Happy Hatchaversary

If you’ve followed SOAR for any length of time, you’ve come to know that ‘busy’ is what we all are! When you’re busy, often projects take way longer than you’d like. I can’t imagine how excruciating the wait is for you all reading this post! (Think about the last remodeling project on your house and recall how long it could take for small tasks to be completed. If that project was outside at all, triple that!)

On this second ‘hatchaversary’ of AIT Decorah, we wanted to share with you the progress and paint you a picture of the final look of Decorah’s new digs.

The first eagle quarters for Spirit and Liberty was within the original hawk building and was the 10′ x 20′ room right next to what is referred to as the ‘hawk room.’ When Kay secured grant funds to build the new 40′ x 30′ eagle living quarters for Spirit and Liberty, that 10′ x 20′ became a rehab flight room.

That same 10′ x 20′ flight room is now being remodeled for AIT Decorah. Renovations are going to be pretty extensive and are in progress. His room will be insulated, entry doors added, along with windows for observation and air flow. Insulating the room will help to moderate temperature extremes — cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. This past winter the insulated mew he was in meant that even in very cold temps, his water pan didn’t freeze, nor did his food freeze before he finished. Included in the remodel will be a secure weathering area that Decorah can use both for weathering and for ‘visiting’ with Spirit and Liberty. The insulated room also gives the option to heat the room to keep the temperature above freezing if needed for a patient.

First, out is all the old ‘hawk furniture’ in that flight room used by small hawks and owls to rehab and improve flight skills — low and high perches and shelves removed. Then Nolan was able to start the remodel. The renovation work also has to fit with the needs of current patients and Nolan’s work schedule. (Nolan built the last stand-alone mews.) The biggest part of the project will be the addition of the weathering area that will be attached to the building and extend about 15′ out. This weathering area will be a chain-link enclosure and predator-proof (similar to Spirit and Liberty’s), including hardware cloth on the ground covered with pea rock. Access from the passage door to the outdoor area is currently being planned, possibly a ramp.

So far, we’ve spent around $4,000 on the project, but still need to purchase more steel, insulation, chain-link, hardware cloth, and pea rock! Your donations will greatly help us complete this project. Thanks also need to go to all of you that helped us with donations to get us this far!