First Volunteering Job


Hels and I have been volunteering one afternoon a week at a local wildlife rescue center. We care for the baby songbirds who have been brought in after being attacked or abandoned. Here is Hels at the incubator taking care of the nestlings. It's hard to get a good photo through a one-way mirror (she's on display too!).


We never know what we'll be caring for each week. The birds are actually unrecognizable from one week to the next--they change so fast. This is a little nest of robins she is feeding with a syringe. They have to be fed every 30 minutes.

Yesterday we also had a hummingbird with a broken wing, three wildly flying phoebes who weren't quite eating on their own yet (they were a challenge to feed), and quite a few more fledgling robins and starlings. Thankfully by next week these fledglings will all be released.

Just while we were there yesterday, 5 different birds were brought in by people--a chimney swift which had fallen down a chimney, the cutest little blue jay who had been attacked by a cat, a robin with a broken wing, etc. The examining table is right by the incubator, so Hels got to be with the staff as they received each patient.

It's been a great experience for Hels. She's learning to interact with adults, care for animals, and stick to something that can be a tad bit boring. We're also learning a lot about birds!

Tara  – (July 18, 2008 at 8:14 AM)  

This looks like an awesome opportunity. How nice for the pair of you (and the birds who benefit from your care, too).

anthromama  – (July 18, 2008 at 8:42 AM)  

My husband and I did wild bird rescue one summer in the Sierras. It's an amazing amount of work! I remember it was like painting the Golden Gate bridge: once you're done, you just start all over again. They eat, they immediately poop, you clean up, and then feed them again. It was amazing to see the transformation in the birds in such a short time.

Dawn  – (July 18, 2008 at 9:37 AM)  

Every thirty minutes the baby birds eat! Those mama birds in the wild work hard! It sounds like you and Hels are working hard as well..what a great opportunity.

Wyldhare  – (July 18, 2008 at 9:05 PM)  

I just found your blog and am enjoying reading about your life. Your girls are almost the exact same ages as mine! I know a lady here who does hummingbird rescue, it is a LOT of work.

Cadi  – (July 19, 2008 at 10:06 AM)  

Oh what a wonderful thing to do! Substituting a birdie mama sounds like quite a job! :-)

Lisa Anne  – (July 19, 2008 at 11:30 AM)  

What a great experience for Hels! It is great for kids this age to take care of other creatures, I think it helps to keep them from being too preoccupied with themselves.

Teaching Handwork  – (July 19, 2008 at 9:04 PM)  

that sounds great! way to go Hels

Angela  – (July 21, 2008 at 7:51 AM)  

What sweet experience! Those birds are very lucky!

denise  – (July 21, 2008 at 9:27 AM)  

That sounds like a wonderful opportunity. I volunteered at a birds of prey rehabilitation facility when I lived in Florida and it was an eye opening experience. I can 't wait until the boys are a bit older and we can do things like that together!

Tammy  – (July 30, 2008 at 5:52 PM)  

What a lovely experience! And so nice that the 2 of you can volunteer together. :)

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