A word from Peg
... founder of Higher Ground Raptor Centre
I have been a wildlife carer for over 40 years now, but it wasn’t until 1992 that I discovered the absolute privilege and pleasure of working with our birds of prey.
These are the sky hunters, the athletes of the sky, and best practice husbandry and supreme fitness are essential to their successful rehabilitation and release.
In NSW alone over 1000 are hit by cars, caught in barbed wire, shot, caught in rabbit traps, orphaned or harmed every year. Now they are beginning to suffer from new and unexpected diseases, and as we expand our living areas we are taking over vital territories they have maintained for decades, and that are essential for their survival, as is the case with the Little Eagles in Canberra.
Australians care about our environment and its indigenous fauna. Every bird rehabilitated and released so it will not just survive but thrive is not only a win for that bird but a win for us and the planet.
My primary aim, through developing Australian Raptor Care and Conservation Inc was to have a positive impact on raptor rehabilitation and release techniques utilised by wildlife carers in Australia. It would provide a focal point where we could work together to create, improve and disseminate best practice methods for successful rehabilitation, and finally to improve our knowledge of Australian birds of prey.
My passion is to realise a long-held dream, to witness and facilitate Australia move toward the forefront of world raptor care and release practices.
As a rehabilitation facility, my priority is always the birds in my care, and they are not for public exhibition, however via the amazing images of my great mate Mark Kelly, the wonderful folk at RedArk and my words we can take the birds and their stories to you.
I hope that by doing so, I will engage and encourage the thought that will inspire us all to think about how we can play even a small role in maintaining their future survival.
Charlie graduated from the University of Sydney in 2000. He then spent time working in a large animal practice in the Central west before spending 2 years overseas working in the UK and travelling through Europe, Africa and Central America.
During his travels he saw some of the amazing wildlife around the world. Wild creatures and their conservation is a passion Charlie has held since he was a small boy growing up on a farm near Young.
He has been part of the Southern Highlands Vet Centre team for the past 11 years and enjoys the wide variety of species he encounters during his work day including wildlife.
Seeing the dedication and passion of Peg convinced Charlie to come on board with Peg at Higher Ground Raptors and as they say – the rest is history!
As a child he was fascinated by reptiles and had a large collection of lizards in his parents' backyard. Later he was banned by the local librarian for constantly borrowing books about bushcraft and reptiles and was told to “go and read a story book”.
He is based in the Southern Highlands. Mark has earned many accolades for his work including National and International Photographic awards.
Mark became Higher Ground's photographer after recognising the need to publicise the great work Peg and the team do to help injured birds get back into the wild.
So many of Mark's stunning photographs are what make this website beautiful.
Team Harker: David and Jennifer and their son Chris have shown interest in Peg's work for many years.
David is a regular bird transporter picking up birds from all over the state and returning them home again on his own time and at his own cost.
All three Harkers have helped with fund raising and Jennifer made the magnificent curtains in the bird hospital!
Team Harker have been a God-send helping emotionally, physically and financially during the tough times and they're still on board!