Message from Our Chair
Spring at the WBCC
Spring is by far the busiest time of year at our Centre and last year it was busier than normal. In 2016 overall, we received 30% more birds than the previous year. But as a small charity with limited resources, this is not a record we are trying to break. That's why we need your help.
We are inviting all our members and supporters to become Avian Ambassadors for the WBCC. How can you become an Avian Ambassador? The first step is to visit the FAQ section of our website to learn what to do if you find an orphaned baby bird or bird in distress. Last spring, we received about 250 young birds that did not need rescuing. It costs an average of $100 to care for each bird, and baby birds are particularly labour intensive. Our staff and volunteers feed each youngster 20-35 times each day - that's hundreds of babies every 20-30 minutes!
These types of "rescues" are a common mistake made by very well intentioned people. We have developed an easy-to-understand poster that helps explain what to do if you find a baby bird. Remember: a baby bird's best chance for survival is to stay with its parents.
Next, be aware of the greatest threats facing our local bird populations. Nearly 13% of all birds we receive are victims of animal attacks, and 75% of those are the result of cats. I know this is a sensitive subject for many, but as a city that loves its birds, we must do more to minimize the harm our furry friends are inflicting on our feathered friends. While keeping your cats indoors is still the best solution, at a minimum keep your cat inside during the day, especially early in the morning. Also, try using a bright coloured, break-away collar. "Birdsbesafe" collars, for example, reduce bird fatalities by 87% (https://www.birdsbesafe.com/). Meanwhile, the old bell-on-the-collar is not only ineffective but harmful to cats!
Finally, consider becoming a member of the WBCC and a monthly donor (if you aren't already). Our board of directors and staff have some exciting ideas for making our Centre even better over the coming years, and we can achieve these dreams with the help and support of our community.
Want to learn more about the great work we do? Drop by for a visit from 12 pm to 3 pm daily (excluding Wednesdays). Our birds, staff, and volunteers never cease to amaze!
Chair, Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre
The Wild Bird Care Centre is a registered charitable organization. We run completely on public donations and receive no government funding.
The Centre takes in over 2,000 birds annually. All of the birds are brought to us by the caring public who find them.
We're open 365 days a year. We're able to achieve this feat thanks to our wonderful volunteers, our tremendous supporters and our hardworking staff. We offer tours and off-site presentations from September through April.
To assess, treat, and rehabilitate injured, ill, or orphaned wild birds for the purpose of releasing them back into their natural habitat.
To provide the public with information on bird intervention, safe handling techniques and avian injury prevention.
To educate people of all ages about the natural history, conservation and rehabilitation of wild birds, through guided tours and off-site presentations.
How We Started
The late Kathy Nihei founded The Wild Bird Care Centre in 1981, when she successfully rehabilitated, over-wintered and released an injured Ruby-throated Hummingbird named Pip. A single mother at the time, Kathy saw a need in her community for bird rehabilitation and took it upon herself to fill it, making her one of those rare people who mix an equal amount of compassion with determination and strength of will. She continued to rehabilitate wild birds in her home until a larger location was needed.
The Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre was incorporated in 1991 and began to operate as the Wild Bird Care Centre at the Stony Swamp Conservation Area location in 1992. Kathy continued to work with birds until she passed away in 2009. She is fondly remembered and missed by all. She was a pillar in the community.
The Wild Bird Care Centre has a volunteer Board of Directors drawn from supporters and members of the community. We operate under permits from both the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) and Canadian Wildlife Service (CWS). Our Wildlife Custodian Authorization from the MNR allows us to care for birds and raptors protected under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997. Our permit from the Canadian Wildlife Service authorizes us to care for birds that are protected under federal Migratory Bird Regulations.
The Wild Bird Care Centre was incorporated in 1991 as the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre and has operated as the Wild Bird Care Centre at the Stony Swamp Conservation Area location since 1992.