Native Bird Care was founded by Elise Wolf in 2010, and is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Our staff is 100% volunteer and we rely entirely on donations from the public to operate. We also receive no government funding. Please help us save birds by making a donation today!
Our Mission: Native Bird Care offers specialized rescue, care, and rehabilitation for shore, water, and songbirds. We use the highest quality protocols and standards with the intent to release healthy, robust individuals back to play their profound role in the Earth's ecology.
About Our Staff Native Bird Care is an entirely volunteer run organization. It is directed by Elise Wolf, who is also the wildlife rehabilitator with permits from USFWS and OR Department of Fish and Wildlife. The organization depends on our board of directors and volunteers to help in the everyday activities of caring for animals and running the facility. Elise began her interest in advocating for nature and wildlife over 30 years ago, and transitioned to rescue to play a more hands-on role in saving lives. The care and treatment protocols used by Elise and Native Bird Care come from numerous well-regarded avian rehabilitators in the US, many of which Elise has trained directly with. Elise began her training as a volunteer for another rehabilitator in Homer, Alaska. After attending multiple other training opportunities and getting mentored by other top rehabilitators, Elise started Native Bird Care (after moving to Sisters). She specializes in the species she has had the most education, training, and experience with: song, shore, and waterbirds.
What is Avian or Wildlife Rehabilitation? Simply put, rehabilitation includes several types of care: medical treatment of injuries, resolving animal issues or problems (like poor waterproofing or contamination), and young or baby animal care and raising. Most of this is not taught in traditional educational settings. Quality of care, more than anything, relies on the skill, knowledge, and abilities of the care provider. In wildlife rehabilitation the key care provider is the wildlife rehabilitator. This professional must have extensive knowledge about how to actually treat or care for specific types of patient issues, but also be knowledgeable in the many species that come in, as each has specific care and treatment (husbandry, natural history) needs (a gull does eat the same thing or like a seed-eating finch) .
Becoming a wildlife rehabilitator is challenging as it is not a traditional college education provided profession. Nor is this education and training attained by veterinarians or domestic animal medically trained providers. Rather it is learned through training directly under another trained rehabilitation professional, and extensive research and learning about the patients the center is caring for. Here at Native Bird Care we regularly get over 30 different bird species (from loons to snipe to goldfinch), but there are over 320 different types of birds that live or fly through Central Oregon. While we do no raptors, the preponderance of species here are non-raptor birds. Being able to care for a bird that rarely comes in (like the 2 day old Virginia Rail in 2019) is often necessary. Elise relies on her many connections she has developed with top rehabilitators across the country for council on these unique cases.
Helping People: A Big Part of What We Do Rescuing birds also means helping people, and Native Bird Care considers that part of our mission. Most people care deeply about animals, so when they land upon one in distress they usually try to help. Native Bird Care offers Central Oregonians not only a place to bring their rescued friend, but also solutions for issues that arise when we live in close proximity to nature. Whether its swallows making nest on a house, sickly birds at the feeder, woodpeckers drilling on the siding, or an ill-placed nest, we try to provide solutions that 'everyone can live with' - birds and people.
Our Patients The highest intake in wildlife rehabilitation in Central Oregon is songbirds. Most of these species are smaller, highly stressed, on a mission (either breeding or migrating), and challenging to work with. We also take in shorebirds that have been lost by their parents or injured. These birds tend to be extremely stressed, and have difficulty simply being around humans at all. Their housing needs are very particular, as are their food needs.
Waterbirds are those types of birds that predominantly live on or around water full time. These include the loon, grebes, various specialty ducks, mergansers, and cormorants. These birds are used to floating and some have little ability to run or stand. Care of these birds requires filtered, recirculating pools that they can float on to prevent captivity injuries and keep their waterproofing.
In addition to these main species types, Native Bird Care also gets several miscellany birds like nighthawks, poorwill, great blue herons, egrets, and other beautiful species.
Regardless of species, Native Bird Care's primary goal is rescue and care of our wonderful flighted neighbors on this big planetary sphere we call "Earth."