There’s a hospital on the Upper West Side that stands out from the dozens of others within New York City. Its patients stay in cages rather than beds. And when they’ve been freed, many will take to the sky rather than the streets.
The Wild Bird Fund—the only wildlife rehabilitation center in New York City—sees over 3,000 feathered and furry patients each year. Its staff treats and, when possible, re-releases each injured, sick, or orphaned critter that passes through.
Though humans dominate the concrete jungle, it’s still home to an abundance of wild animals. The city’s resident creatures, along with those who travel through on their seasonal migrations, too often find themselves in need of a helping human hand. Ailing animals lucky enough to cross paths with a kind stranger will likely wind up at the Wild Bird Fund.
The rehabilitation center hosts a menagerie of nonhuman city dwellers. Its demographic includes a wide variety of birds, ranging from pigeons to house sparrows to falcons to even the occasional owl. The center also treats non-avian animals like squirrels, opossums, and wild rabbits.
The Wild Bird Fund sees each animal free of charge. Its staff, which is largely comprised of volunteers, performs a range of procedures including radiographs, surgery, physical therapy, and feedings to help each patient heal. The staff also works to educate the public about how to coexist with the city’s nonhuman residents.
Know Before You Go
Guests are welcome to visit the reception center to learn more about the Wild Bird Fund. However, as it's a working animal hospital, behind the scene access isn't allowed.