Peg McDonald Founder PEG MCDONALD
I have been a wildlife carer for over 40 years now, but it wasn’t until 1992 that I discovered the absolute privilege and pleasure of working with our birds of prey. These are the sky hunters, the athletes of the sky, and best practice husbandry and supreme fitness are essential to their successful rehabilitation and release. In NSW alone over 1000 are hit by cars, caught in barb wire, shot, caught in rabbit traps, orphaned or harmed every year. Now they are beginning to suffer from new and unexpected diseases, and as we expand our living areas we are taking over vital territories they have maintained for decades, and that are essential for their survival, as is the case with the Little Eagles in Canberra. Australians care about our environment and its indigenous fauna. Every bird rehabilitated and released so it will not just survive but thrive is not only a win for that bird but a win for us and the planet.My primary aim, through developing Australian Raptor Care and Conservation Inc was to have a positive impact on raptor rehabilitation and release techniques utilised by wildlife carers in Australia. It would provide a focal point where we could work together to create, improve and disseminate best practice methods for the successful rehabilitation, and finally to improve our knowledge of Australian birds of prey in general.My passion is to realise a long-held dream, to witness and facilitate Australia move towards the forefront of world raptor care and release practices.As a rehabilitation facility, my priority is always the birds in my care, and they are not for public exhibition, however via the amazing images of my great mate Mark Kelly, the wonderful folk at RedArk and my words we can take the birds and their stories to you. I hope that by doing so, I will engage and encourage the thought that will inspire us all to think about how we can play even a small role in maintaining their future survival.
-------------------- Photographer MARK KELLY
Mark has always been a lover of the outdoors. He first met Peg at a design course at Mossvale TAFE in 2012.
As a child, he was fascinated by reptiles and had an extensive collection of lizards in his parent's backyard. Later he was banned by the local librarian for constantly borrowing any more books on bushcraft and reptiles and was told to "go and read a story book". He is based in the Southern Highlands. Mark has won many accolades for his work including professional awards at State, National and International competitions. Mark became Peg's photographer after recognising the need to publicise the great work Peg does to help injured birds get back into the wild

Feature Wedge-tailed Eagle

Working as a team for the greater outcome of any individual bird is always great, and Caper’s story is a classic example. Her family and ancestors had been followed in the Capertee Valley by Steve and Graeme for 17 years, who noticed her tree and eyrie missing from a distance one day. Read more

Strategies for success

The whole point of rehabilitating birds is to get them back into condition so that they can be successfully released back into the wild where they belong. Several strategies are in place to ensure this is done. Read more