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Some victories are partial. Although Moonface regained normal strength and weight, his injured wing didn’t recover adequately to permit release.

Some such animals are sent to other licensed facilities in need of birds for display. Others, including Moonface, remain at SOAR and are used in educational presentations at schools, nature centers, and similar venues.

Neumann believes these feathered teaching assistants can inspire students in a way human teachers cannot, fostering a new respect and concern for the natural world.

“It gets other people involved who may go on to have careers [in conservation]. People are concerned about individual animals, [but] you may spark them to something much larger than wanting to help a single kestrel.”

Learn more online at

An avid hunter and conservationist, freelance writer and photographer Tim Ackarman of Garner encourages his fellow enthusiasts to protect wildlife by using only non-toxic ammunition in the field. (

Photos courtesy Pete Wachsberger, courtesy
Matt Wetrich, and by Tim Ackarman.

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