10 – Feeding baby birds is so much fun.
9 – You meet really great people who care about nature like you do.
8 – You see so many different types of birds up close.
7 – It’s fascinating to see how fast they grow from hatchlings to nestlings to fledglings to adults.
6 – You learn how to feed and care for baby birds.
5 – You can volunteer for the shifts that fit into your schedule.
4 – Your volunteer experience will be valuable for applying to college or a job.
3 – You’ll get a ticket for each shift worked that goes into a drawing for cool prizes at the season end volunteer appreciation potluck party.
2 – You’re helping the environment by getting those baby birds back into the wild.
1 – YOU really make a difference!!!! Our volunteers are the reason we are able to successfully rescue and rehabilitate the animals we take in every year.
Each year, Sierra Wildlife Rescue opens its Baby Bird Nursery where it will rescue and rehabilitate several hundred birds between the months of May and August. It all starts with a phone call. A rescuer has found a bird or nest of birds in trouble and calls the center. The Shift Leader on duty determines if birds need to come into the Center or if the parent birds can continue supporting the babies.
When a bird comes into the Center, a specially trained Shift Leader performs a physical examination and, if the bird is injured, applies first aid. A Patient Record is started and a number assigned to each bird so that every “patient” can be tracked during its stay with SWR. Birds that require veterinary assistance are taken to one of the wonderful vets who help support our wildlife rescue activities.
Once stabilized, hatchlings go into the incubator. When they have grown feathers, they are transferred to a basket outside the incubator. Trained volunteers feed the babies from 8 AM to 6 PM every day, beginning with feedings every 15 to 20 minutes and extending the time between feedings as the babies grow, just as wild parent birds do.
When it is time for the young birds to start eating on their own, volunteers help teach the birds how to recognize food and encourage them to get it themselves. Once the birds are eating well on their own, they are transferred to a rehabber’s home flight cage. The rehabbers monitor the fledglings to make sure they are eating properly, flying well and are releasable. Once that is determined, the birds are released into a habitat that is appropriate for their species.
Release day is always very special – these birds would not have survived without the many volunteers involved in raising and caring for them through every phase of their growth. Nature’s mothers are the best for all young, but when that relationship is interrupted, Sierra Wildlife Rescue does a pretty good surrogate job! We release about 85% of the babies we take in.
The Baby Bird Nursery is open from May through August, from 8AM to 6PM, every year. Volunteers are trained in all aspects of raising baby birds and choose the shifts they want to do – and they can sign up in teams or individually. Ready? Great! CLICK HERE to fill out the Volunteer Application form, or Call 530-621-4661 for additional information about Sierra Wildlife Rescue’s Baby Bird Nursery.
SWR Membership is required to be eligible for volunteer opportunities.