NVM + 2012
• GIVING BACK
Abandoned exotic parrots enjoy their new perch at Fallen Feathers.
Carol La Valley speaks to Jody Kieran, founder of Fallen Feathers, an organization that helps injured wild and exotic birds recuperate in a happy haven. Photos by Angel Morris With top crescent yet to grow,
the bistre-and-white feathers of several wild baby quail contrast with the rich green-andorange plumage of a domestic parrot in the backyard of Jody Kieran’s home. An owl’s head swivels around to see what all the tweets, chirps, and caws are about, but perhaps he, with expression ever wise, knows. Kieran is the Bird Lady of Peoria. Each year, some 1,000
North Valley AUGUST | SEPTEMBER 2012
birds recuperate in her backyard refuge—officially named Fallen Feathers, Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Education (FF). Long before creating the nonprofit corporation in 2002, Kieran aided an injured bird that her husband, Tom, brought home. With their six children looking up at her expectantly, what could she do but take care of the hurt feathered creature? Once Kieran rescued one bird, more wound up nesting temporarily at the Kierans’. Jody Kieran knew that different birds had different diets and nesting habits, but these were the preInternet days, and most of her research was done at the library. Then, one day, her husband brought home an unusual bird. “I located a group called For the Birds, and they told me that it was a curve-billed thrasher
and what I was feeding it was fine,” Kieran says. The bird thrived, and when she knew it was time to release it, she called again for advice and was told she could release the bird from her home. A few days later, the head of For the Birds called and asked if she’d be willing to foster a few more birds. Kieran’s teenage daughter, Elizabeth, had been longing to become a veterinarian from the time she could say vet, and Kieran agreed, know-
ing that some real-world experience would be good for Elizabeth to have. Although Kieran’s original intent was to stick with wild birds, people started bringing her exotics that they had found or no longer wanted, or whose owners had died. Then, in 2002, For the Birds closed its doors, and Kieran took up its cause, handling it all out of her home with the help of volunteers and often her own pocketbook.
An owl has a temporary roost at the rescue.
North Valley Magazine Aug.-Sep. 2012