Keeping birds soaring


Make text smaller Make text larger


The Wild Bird Fund is the only animal rehabilitation center in New York


Photos



  • Kissena the swan has been treated for lead poisoning at The Wild Bird Fund and is expected to make a full recovery.Photo: Christina Cardona




Walk into The Wild Bird Fund on the Upper West Side and two pekin ducks greet you. So does a chicken, a white rooster, a mallard and a few goslings. You also notice the steady background music: birds cooing, left and right. For Rita McMahon, the organizations’ director, this is home.

The Wild Bird Fund, on Columbus Avenue north of 87th Street, treats and nourishes the injured wildlife of New York City.

The not-for-profit opened in 2012. Before that, McMahon, who lives nearby, kept and treated the injured birds in her apartment. At one point, she had 60 birds.

“Whatever bird is brought to our door, we try to make it whole again so it can go back to the wild. The second part of the mission is to educate New Yorkers about our wildlife,” McMahon said. “And how much we have — we’re very rich in wildlife and most people don’t realize it.”

McMahon said the organization gets anywhere from three to 60 birds a day, depending on the season. Last year, the Fund rehabilitated 6,000 birds.





“The most common statement is ‘thank God you’re here,’ because we are the only game in town,” McMahon said.

The Fund gets 50 percent of its funding from individual donations, she said; 35 percent comes from foundation grants; and the remaining 15 percent comes from bird and photography walks the fund hosts in the spring and autumn. The Fund also sells merchandise and provide educational programs, such as an eight-month junior ornithology course.

Money, though, gets a little tight in the summertime, McMahon said.

“We have the greatest number of patients, with all the big birds coming in. And it’s the time of year where people do not donate as much,” she said. “You do what you can, with what you have. You stretch it the best you can.”

Rehabilitation includes diagnostic testing, surgery, physical therapy, feeding and sheltering.

“New Yorkers care a lot,” McMahon said. “They respond when they see an animal on the ground, they pick it up. Especially when they know they can take it somewhere.”

For more information or to make a donation, visit their website at wildbirdfund.org.





Make text smaller Make text larger

Comments



MUST READ NEWS

Image Charged up
EAST SIDE OBSERVER
Image How your neighborhood voted
A Straus News street-level analysis of the Democratic Primary for governor illustrates Manhattan’s fault lines
Image Derailing digital deviants
After several Tudor City women were sexually harassed online, two East Side pols crafted a bill that would crack down on threatening behavior in cyberspace
Image City releases per-pupil spending figures
Report shows how much NYC schools expect to spend on each student
Image Dueling visions in UES park plan
Should an oasis on the river’s edge feature a quiet “senior space” or an active exercise yard or some combination of both? Disagreements abound

VIDEOS



Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Neighborhood Newsletters





MOST READ

Local News
My breakfast at Tiffany’s
  • Sep 21, 2018
Local News
Something to write home about
  • Sep 18, 2018
Local News
How your neighborhood voted
  • Sep 18, 2018
Columns\Op-Ed
Charged up
  • Sep 18, 2018
Local News
Derailing digital deviants
  • Sep 18, 2018

MOST COMMENTED