Utah Man Helps Birds in Need Through Southwest Wildlife Foundation

May 3, 2019, 6:50 AM

Not everyone goes out of their way to help out wildlife in need, but one man has done it thousands of times to help birds that nobody else would.

“My reward is the knowledge that there is one more beautiful animal back in the sky. That’s my reward. And it’s a good one.”

Martin Tyner founded the Southwest Wildlife Foundation back in 1997, and for the last 50 years he’s been doing all he can to help thousands of birds.

“It starts off as a very young child terrified of birds,” he says. “And with the help of very wise grandparents as mentors, they got me past my fear, but I became the first person in North American licensed to trap and train a wild eagle.”

He shows us a falcon he’s caring for now.

“She has a bit of an issue — she has vision problems. So falcons with vision problems is a very bad thing, she can’t take care of herself.”

And another bird —

“She is one of my personal birds that I fly. And she’s one of our wildlife ambassadors. And she’s just adorable, and she is not supposed to be. She is supposed to be a monster.”

Selfless, he’s converted his own backyard into a safe haven.

“It’s strictly a labor of love,” Tyner says. “This is not my occupation. This is my life’s work.”

The longest member of the program —

“This is Scout, a golden eagle about 16 years old. He is a dear, dear friend” Tyner says. “He can drive those talons through my glove and crush the bones in my hand. It’s really good he likes me.”

As Tyner releases eagles back into the wild, he does it with a purpose: to help others feel the peace and freedom from grief in letting them release the animal.

With all of this in mind, it’s pretty obvious why we nominated him for a KSL High 5.

His hope is that one day he can transform the beautifully donated area in Cedar Canyon into a Nature Park that’s free to the public. But it’s a dream he will need your help with.

It will take about $10 million for it to be complete, with only a couple hundred thousand raised so far.

If you want to help with his dream and show your support for the nature park, go to his website. You can donate directly or buy his book, with 100% of the money going toward helping build that beautiful park.

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Utah Man Helps Birds in Need Through Southwest Wildlife Foundation