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Posted by on Jun 10, 2023 in Blog | 0 comments

Every Picture Tells a Story: Marieta’s Many Bird Rescues — Crystal City, VA (1994)




One of Marieta’s many passions is animals — protecting them, fighting for them, and caring for them when they need a helping human hand.

In the 30 years we’ve been married, I can’t give an exact count. However, I’m taking the OVER on a line of 250 birds that she’s found, rescued, nursed back to health, and released. A few died in her care because they were so far beyond recovery. But her track record of success is extraordinary.

She’s become something of an Ornithologist (which I had to look up to spell — it’s an expert in birds). She’s made stents for broken limbs, reconstructed damaged beaks, used eye droppers to feed the weak, and created antivirals that cleared up infections. It’s truly remarkable. What really amazes me is the time and care she’s given to birds (and other creatures), which doesn’t pay anything but does bring a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that is far more valuable than anything materialistic. We’ve released birds after being rehabilitated for months. The tears of joy in her eyes (and mine, too) seeing them fly into the air were worth every moment of time and care. It’s impossible to describe, maybe like seeing your firstborn walk for the first time. But it’s special and good.

Oh, and one more thing. Marieta names every animal. They’ve all had names, all 250+, usually after the streets or places where they were found. For instance, here in Las Vegas, we had “Caesar” (found at the parking garage at Caesars), “Rio” (same story), “Twain” (found wounded on Twain Street), “Honey” (next to the Honeybaked Ham store), “McDonald,” etc. “Chevron.” We’ve found so many that we’ve even had “Schlotzky I” and “Schlotzky II.”

This loving care and deep concern just happened generically. It wasn’t planned. I think it’s just something you’re born with — compassion. We own a home now, so it’s easier to rehab some animals. But when this photo was taken in 1994, we’d just moved into a high-rise in Crystal City near National Airport. So, she was not equipped to care for the wounded bird we found that day. But, she tried. And….succeeded!

This photo was taken in a park at Crystal City when Marieta found the wounded bird on a path, which could not fly. She took it home and later fed it, cared for it, and the bird lived and eventually flew away to enjoy a good life.

Oh, and her name was — Crystal.

That’s my story for today.

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