As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Saturday 12 January 2013

Colorado wild bird rescuer Catherine "Birdie" Hurlbutt dies at age 99

Catherine "Birdie" Hurlbutt, pictured in 1985, told a friend that "the only thing better than one bird is two birds." She died Dec. 22. A memorial is planned for Saturday. (Denver Post file)

For decades, Catherine "Birdie" Hurlbutt was a familiar sight, steering her converted Checker Cab as she drove through Denver to rescue injured birds. She died in her sleep on Dec. 22 at age 99.

Tall and lanky, with outsized spectacles and a broad, toothy smile, she devoted her life to rescuing and rehabilitating wild birds. Hurlbutt, who never married and shared her modest south Denver ranch house with dozens of recuperating birds, was licensed to care for wild birds by the federal and state divisions of wildlife.

She spent most of her childhood on a Shaffers Crossing homestead acquired and then lost during the Great Depression by her father, a music professor with more ambition than business acumen. She raised her first bird, a chicken named Penny Precious, there.
She worked as a stenographer for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, where she kept a bird feeder near her office until she retired in 1978 after 41 years.

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