Contributed by Carol Fritz
Since 2007, Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center (AWBRC) has been providing quality care for injured, orphaned or sick wild birds from the Mat-Su Valley throughout Alaska. Birds cared for range from the tiniest featherless baby sparrow to adult eagles. Through donations and grants we established a facility in the Big Lake/Houston area. We hope to one day have a larger facility to provide for more birds and open for tours to the public.
A facility that nurtures such a variety of birds must have an extensive array of housing, medical equipment and food. Caging includes small baskets for tiny birds, pet kennels for transport and critical care, and outdoor wooden buildings called mews for large birds. Our volunteers are trained in the proper food for each species and how to keep their housing in good condition, allowing the birds to be given the care needed.
With Spring around the corner, many of our migratory birds are returning and will be building nests and laying eggs. If you find an injured wild bird, CALL US! Do not attempt to keep the bird and raise or heal it yourself. The migratory Bird Treaty Act prohibits keeping a wild bird, and it is not in the best interest of the bird. The best thing to do is to call us at 892-AWBR (2927). Our staff is trained to help you capture the bird, or assist with the larger, more aggressive birds. The bird needs to be taken to a facility like the Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center to be properly raised or healed, and subsequently release when ready into the proper habitat.
Our in-house clinic, staffed by volunteers and our veterinarian, in conjunction with Big Lake Animal Hospital, will give the bird the best of care, with the ultimate goal of releasing the bird back to the wild.
Birds that are injured such that they cannot be released back to the wild are allowed to be permitted and are kept at the facility as education ambassador birds. AWBRC currently has 5 education ambassador birds. Our volunteers are trained to take these birds out to programs to educate the public about Alaska’s birds and their habitat. Programs are offered at a reasonable cost to schools, tourist venues, wildlife centers, public and private events.
We have volunteer opportunities for Clinic and Education volunteers. There are many additional volunteer opportunities that do not involve direct handling of the birds: carpentry, construction, public relations, fundraising and donations.
How you can help: You can help support the Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center in several ways… Donate part of your Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend through the Pick.Click.Give program. Sign up for Amazon Smile, select Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center as your charity, and a percentage of your eligible purchases donated to us by Amazon. Through Fred Meyer Community Rewards using our ID# 85800, a portion of all the purchases are donated by Freddie’s to AWBRC. Use Humble Bumble for your online gaming and video purchases and select Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center as your charity. Check with your employer’s HR department to see if they offer a matching gift for your charitable donations. We appreciate the help!
AWBRC is inviting you to join us to come to Spring for the Birds!
Prime Rib Dinner and Auction on Saturday, March 30, starting at 5pm at the Palmer Moose Lodge, 1136 S. Cobb Street in Palmer. Come meet our education birds and learn about them, enjoy a delicious dinner while listening to Matanuska Muse play, and have fun at the Silent Auctions! We will have 180 painted wine glasses that are available to buy; hand painted, with birds and wildlife by local artists, especially for this event! For our live auction, we have an Alaska Railroad round trip ticket on the train to Fairbanks, artwork by renowned artists, and many other wonderful items to bid on!
Tickets for this fundraiser are available in Palmer, at NonEssentials and Cobb Street Market; in Wasilla at the Boardwalk Shop (701 E. Parks Hwy) and online at www.akwildbirds.org.
“The mission of the Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center is to care for injured, orphaned and sick wild birds with the goal of returning them to the wild; and to educate the public about these birds and their habitats.”