit officer for Region 3 of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service from 1989 to 2004.  Under Marlys’ direction, Fellow Mortals helped to pioneer the use of unreleasable wild birds as fosters to orphaned young of their own species.  

In 2019 our foster birds include crows, owls, doves, hawks, songbirds, ducks, geese, a vulture and an eagle–all of which make their home at Fellow Mortals.

We make a life-long commitment to the care and feeding of our wild fosters and ambassadors, many of which live over ten years in care.

We are indebted to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, for allowing the permitting that makes this program possible.

Alberta, a 17-year-old Great Horned Owl, came to Fellow Mortals in 1994 after spending time at the Raptor Center in Minnesota, where she was held after confiscation. Alberta was a “human imprint,” a psychological crippling which means that she did not know her own kind as peers, but looked instead to humans for companionship.

Alberta’s purpose in captivity was twofold: To educate humans about her species and Owls in general, and why all wild creatures need, and deserve, to live free; and, to allow her to do more perfectly what we can do only adequately—raise orphaned young of her own species so that they grow up properly imprinted on an adult of their own kind.

Follow this link to read more about Alberta:

Gabriel, a mature bald eagle, arrived at Fellow Mortals as a patient with a severely damaged wing in 2015.  After surgery and rehabilitation, he was placed with a wildlife educator, but returned to Fellow Mortals in 2018 to become a foster and ambassador for other wild spirits.

Follow this link to read more about Gabriel:

Serena is a mature red-tailed hawk who suffered a shoulder injury as a result of collision with a vehicle.  Her calm demeanor makes her a perfect companion for orphaned red-tailed hawks.

Sophie & Story are barred owls.  Both have nonrepairable wing injuries which limit their ability to fly.  Sophie has been at Fellow Mortals since 2007, and Story arrived as an injured nestling owlet in 2019.

Some of our other Foster & Education Animals:

Canada geese – Naomi & Francis

Wood ducks – Dougie & Betty

Screech owl – Robbie & Lilith

Saw-whet owls – Katy & Tatyana

Blue Jay – Thomasina

Short-eared owl – Amelia

Mallard ducks – Snow, Echo & Mama

Crows – Charlie & Shadow

Swifts – Chitter & Chatter

Kestrels – Hope & Aster

Great horned owl – Darby

Red-tailed hawk – Serena

Common grackle – Pip

Northern cardinals – Lily & Mr.

Turkey vulture – Violet

Bald eagle – Gabriel

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