By Jessica Mathews /

Fundraising efforts are underway to assist the Howell Nature Center and help it prepare for the typical spring increase in orphaned and injured wildlife coming into the clinic.

On March 16th, a juvenile bald eagle was released back into the wild, giving her a second chance at life. The young eagle came through the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic doors last November after being found on the ground, not flying, near the Flint River in Montrose. The eagle was also dehydrated and had suffered injuries to both wings, including a fracture and infection.

The Center is one of the few facilities in Michigan that’s able to rehabilitate bald eagles. Now after five months of specialized care, healing, and building strength; officials say the bald eagle started 2021 soaring free. However, the financial impact of COVID-19 left the Center in crisis and at risk of temporarily closing the doors to the clinic. Officials say thanks to some “Wildlife Heroes” in the community who stepped up with donations, the Clinic was able to stay open and help over 4,250 injured and orphaned wild animals.

However as spring arrives and more people spend time outdoors, the Center is projecting the highest rate ever of orphaned and injured wildlife coming into the clinic. In the next 30 to 90 days, they anticipate caring for over 2,000 “little wonders” such as baby songbirds, fox kits, owlets, opossums, fawns, squirrels, hawks, ducklings, eaglets and many more species. The Center will provide the treatment necessary for animals needing special diets, formulas, warming pads, incubators, medical supplies, and critical specialized and veterinary care. The goal is always to return animals back to the wild. While 2021 brings forth new hope, the Center is said to be preparing for a whole set of unique challenges. Over 65% of spring bookings were cancelled again this year due to the health crisis, resulting in what is being described as a dire financial situation.

A fundraising effort is now underway to try and raise $100,000. Thanks to a generous anonymous donor, the first $25,000 will be matched. A link to donate is provided.