Posts Tagged ‘Folke Peterson Wildlife Center’

Folke Peterson Wildlife Center CLOSING!

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

A complete and utter tragedy has befallen Palm Beach County. In an era of Barry Madoff’s and Stockmarket dirtbags, the cost of some people greed has cost us the lives of countless innocent animals. With all of the economy issues, the plight of Folke Peterson has fallen by the wayside and they will be closing within a month. The animals that can not be relocated to other wildlife centers or released will be euthanized. The only other center that is close is a far smaller facility. Busch Wildlife Center will not be able to take the some 350 resident animals that call Folke Peterson home. It is a heartbreaking situation and I don’t understand how we could have let these animals down.

Animals find themselves injured because of us. We run them over, we leave our cats out to injure them, we dump garbage in the waterways so that they can get stuck on it or swallow it. We, as a society are responsible for almost every animal that is bought into these centers. I saw the press that the center received when Heather Landstrom slaved to call out to concerned citizens. I saw the 5 second snippets on one of the local news stations.  But then the news would spend 5 minutes talking about some trivial topic such as the rain or lack there of. From being somewhat behind the scenes I know that these people are still trying to find donors and other options to keep the center open. The facility is only 5 years old, state of the art and with so much potential. As a participant of the last 2 events to help raise funds for the center, I saw people working tirelessly for these sick and injured animals and it breaks my heart to see the center close.

We Can Still Help Folke Peterson!

Each day the center stays open gives them more time to find another option, to save another life. I donated…will you?

The Davie Roost has MOVED!

Sunday, June 21st, 2009

Apparently the raccoon predation was just too much for the purple martins at the Davie Road Racetrac gas station. They are no longer roosting at that site. I went on Friday night and the few purple martins that flew over head, never came down to the trees. The dead martins on the ground were still there, but no fresh kills. Apparently the roost was abandoned shortly after my visit on Saturday June 13.

Fortunately for all us purple martin lovers, a fellow PMCA forumite “Stingray” was shopping in the area and happened upon the new roost location. It is now located at the “Tower Shops” just South of 595 on the East side of University Drive, in the same plaza as Home Depot. The chances of finding the new roost location is almost a miracle in my book and the disappointment I felt this Friday is now replaced with excitement again. woo hoo! I can’t wait to go and see the new spot. I hope the folks at the Tower Shops greet the purple martins with the same welcome attitude that they enjoyed at Racetrac Gas station. The potential for a negative response is high considering there is no overhead cover to protect any shoppers from the rain of bird poop that they will be experiencing.

I have been ridiculously busy trying to prepare an article for you on emergency care of purple martins…I should say, first responder care of purple martins. I went to Folke Peterson Wildlife Center on Friday and met another one of their wonderful Veterinary Technicians, Faith, who let me photograph the HY purple martin while he was force fed. He is still not accepting food from the hemostats and his outlook is poor. Other than the fact that he is being force fed three times a day and can not fly, he appears calm and comfortable. A perfect gentleman.

Other interesting finds at the Wildlife Center was a Chimney Swift nestling that was brought in recently. Eyes shut and chattering loudly, the little nestling looked so out of place in his box. My heart bleeds for this little guy. For great information on Chimney Swifts and what you can do to help these birds visit  I was shocked to find out that contrary to what I had read on the swifts breeding range, South Florida, the West Palm area to be exact, has a nice little colony of swifts that live out my way. I am eager to convince my husband of the need to put up a Chimney Swift tower! I am so excited for this project for next year. Can you imagine THAT on a webcam?

Another interesting patient at Folke Peterson was a juvenile NightHawk. Which is quite the coincidence considering that I recently wrote a blog entry about these illusive birds that I NEVER thought I would see so close. Like a pet rock, it sat in its cage with its big eyes staring back at me. A curious bird and not very bird looking at all, up close. Faith told me of the odds against rehabilitating this bird and all birds that are strict aerial insectivores. A diet that is never fully able to be replicated, humans can only come up with a fair approximation of the dietary needs of such birds. I hope this one makes it too.


Blog Contents © 2009

Stormy Weather

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

The pregnant clouds finally broke their water and the rain has been relentless for the last 3 days. 5 minutes of sunshine then another “contraction” in the form of thunderstorms. I am glad and the birds seem to be handling the frequent downpours well. There is enough pause between and the storms are scattered enough that they are feeding just fine. A nest check is overdue on all racks and if the thunder stays away while the kids are napping, I may try to squeeze one in today.

The earliest of fledglings seem to still be returning to the gourds at night to sleep but it is hard to determine just what is going on. The other night on the nest cam I noticed what seemed to be 3 adults in with the 5 nestlings in Gourd #4. They were all sleeping peacefully but I doubt that was the case when the party crasher arrived.

Contact number for Folke Peterson 561-793-2473

Folke Peterson Wildlife Center

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

I recently posted about my desire to help my local rehab center obtain Purple Martin housing. You may or may not know what is my relationship with Folke Peterson Wildlife Center. It all started with an injured fledgling I named Beau. On his maiden flight (or shortly thereafter) he got stuck in a metal chain link fence for an unknown amount of time. By the time I noticed he was in distress, he was weak and dehydrated. Beau was rehabbed by Folke Peterson and owes his life, as do many animals, to the people that work there.

