Wildlife Brightens My Day

Wildlife Brightens My Day

I was in second grade when my brother found a Magnolia Warbler that had flown into our kitchen window and was stunned on the ground. He gently picked it up in his hands and my whole family gathered around to appreciate its delicate beauty.  We stood enthralled for a moment until the bird recovered enough to fly away and continue on its migration.

Wildlife helps us. And that is why we should help them.

It took me decades before I began to understand the importance of simple moments like holding that Magnolia Warbler and, to be completely honest, I am still unable to effectively put it into words. I often end up rambling and naming a variety of similar experiences and the resulting emotions but I rarely convey what I actually mean to convey. However, I now think that my best attempt is to simply say that wildlife helps us. And that is why we should help them.

I wasn’t officially diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder until my late twenties, though I know it has been with me since I was a young child. Many winters, as I struggled to find meaning and joy in my life, it was wild animals that consistently delivered me some relief from that depression. Mourning doves out the kitchen window, deer in the local forest preserves, owls hooting after dusk, and busy muskrats on the edges of frozen lakes gave me moments of relief.

The local wildlife, when found injured, poisoned, or ill, along with all the other species that pass through this region, receive critical care from the University of Illinois Wildlife Medical Clinic.  These include the Snowy Owl, Common Loons, beavers, bobcats, and huge White Pelicans, among many others.  The Wildlife Support Fund assists the UI Wildlife Clinic, which provides vital medical support for these wonderful creatures of nature. I offer my thanks and modest donations in recognition and assistance to these dedicated veterinarians, students, and volunteers who care for sick and injured wildlife. But, I also thank those of you who donate through the WSF to support this clinic and others. 

The animals that have been helped by the WSF and the UI Wildlife Clinic can’t say “thank you”,  just as I can’t thank the animals that have helped me.  However, I hope that this message suffices as a way for that gratitude to be expressed. So, thank you for your support of the Wildlife Support Fund and the UI Wildlife Medical Clinic. I sincerely hope that your support will continue.


Zak Sutton

Champaign County Audubon Society (IL), Conservation Chair 

Get to know more of the animals supported by WSF.

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