VINS Constructs a New Commissary

Chris Collier – Senior Director, Operations & Exhibits

VINS is excited to construct a new commissary and add to our ambassador raptor enclosures to facilitate both our increased biosecurity due to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI), and an increased number of ambassador raptors to support our on-site and outreach education programs.

With the increase of HPAI in North America the past couple years, VINS recognized the need to separate the care of incoming rehabilitation patients from our permanent resident ambassadors. A deadly and contagious virus, HPAI can spread quickly from wild birds through a facility’s resident bird collection, and there is currently no effective treatment for the disease. Since 2004, the commissary, or diet preparation area, for all of the permanent resident ambassadors had been in the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation (CWBR) building, alongside the rehabilitation patients. In order to keep the virus contained to potentially contaminated rehab patients, the commissary was moved out of that building, and into the Indoor Classroom in April of 2022. This was a temporary measure at the time, but the rehabilitation and education staff agreed that a new, separate commissary for the care of the permanent residents was ultimately necessary to prevent potential contamination from HPAI and other contagious diseases brought in by wild birds.

The new commissary is currently under construction and should be ready for occupancy early this winter of 2023.

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