Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation
Since 2001, people from the Denver metro area, including Jeffco, have taken rescued passerines and waterfowl to WILD Bird Rehab in Denver. Unfortunately, they will not be open in 2015 due to a variety of factors, including needing to raise enough funds to build a new facility.
This means it is even more important for all of us to try to prevent situations that can cause harm to birds – as well as other wild creatures. The lack of licensed bird rehabilitators resulted in Colorado Parks and Wildlife suggesting that people “allow nature to take its course.” This can be a tough message for people who enjoy wildlife and would like to see it survive and live free. However, caring for wildlife is much more difficult than most people realize – with special knowledge and skills required to identify if and when a bird needs help, health conditions and treatments, particular diets and feeding techniques, safe and appropriate caging, knowing how to prepare the animals for release or when conditions require it to be euthanized, and, state and federal rehabilitation licenses. Plus, wild creatures can carry diseases and parasites that can be transmitted to people – as well as cause injuries.
Without appropriate care, these wild creatures do not do well in captivity. If you want to know about what’s involved with wildlife rehabilitation, don’t do so by keeping a wild creature. More info is available at http://www.ewildagain.org/pdf/ColoRecBooklet.pdf
- Before picking up a sick, injured, or baby bird or other animal that appears to need help, check out the following or similar resources before rescuing it:
- The following facilities and agencies may be able to help, but residents should call them first. They could be full or not able to take the kind of bird that has been found. Also, most of these are nonprofit organizations with limited resources so they do not have paid staff to rescue and transport birds, so residents should be prepared drive the birds to these facilities. It is helpful to take a photo of the bird or animal that has been found to email or text it to these organizations for identity purposes.
- Colorado Parks & Wildlife has published a list of various Wildlife Rehabilitators. Click here to View/Download the 2016 List.
- Birds of Prey Foundation, Broomfield: 303-460-0674 – Accepts raptors such as hawks, owls, and eagles, and also crows, ravens, woodpeckers, herons, cormorants, grebes, pelicans, and nightjar species such as whip-poor-wills. No ducks, geese or small birds like songbirds. Open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Lyons: 303-823-8455 – Accepts all species of birds except raptors. Also accepts small to mid-size mammals. Committed to take in Boulder County birds, but will take Denver-area birds on a space available basis. Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Ellicott Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Colorado Springs: firstname.lastname@example.org – Accepts all species of birds and also small to mid-size mammals from the Pikes Peak region; however, will take Denver-area birds on a case-by-case basis when other rehabilitation facilities are at capacity. Open seven days a week, 9 a.m.to 9 p.m.
- Blue Sky Wild Bird Rehabilitation, Parker: 303-667-7174 – Small facility with limited capacity that is licensed to treat only small birds with a specialty in hummingbirds. Will take Denver-area birds until it reaches capacity. Open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Denver office: 303-291-7227 – Provides guidance on orphaned and distressed birds and other wildlife. Does not provide rehabilitation services but will euthanize compromised wildlife brought to the Denver office at 6060 Broadway. Open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Municipal Animal Control Agencies and Humane Societies – Local animal control policies regarding wildlife vary, but none of these agencies or humane societies provide rehabilitation or care for any wildlife, including birds. Call first to determine what assistance they can offer in the way of wildlife rescue or euthanasia. If they do assist with the rescue of a wild bird, they will most likely euthanize it since they cannot care for it.
- Veterinarians – Call first since many veterinarians do not provide care for wildlife and also must follow state laws concerning the treatment of wildlife. May perform euthanasia, often for a fee.