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Owls Find Solace in Hickory Flat

One local woman has taken in more than 50 owls and hawks each year since 1983.

On one of the first fall afternoons, Monteen McCord sits feeding her 16 chickens and one “very happy rooster” in her backyard.

‘I’m the Angelina Jolie of ,” she said, referring to the different nations that the chickens come from.

Over the past two decades, her Hickory Flat home has become a sanctuary for birds—especially hawks and owls—where injured fowls are taken for recovery.  McCord runs Hawk Talk, Inc., a not for profit organization dedicated to helping injured hawks and owls.

McCord was a surgical nurse before she got into veterinary rehabilitation in 1983.

Since then, she has helped about 50 hawks and owls a year.

“Nobody gets into any kid of rescue to get rich,” McCord said. “It’s just a calling. The universe continues to care for me, so I continue to care for them.”

One tawny owl has even become a celebrity. Nigel, 14, has been in ads for Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

To raise money, McCord takes the birds for informational talks all over the state. If you want to donate to McCord or her birds Sean Patrick, Skully, Arianna, Artemis, or Nigel, check out the Hawk Talk website. 

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