Kisa

Kisa was admired and loved by all in her presence.  Her life was a confirmation that wildlife and wilderness areas are essential to the health of this planet.

- Wendy Bruss
Kisa was the last of the EITS birds I learned to handle, and the one that I was most apprehensive about. Her strength and alertness were intimidating, and I was nervous the first time I had her on the glove. I smile when I think of that now, as I came to discover the sweet bird that she was. Powerful and alert, yes, but so smart, funny, cooperative... and gentle.

I was privileged to spend at least one morning a week with Kisa this last year of Covid. Despite the enjoyment we normally have in displaying our birds to the public, being able to spend quiet time with her and getting to know her better has been incredibly special. I’d often tell her how amazing she was and how much she was enriching my life. I always looked forward to the first walk to the backyard... she’d usually get very alert, scanning the landscape, and begin to flap her wings, sometimes vigorously. It was as if her instincts as a flighted bird were reborn every trip out. A couple times she even bated, but not from surprise or loss of balance... I swear she was launching herself forward and up off the glove to take flight, and I so wished that she could.

It hurts so much to say goodbye to you, Kisa, but I’m thankful you’ve been released from your injury and pain. Fly free.

- Scott Fritsch-Hammes
Kisa was my best friend and my most complex and intimate bond. My experiences with animals have always been in the context of other people’s pets, and through wildlife rehab/education. Kisa was the first being I got to know across all contexts as I became involved with her care outside the Museum.

We’d have so many incredible days together, as well as bad days. We were there for each other’s best and worst. She knew me in all my facets, and I was honored to know her in all of hers. I’ve never shared anything like that with anyone. She was everything to me.

- Alex Shu
After reading the note from Hannah about Kisa, I immediately set up a time for last Thursday from noon to two. After saying hello to all of the other birds, I grabbed the leash and stepped in with her.

She was on her perch close to the screen, and shuddering. She looked pale and her wing and crop were quite disheveled. She remembered me, and was very patient with my fumbling with the leash and her jesses after a one year hiatus.

We took a long walk along Mission Creek behind the aviary. It did not take long for her shuddering to stop. She would then lift her wings in the face of the gentle breeze on that beautiful and peaceful day.

We sat on a bench made from a log, and passed the time for about 20 minutes. She was very much at peace, even had 1 foot up which is always a good thing.

Kisa has made a difference in my life, and in the lives of many, many people. Her spirit will live on forever.

- Jeff Hanson