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Homecoming of the Birds

Columbus -   Columbus Regional Hospital recently welcomed back the tiniest members of its care team. Fifteen birds found a new home in a brand new aviary located in the hospital lobby.

"The return of the birds has been one of our most requested items in the past couple years," said Susan Rust, Director of Patient Financial Services.

During the June 2008 flood, the birds' caretakers Karin Lee and Aase Wilking, who operate Cameo Flights, came to the hospital and successfully rescued all of the former aviary inhabitants.

"Bringing back the birds was important," Rust said. "They are part of our healing environment. They give patients the assurance that they are coming into a warm and friendly place. They are a distraction from a very stressful time in the lives of our patients."

Columbus Regional Hospital first welcomed the bird aviary in 2004, showcasing flamboyant zebra finches, blue-capped cordon bleus, orange-cheeked waxbills, a canary, doves and several other species. Over the years, the birds nurtured more than 75 babies.

The new aviary houses about 15 birds. The birds represent four continents, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia. Species include yellow canaries, zebra finches, Lady Gouldian finches, Dybowski's Dusky Twinspot, blackbelly firefinches, and green singer finches.

The return of the aviary was made possible through a generous donation from Columbus Regional Hospital Volunteer Services.

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