Dozens of rare birds escape after storm damages large Logan aviary

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A Logan man’s rare bird collection is now in the wild. Doug Eames, 89, estimates that more than 100 of them were freed in a recent storm and doesn’t think he can rebuild his aviary. (Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

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LOGAN – A Logan man’s rare bird collection is now in the wild. He estimates that more than 100 of them were released in a recent storm.

The private bird sanctuary is quite large with three ponds. All the nets were brought down by heavy snowfall last month, and now all the birds that were here, mostly exotic ducks, are free to come and go as they please.

“These are Nene geese. This is the state bird of Hawaii,” said Doug Eames.

His love for birds goes back a long way. “When I was five or six I had a few pairs of pigeons at Christmas.”

He founded the Wings and Webs Sanctuary in 1972. He takes care of a number of birds. He even built an attic to feed them.

That last month’s storm hit a number on the 4.5 acres that make up its sanctuary.

He said, “It all fell off, yes. It broke right off the cables. It basically split open.”

The storm swept away a clump of trees and tore the net.

“That net used to go over that big thing over there with cables all over the place. It was about 80 of 80,” he said.

Doug Eames in his aviary in Logan.
Doug Eames in his aviary in Logan. (Photo: Mike Anderson, KSL-TV)

He has heard gunshots coming from a pond just behind his yard. A few birds came back injured.

“A few little wood ducks and a little mandarin. They went home but I know that’s what happened,” Eames said. “They had been hit with the little pellets, you know.

They didn’t survive and at almost 89 he said there was little he could do. “Grandma said I was getting too old to rebuild, haha.”

Now it’s about waiting and hoping for the best, seeing which ones will return. He believes that many will be lost to the hunters.

“And they are so tame to be here,” he lamented. “They are used to people walking around them.”

The property’s largest pond has always been open and the gated area closest to the Eaves’ house survived the storm.

Eames said the gunfire he heard in the area allegedly took place within the city limits where hunting is not permitted.

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