Mission

The Bird Center of Washtenaw County is committed to aiding birds, wildlife, and the environment through public education and rehabilitation.

Who we are and how we help.

The Bird Center of Washtenaw County is a wildlife rehabilitation organization dedicated to the care of injured and orphaned wild birds. If you have found an injured or a seemingly orphaned baby bird, our volunteers can advise you what to do next. Our trained volunteers will care for injured birds at our facility and if necessary obtain veterinary advice. Rehabilitated birds will be released back into their natural habitat. In the case of baby birds, many times, what appears to be an orphaned baby bird is simply a fledgling whose parents are close by, encouraging it to fly. Our volunteers can help you determine if it is possible to safely return the bird to its parents or if it has truly been orphaned. It is always best for the bird to be raised by its parents if at all possible.

More facts about us

As we continue to fulfill our mission, our successes would not be possible without the generous support of several local organizations and our many volunteers.

We received our first grant from the James A & Faith Knight Foundation in 2005. The Foundation has continued to support the Bird Center every year since then. Their initial grant allowed us to lease a facility to rehabilitate our birds and to pay student interns a small stipend. The City of Ann Arbor helped us find affordable space, thanks particularly to City Council Member Leigh Greden and the city’s Facilities Management Department. In prior years, we’ve closed up our treatment space, but continued to field questions and inquiries about injured wild birds from the public. Beginning in 2012, for the first time we will continue operating at the same location through the winter months, although with shorter hours.

The James A & Faith Knight Foundation Executive Director Margaret A. Talburtt delivers a check in 2005 to Carol Akerlof to help the Bird Center take flight.

We have also received generous support from The Orpha C. Correll Fund for Animal & Bird Welfare and Helmut & Candis Stern Animal & Bird Welfare Fund, both affiliated with the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, and the Mosaic Foundation of Rita and Peter Heydon. Orpha also volunteered for us for years! This support has allowed us to further expand our staff so that we can deliver even better care to the injured birds of Washtenaw and surrounding counties in southeast Michigan.

It is a great help to have all our birds and resources together in one location. Baby birds have to be fed every 30 minutes from dawn until dusk. And they, as well as their surroundings must be kept clean and dry at all times. Before we had our current location, birds were distributed among volunteer homes, requiring significantly more effort. In 2011 we took in 847 birds of many different species and logged 1872 phone calls for help and advice. Today, one volunteer can take care of many birds during a single visit to our facility. This allows us to help more birds with our volunteer resources.

We work closely with the DNR and with groups such as the Michigan, National, and International Wildlife Rehabilitators Associations which are dedicated to continuing education in the care and rehabilitation of wildlife. Our volunteers regularly receive training hosted by these organizations.

The Bird Center of Washtenaw County plans one or more training sessions throughout the year to train our volunteers.

Our vision for the future

We have great plans for the future and hope to not just lease space but one day establish a permanent home for the Bird Center of Washtenaw County.

With a permanent home we hope to be able to attract more volunteers and grow and serve as a community organization that is committed to aiding birds, wildlife and the environment through public education and rehabilitation.

The Bird Center will be alive with birds inside and out. Outside the windows will be bird feeders and around the building will be natural plantings to attract birds. Inside will be birds that cannot return to the wild, but can serve as foster parents or models to provide the proper imprinting for nestlings and juveniles. In the education rooms there will be children and adults of all ages. Brownies and Cub Scouts will visit the Center and work on their patches and badges. Senior citizens will find a welcoming and enriching environment in which to volunteer.