HINTON, W.Va. (WOWK) – Three Rivers Avian Center in Summers County, has been around since 1990. In that time they’ve saved the lives of thousands of injured or sick birds. The 110-acre facility is located in the southern portion of the New River Gorge National River.
“This is a hospital for injured wild birds,” explained executive director Wendy Perrone. “We work with everything from hummingbirds to eagles as long as it is a non-game species. We’ve worked with over 110 species in the almost 30 years we’ve been doing this now.”
Birds come to the center with everything from broken wings to lead poisoning. “Some of them come in so banged up they don’t even make it through the night,” she said. “So it is not an easy or pretty job. Somedays it is really tough.”
Perrone said the team sees around 250 patients annually. Whenever possible the birds are rehabilitated and returned to the area where they were found.
“When a bird is ready to be released it goes out,” she said. “That means it is flying well. It can hunt for itself and they have the right social skills. Everything is right and out they go.”
Some of the birds that aren’t able to be returned back into the wild can be kept at the facility to be used for educational programs. They keep around a dozen ambassador birds at a time. The group’s outreach programs reach up to 25,000 people annually. If you would like to schedule a visit or even sponsor one of the birds, you can check out the group’s website.