The Kind-hearted Chaos of NYC’s Only Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

YouTube // Great Big Story
YouTube // Great Big Story / YouTube // Great Big Story

You’re sitting in your third-floor office, minding your own business, when suddenly there’s a loud thud at the window. When you walk over to determine the source of the startling noise, you find a starling lying on the window ledge, looking stunned and hurt. What can you do? Well, if you’re in New York, you can don a pair of gloves, put the bird carefully in a box, and bring it on over to the Wild Bird Fund.

Every day at the rehabilitation center is a surprise, co-founder and director Rita McMahon tells Great Big Story in the video below. “You never know who’s gonna walk through that door, or what they’re holding in that box.”

The center is “something of a three-ring circus,” McMahon says—an assessment confirmed by a quick look inside. Ducks waddle unsupervised across the linoleum floor while pigeons whoosh through the air just above vet technicians’ heads.

In spite of the chaos, the center is mind-bogglingly successful, caring for thousands of injured birds every year. On average, half of the center’s avian patients will be released into the wild near the sites where they were found. Some of the birds are migratory and will continue on their journey, while local birds may return to their families or flocks.

To learn more about the center, check out the video below or visit the Wild Bird Fund website.

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