Colorado Native Bird Care and Conservation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Colorado's orphaned and injured wild birds and bats.
What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?
The goal of wildlife rehabilitation is to provide professional care to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals so ultimately they can be returned to their natural habitat. Wildlife rehabilitation is not an attempt to turn wild animals into pets. Patients are held in captivity only until able to live independently in the wild. Fear of humans is a necessary survival trait for wild animals and every effort is made to minimize human contact and prevent the taming of rehabilitation patients.
Wildlife rehabilitators work with veterinarians to assess injuries and illnesses. Due to the important differences between wild animals and domestic animals, rehabilitators need extensive knowledge about the species in care, including natural history, nutritional requirements, behavioral issues, and caging considerations.
Birds are protected by federal law and state laws are responsible for all wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitators must be issued special permits from their state and federal wildlife agencies. These individuals must meet various requirements such as specialized training, facility inspections, and written or oral exams. Once they receive the permits, conscientious rehabilitators continue their education by attending conferences, seminars, and workshops, keeping up with published literature, and networking with others in the field.
Because of their training, wildlife rehabilitators can help concerned people decide whether an animal truly needs help. Young birds and mammals should be returned to their families if at all possible; even well trained rehabilitators are not equivalent replacements for biological parents. Rehabilitators can provide instructions on how to reunite wildlife families, keeping the safety of the animals and the rescuers in mind, and they can suggest humane, long-term solutions when conflicts arise between humans and their wild neighbors.
Source: National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association