You may be wondering what I am doing to help FPWC, as I am asking people if they would like to donate to FPWC. I mean, Geez, “You have a website and sell all kinds of stuff and even Purple Martin Housing-just donate one of the houses you sell.” Well, if I was independently wealthy, I would. I have wholesale agreements with the people whose Purple Martin Housing I sell but none of them are free. Folke Peterson will have the option to purchase (at wholesale prices-for NO profit) from my site any of the housing I sell. OR since it is their donation money they can purchase it from whatever source they wish. My MAIN interest is helping them to get housing up. Do I have ulterior motives? YES! Because I know that when people see Purple Martins in flight, they will be astounded. Others will then want to get Martin houses up of their own. Hundreds of children will be exposed to these birds. Perhaps some of them will tell Mom and Dad about these birds. Perhaps a few people will be as taken and fall completely in awe of them-as I have.  But I am off on a tangent.

Follows is an exerpt from their site about the history of the center:
“In 1969 Bonnie Findlay and her brother Wallace Findlay founded The Bambi Bird & Wildlife Sanctuary, one of the first wildlife rehabilitation operations in Florida, on 31 acres of undeveloped, Australian pine-wooded land west of State Road 7, (441), and just south of Southern Boulevard in Western Palm Beach County.

Bonnie and Wallace dedicated the rest of their lives to the cause of helping injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife, by nursing them back to health, and releasing them back into their natural habitat.

With little more than their own time, money, and unending compassion, they generously cared for this area’s native wildlife and protected the animals living on their designated sanctuary.

In February of 1997, a devastating fire destroyed the Findlay’s home and two other buildings. Tragically Wallace Findlay perished in this dreadful blaze. Bonnie was diagnosed with cancer soon after and passed away in 2000. But before she died, Bonnie decided to partner with The Folke Peterson Foundation, named after a South Florida dairy farmer who bequeathed more than $25 million dollars of his money to animal causes in 1989.

The causes and dreams of these two animal lovers, separated by time and distance, but with similar visions, came together in 2001 when the Peterson Foundation Trustees and Bambi’s Board of Directors agreed to construct and fund the building of a $2,000,000 facility on the property, while at the same time renaming Bambi as The Folke Peterson Wildlife Center, at the Findlay Sanctuary. The original board members of the Peterson Foundation, including Chairman Don Champion, Frank and Emily Van Vliet, Howard Usher, Rick Kornmeier and Sue Shearouse were instrumental in crystallizing this joint vision into a long range plan for the future that would include the state-of-the-art facility we have today.

“I spent much of my youth feeling lonely and out of place,” Wallace once said. “So when I see sick animals that are injured and scared, I feel compelled to help. My dream is to build a wildlife hospital here, and I know if I keep working towards this goal with purpose and dignity, it will come to pass.”

Through the dedication and hard work of countless people, both past and present, that dream is being fulfilled.

With the Findlays’ and Folke Peterson’s hopes for the future in our minds and hearts, we proudly carry on the work of saving wildlife, educating the public and preparing to ultimately become a teaching hospital for current and future wildlife veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitation professionals.”

Blog & Photos Copyrighted 2008: S.Halpin/

Rehab Facility Quest for Martin Housing

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Last season when I had a fledgling martin that had been injured I brought him to Folke Peterson Wildlife Center. The fledgling was cared for and I was allowed to return the fledgling to my colony for release back to its natal site. One of the veterinarians there related to me that her parents had been Purple Martin Landlords and when the director of FPWC told me of their interest in putting up housing I was thrilled to offer whatever help I could. I will be monitoring their future site weekly as well as teaching their staff on how to manage their colony (including S&S control). Also I will ensure that all entrances are SREH.

So, on behalf of Folke Peterson,  if anyone wants to join me in helping Folke Peterson obtain housing for Martins, we would be grateful for your help.

If you would like to donate unwanted used housing that can be rehabilitated,
donate new housing,
or spare funds
Please, I ask that you donate any money directly to FPWC.

You can call FPWC at: 1-561-793-BIRD (2473) Make sure you tell them that your donation is for the Purple Martin project as they are a 501 (c)(3) not for profit, tax-exempt organization and they rely on donations for all aspects of their operations.

Checks can be mailed directly to them at:
Folke Peterson Wildlife Center
10948 Acme Road
Wellington, Florida 33414

Just write:“Purple Martin Project” on your check to make sure that the funds are allocated correctly.

This high profile facility is often in the news for its help with local wildlife issues and gives classes (free of charge) to 3 or 4 groups weekly with up to 60 children per group. They could do great things for the cause of Purple Martins in the South Florida area by educating the public on our beloved bird; As Florida’s housing boom of the last decades has NOT included housing for Martins.

Thank you,
Susan Halpin

Here is a link to the FPWC site :

“FPWC Mission Statement

The Folke Peterson Wildlife Center (FPWC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization licensed to provide care for sick, injured and orphaned native Florida wildlife. Our primary goal is to return healthy, rehabilitated animals to their natural habitat as soon as possible. Unreleasable animals are sometimes used as ambassadors for their species in our public education programs promoting tolerance and appreciation of wildlife.

Our ultimate goal is to become one of a handful of wildlife veterinary teaching hospitals in the country.

As we are not government funded, we rely on donations”