For the Birds: Volunteering with Winged Friends

Well, the early bird definitely missed the worm on this one, as I just discovered, a day late, that yesterday, January 5, was National Bird Day.

So my thoughts turn skyward as I starting searching for ways to volunteer for and with birds. Here are a few opportunities you may want to explore…

First, check your local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organizations. Most communities have one nearby, even big cities. There is always need of financial and often labor/volunteer support to help birds and other wildlife that have been orphaned, or suffered some nasty interaction with predators or hunters or cars or windows. The work these organizations do is heroic, and any level of support can continue their work for a number of “clients” that would likely shock you (injury happens every single day).

One of the best-known and beloved animal rescue organizations in the world is Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah (they also have regional programs in Atlanta, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Utah, and Arkansas). There are volunteer opportunities (one-time for a visit or ongoing) in their “Parrot Garden” housing about 100 birds. You may be asked to feed, clean, bathe, and play with birds, socialize the birds, and add to their day-to-day lives. Click this link for more.

Maitland, Florida’s Audubon Center for Birds of Prey utilizes volunteers for program operations and community science research, clinical rehab programs, and day-to-day operations. You could be a greeter, a feeder, a docent, or more. They also hold group volunteer days to knock out bigger projects (mostly outdoors). Here’s more info on getting involved with the bald eagles and other birds of prey.

Lots of California Audubon programs also need volunteers, many focused on shorebirds. Opportunities include beach cleanups, wildlife surveys, installing fencing and infrastructure, monitoring colony sites and nests, and educating the public. This link has sub-links to volunteering possibilities in Mendocino, San Francisco, Monterey, Morro Bay, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Huntington Beach, and San Diego.

Birds of Paradise sanctuary and rescue in Bradenton, Florida, is completely volunteer-run, and would love help with socializing and care, maintenance, event planners, and group service day projects. Here’s a link to what they are up to.

Free Flight is committed to exotic birds needing shelter and rehabilitation. Their Del Mar, California sanctuary has a flexible volunteer program (but asks for a twice-monthly commitment) from volunteer docents, avian care and socialization people, maintenance, and special events. Check out the possibilities here.

If you are back into travel (and we all know it is a rough post-pandemic or ALMOST post-pandemic comeback for many destinations), Working Abroad has multiple destination trips where you can work with birds, including projects in Ecuador, Peru, Namibia, Costa Rica, South Africa, Seychelles, and New Zealand. Lots of links to click and explore here, even if long-distance travel seems life a far-off goal for now (it’s always nice to dream, and plan ahead when you find the perfect match trip!)

As with any service project or volunteer opportunity these days, your work is so desperately needed (as is financial support in these painfully lean times) but PLEASE be in direct communication with any agency or charity to be aware of changes and restriction based on COVID protocols and requirements. Also keep abreast of any travel destination rules and practices. Things change, for all of us, at a moment’s notice, so be sure your great energy can be used for maximum impact in the context of safety and health for everyone.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by rcharvonia on January 6, 2022 at 1:13 PM

    

    A good un.

    I am involved w/ WFVZ.org

    Sincerely,

    Russ Charvonia, ChFC, CLU, CFP®, Esq.

    Home: (805) 650-7511

    Office: (805) 652-6941 Fax: (805) 832-6744

    Mobile: (805) 258-1037

    5536 N. Bryn Mawr St. Ventura, CA 93003-2224

    This message is for the designated recipient only and may contain privileged, proprietary, or otherwise private information. If you have received it in error, please notify the sender immediately and delete the original. Any other use of the email by you is prohibited.

    From: Change by Doing Reply-To: Change by Doing Date: Thursday, January 6, 2022 at 11:48 AM To: Russell Charvonia Subject: [New post] For the Birds: Volunteering with Winged Friends

    Andrew Mersmann posted: ” Well, the early bird definitely missed the worm on this one, as I just discovered, a day late, that yesterday, January 5, was National Bird Day. So my thoughts turn skyward as I starting searching for ways to volunteer for and with birds. Here are”

    Reply

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