Maine’s Avian Haven has treated 15,000 birds

Avian Haven in Freedom is an amazing place. Since opening in 1999, the good folks there have treated 15,000 birds from more than 100 species.

They take hurting birds from all over the state. Cases increase almost every year and were up 3% in 2017. Since 1999, they’ve gone from 300 birds a year to 2000.

As in previous years, their most common species were Eastern Phoebe (189), American Robin (171), Herring Gull (136), and Mourning Dove (128). Among their 303 raptors were 90 Barred Owls, 48 Broad-winged Hawks, 27 Bald Eagles, 22 American Kestrels, 19 Great Horned Owls, and 18 Merlins.

Looking at their aquatic species, 61 Mallards led a group that included 27 Common Loons, 18 Common Eiders, and an assortment of pelagic species (Northern Gannet, Dovekie, and Leach’s StormPetrel). Their non-native admissions were either similar to or slightly lower than in previous years: 181 Rock Pigeons, 65 House Sparrows, and 115 European Starlings.

I just received their 2017 annual report, and the stories are amazing, from the 3 Green Heron juveniles they raised to the 5 alligators that had been kept unlawfully and were confiscated by Maine’s Warden Service. Here’s the good news about the alligators. They stayed at Avian Haven only a short while before being transferred to a rescue organization in Pennsylvania.

You can read Avian Haven’s annual report here, on their website.

George Smith

About George Smith

George stepped down at the end of 2010 after 18 years as the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine to write full time. He writes a weekly editorial page column in the Kennebec Journal and Waterville Morning Sentinel, a weekly travel column in those same newspapers (with his wife Linda), monthly columns in The Maine Sportsman magazine, two outdoor news blogs (one on his website,, and one on the website of the Bangor Daily News), and special columns for many publications and newsletters. Islandport Press published a book of George's favorite columns, "A Life Lived Outdoors" in 2014. In 2014, George also won a Maine Press Association award for writing the state's bet sports blog. In 2016, Down East Books published George's book, Maine Sporting Camps, and Islandport Press published George and his wife Linda's travel book, Take It From ME, about their favorite Maine inns and restaurants.