Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Stroud Earns Living Treasure Status

Kim Stroud with Handsome, the turkey vulture, at their Ojai Day booth

By Nao Braverman
First of seven in an occasional series on the Rotary Clubs of Ojai Living Treasure for 2008-2009.
Young birds of prey learn to fly in the summer, making it one of the busiest seasons for Ojai’s only raptor and songbird rehabilitation center. For many years that center has been the home of Kimberly Stroud.
“Crows and red-shouldered hawks are coming in like crazy,” she said. They’re just learning to fly, so many of them get injured.” Her home is a bustling shelter for feathery creatures. Until reaching their official status as a 501(c) nonprofit, Stroud and her husband, Dave, cared for the birds as an informal service to the community. Today, the rescued raptors are being nursed in private homes throughout the valley, by educated volunteers who will host them until they are ready to fly again. It has been a demanding and costly labor of love for Stroud.
She works full time at Patagonia while tending to the demands of her avian guests, and organizing and training volunteers. But the many success stories are well worth it.
“It’s a really gratifying process,” she said.
There are some birds in her care that can never be released into captivity. A partially blind bald eagle from Alaska, a Swainson’s hawk with an injured wing, and a pair of great horned owls that spent too much time in captivity, are among a set of extraordinary household pets.
Stroud fell in love with raptors about 15 years ago while working at Patagonia, where she manages the sample room. The environmentally conscious outdoor clothing company has always sent their employees to volunteer at pertinent non-

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