BRC in the News

Sonoma County supervisors commit to auction sale of Chanate Road property
By: Emma Murphy
August 31, 2021
After years of failed attempts to sell its mostly vacant former hospital complex on Chanate Road, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has agreed to auction off the property in a renewed effort to unload the northeast Santa Rosa site.

Songbirds Are Spreading a Deadly Disease at Birdfeeders Smithsonian Magazine
By: Theresa Machemer
March 11, 2021
Pine siskins, a type of finch, can spread salmonella bacteria when they poop on the high-traffic platforms
Across the United States, small songbirds have faced a rise in salmonellosis, a deadly infection caused by the salmonella bacteria.

Salmonella outbreak affects local songbird populations The Community Voice
By: Cheyenne Carroll, Staff Writer
February 16, 2021
A large outbreak of a disease caused by the Salmonella bacteria is rapidly spreading among finches in Northern California. The disease kills most infected birds between 24 and 48 hours after infection, and spreads quickly when birds gather in large groups.

Pine Siskins are the primary bird being affected, but Lesser Goldfinches and American Goldfinches are affected in smaller numbers.

Backyard birds threatened by Salmonella outbreak The Community Voice
By: Brandon McCapes
February 12, 2021
Avid birdwatchers of Sonoma County may have recently seen an unfamiliar sight around their bird feeders: small bird species looking puffy and acting docile enough to be picked up.

Salmonella killing songbird in California as experts urge removal of bird feeders to stem disease The Press Democrat
By: Mary Callahan
February 9, 2021
A bacterial disease spread largely at bird feeders meant to help our feathered friends is killing songbirds by the thousands around Sonoma County and across other parts of the state, according to the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.   >> READ HERE

Bird Rescue serves community even during Covid-19 The CommunityVoice
By: Paul Matli
February 5, 2021
The Bird Rescue Center located off Chanate Road in Santa Rosa has served Sonoma County since 1971. In this time, the center has become the go-to place for people who find wounded, stray or somewhat impaired birds. Due to Covid the center hasn’t had many visitors, but the more than 120 volunteers and staff are still working hard to make sure birds are taken care of.   >> READ HERE

Sonoma songbirds under siege Sonoma Index-Tribune
A bacterial infection that is deadly to a songbird species is ripping through Sonoma County, and has at least one animal welfare organization asking residents to help stop the outbreak by taking down birdbaths and bird feeders for a month.  >> READ HERE

Bird Rescue Center Update
By Ashton Kluttz, RVT

MADRONE LEAVES – December 2020 / January 2021, page 11
It’s been a year for the record books, but true to our 44-year history of perseverance, we tackled each challenge the year threw at us and prevailed. Through October 2020, we admitted well over 2,400 birds, with 80% arriving during the five-month period known as “Baby Bird Season.” We also patiently guided 222 people over the phone to determine they were observing not an injured or ill bird but normal bird behavior, thus preventing 222 cases of “bird-napping!”

When the Bough Breaks
By Ashton Kluttz, RVT

WILD HOPE – Vol 9, page 24
Friday, April 24 > Just before closing time, we receive a call about a baby golden eagle that had fallen from its nest and is being brought to us to be examined. This is a first! While we’ve had juvenile golden eagles in our care before, we’ve never had a baby. The finders described seeing the nest, high up in a eucalyptus tree on their property, fall apart, sending the baby eagle inside tumbling to the ground. Luckily, they had been watching the eagle’s parents tending to their chick in the days leading up to the accident and rescued the baby immediately. Because of their vigilance, we know the eaglet is exactly two weeks old.>> READ HERE

Brad Marsh

Brad Marsh, longtime Santa Rosa police officer, Army veteran and bird rescuer, dies at 72
Inclined all his life to service and action, Sebastopol’s Brad Marsh flew a combat helicopter in Vietnam at age 18, then he worked a distinguished career as a Santa Rosa police officer, and in retirement found a passion for helping out some of the most impressive birds of prey that soar above Sonoma County. >> READ HERE

Santa Rosa Family Rescues a Juvenile Cooper’s Hawk
Folks have been through so much this year so when the Brazis family of Santa Rosa heard distressed cries coming from their yard, they immediately looked at each other and wondered,” What’s next?!? Rushing outside they found a juvenile Cooper’s Hawk on the ground at the base of what they assumed was the nest tree. Days before the family had seen the same young hawk squabbling with another hawk. This time the young hawk appeared to have lost the battle.

Leaves Issue September

MADRONE LEAVES, Page 6: From the Trenches – Bird Rescue Center Update By Ashton Kluttz, Executive Director
With spring behind us and summer winding down, we’re beginning to breathe a bit easier here at The Bird Rescue Center. The past few months have been challenging and exciting! While we had cancelled our Open Houses and educational events due to the COVID pandemic, our season has been no less exciting bird-wise. In fact, this year brought a few firsts  >> READ HERE

Bird Rescue Center gets big break in pursuit of a new home in Santa Rosa The Press Democrat
Who’d imagine that injured, orphaned and ailing birds suddenly would have a stake in not one but two large Santa Rosa-area land sales?

Bird Rescue Center of Sonoma County signs lease for land near Cotati The Press Democrat
The under-the-gun Bird Rescue Center in Santa Rosa suddenly feels wind beneath its wings.

Negotiations continue over Bird Rescue Center in Santa Rosa The Press Democrat
Sonoma County leaders have signaled a willingness to continue negotiations about the fate of a nonprofit bird rescue center, potentially providing it more time to find a new home while officials move to sell the county land it’s been housed on for almost 40 years.Cotati.  >> READ HERE

Newport Beach developer seeking to buy Sonoma County’s Chanate Road property quiet about development plans The Press Democrat
The Southern California company at the center of Sonoma County’s latest effort to sell its former hospital site along Chanate Road specializes in multipurpose development, and brings a group of real estate heavy hitters with a track record of major builds.  >> READ HERE

Santa Rosa school’s festival celebrates birds’ urban nesting site
The Press Democrat

May 11, 2018
Much to the delight of 10-year-old Pablo Flores, the trees near his west Santa Rosa elementary school Friday morning were aflutter with hundreds of egrets and herons, some leaving their nests to soar over nearby homes, creating a cacophony in an otherwise quiet neighborhood. >> READ HERE

Santa Rosa school’s festival celebrates birds’ urban nesting site
The Press Democrat

July 9, 2008
For 32 years, Martha Bentley was a charismatic leader and tireless volunteer at the Bird Rescue Center in Santa Rosa. She helped found the center in 1976 and subsequently worked with Sonoma County to secure the building that currently houses the center. >> READ HERE

News from the Mews

As this year’s Baby Bird Season winds down, the Chanate Campus goes back on the market as our BRC family suffers a tragic loss. Read on for details including:
  • BRC receives Santa Rosa Merit Award
  • Celebrating International Vulture Day
  • Another loss in our BRC family
  • Baby Bird Season update
  • Chanate Update


In this edition of News from the Mews, you’ll find:

• This year’s Baby Bird Season is definitely one for the books!
• Facts & Stats from one of our busiest seasons ever.
• A fond farewell to our original Ambassador.
• What this year’s 4th of July brought to our door.
• Two miracles that took place within our hospital walls.