Benton County Bird Release - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Benton County Bird Release

BENTON COUNTY, Wash. - It was a happy day for some bird lovers in Benton County after birds were put back into the wild.

The Blue Mountain Wildlife rehabilitation organization nursed an American Kestrel back to health after a Benton County woman found the bird injured in her backyard.

Blue Mountain Wildlife operates out of Pendleton, Oregon and rescues birds in Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon.

The little Kestrel was found tangled in a tumbleweed and injured two months ago.

Terre Mercier said, "I wrapped him in a sheet and called Blue Mountain Wildlife and said come help."

Lynn Tompkins is the founder of the organization.  She said, "We want to educate people to live in harmony with the world around us.  We started this organization because no one was doing rehab in this area and one thing led to another."

Every year Blue Mountain Wildlife cares for 300 birds.

Mercier released the bird Saturday afternoon and said, "I feel tremendous.  This is a great day. Every time I look out the window and see a Kestrel I can think maybe that is the little guy I have a connection to."

Tompkins said, "They are fascinating creators to watch.  They can heal up quickly and fly away which is always the best part."

Mercier said, "I have always loved birds since I was a little kid.  Maybe it's their ability to fly."

Blue Mountain Wildlife conducts educational programs throughout the surrounding area.  They have a satellite facility in Benton City and said they are always looking for volunteers.