Sky Hunters: For the birds - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sky Hunters: For the birds

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ALPINE (CBS 8) - When a bird ends up in Nancy Conney's backyard, its life hasn't been easy.

"They've been taken out of the nest illegally, hand-raised, not raised with their parents, don't know how to fend for themselves. We've got broken wings, handicapped that are irreparable," Nancy said.

Some raptors and birds of prey will spend their days being fed and cared for by Sky Hunters, a nonprofit education and rehabilitation facility. They will never soar again.

"All the birds down here in the bird court are non-releasable," Nancy said.

Instead, they will be ambassadors and educators at Sky Hunters.

"We're open to the public on the weekends by appointment, so people get to come see them and have appreciation," Nancy said.

You'll be amazed by the dazzling display of birds of prey.

"Our eagles are both males and they have a six-foot wingspan," she said.

NASCAR has nothing on the Peregrine falcon.

"Some of them have been clocked at 240 (miles per hour)," Nancy said.

Sky Hunters does have a total rehab wing with an 80 percent release rate, but these birds on the court whose flying days are over are here to send a message.

"It's important to the community for them to know there are facilities out here that will care for something injured," Nancy said.

You'll meet a few miracles at Sky Hunters.

"I have the duck that was shot last year with five arrows at Chollas Lake," Nancy said.

Even though their soaring days are over, these raptors and birds of prey serve as living examples of the delicate balance between humans and nature -- a balance we must strive to protect.

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