Hundreds of birds come through our clinic doors every year, representing many species. Permits from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Alaska Department of Fish and Game allow us to treat all types of birds from a tiny chickadee nestling to a majestic bald eagle. We have even treated surprise visitors like a red-footed booby from Hawaii!
The primary goal of rehabilitation is to help sick or injured birds recover and return to the wild. Because a bird must be at 100 percent healthy to compete for a living in the wild, some birds are non-releasable even though in stable condition. Those birds can be placed in licensed educational programs and sanctuaries throughout the country or become part of our own education program, becoming ambassadors for their species.
Rehabilitation can be difficult and often thankless work. Some days are hard and some birds – no matter our efforts – we are not able to save. Then there are those who pull through against all odds. These are the birds that make it all worth it.