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A Friend in Need … Is a Friend Indeed!

Preparing mews for arrivals

As soon as there was smoke, we were on alert. We’ve been closely monitoring the fires in west Sonoma County as well as those in Napa, Marin and Lake counties because we know firsthand what they can mean for a wildlife facility.

The incredibly special thing about wildlife nonprofits in the Bay Area is that we are all connected; we share information, we share resources, and we consider each other friends. As soon as one is in need, we all pitch in. When BRC needed to evacuate during the Tubbs Fire and during last fall’s power outages, our sister organizations opened their doors immediately and offered us a safe haven.

Today BRC is currently in a “safe zone”, and we are returning the favor.

3 of 33 Evacuated Birds
Our Hospital Manager, Katie Miller, developed a thorough and precise plan for preparing our facility to receive patients and resident birds from other facilities, making sure we were prepared should any of our sister facilities need assistance.

When we got the call from Napa Wildlife Rescue that they were evacuating, we were ready. Since their designated safe space did not have outdoor space for songbirds, both BRC and Native Songbird Care and Conservation in Sebastopol volunteered to help. Together, we would make sure that each and every one of those songbirds were moved out of harm’s way and into a safe environment.

Evacuated Crows
With almost 200 birds already in our care, we welcomed 33 evacuees from Napa Wildlife Rescue. Disoriented, scared—and yes, often loud—the evacuees arrived at our door sparking a flurry of exams, paperwork, and movement from carriers to exam rooms to aviaries.

Together with Hospital Manager Katie Miller and Clinic Supervisor Ian Sophie, we worked well into the night. While the hours were long, the rewards were great. We ensured the safety of three dozen more birds—a mix of crows, jays, doves, sparrow, towhees, blackbirds, and juncos!

As evacuation zones have expanded, we have continued our preparations for other birds in need—those from facilities in direct danger; displaced falconers; and those that escaped from fire and smoke regions as well as the usual intake of birds we experience during this time of year.
Our Handler and Hospital teams have been hard at work cleaning all the extra aviaries and maximizing our indoor spaces should we need to bring birds inside due to hazardous air quality. Even our Turkey Vulture Residents, Barf and Arnold, have graciously sacrificed their ‘gym’ for other birds that may need it.
It’s a lot of work and we are celebrating every life saved!
The birds we save are vital to post-fire recovery.
The devastation we are experiencing due to wildfires makes it more important than ever to care for our native avian populations. Your gifts make this life-saving work possible—and helps ensure our native wild birds continue to thrive so our local environments can recover.
YES, I’ll Help Support Evacuated Birds!
COVID-19 Response
As we have officially been mandated to shelter in place, for those most helpless, BRC is their shelter. Though we have canceled our public education programs, our doors are still open to receive birds in need. We are implementing protocols adjusted to maintain social distancing.

Our work in providing emergency medical care for our native wild birds means we are an essential service. If you feel you have a bird in need, call us at 707/523-2473 first! We have a skeleton crew so, if needed, please leave a message and we will contact you as soon as possible.

Information has been changing quickly so for the latest on our updates and protocols join our email list. The signup form is on this page in the sidebar. On mobile just scroll down for it.

We hope you and your loved ones remain healthy during this time, and remember, we’re still here to help!
#birdrescue #wildliferehab #wildlife #sonomacounty #sonomastrong #togetherwesavebirds

Watch this video that was shot a few years back.
watch →

Raptor Ambassador Bob
With your help, we can continue to help birds like this Western Screech Owl nestling that our amazing Release Team was able to re-nest and reunite with its parents! Join our team! READ MORE >

Found a bird? Here’s some basic guidelines to help with rescuing a bird

Baby Wrens at the Bird Rescue Center

Remember, wild birds are not pets. They are naturally frightened of humans and it is also against the law to keep them in your home without a permit. As a rescuer of an injured or orphaned wild bird you play a very important role. It is essential that the bird receives professional care as soon as possible. With fractures and breaks, the longer the injury remains untreated, the more difficult it is to fix. Particularly with young birds, dehydration and starvation are quick to set in… read more →

Rebuilding a Peregrine

Peregrine falcons are the fastest animals on earth, diving at speeds of 200 mph or more to strike prey in flight. This bird came to BRC with a broken right clavicle… read more →


This video features three baby hummingbirds successfully released. We hope you enjoy seeing what goes on behind the scenes in our avian wildlife hospital… read more →

Ambassador Guardian

Your generous donation to our Guardianship project helps provide food, housing, care and medical treatment for these amazing birds!… read more →