Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation

Contact Us

Nature Center Hours

VINS Nature Center
10am to 5pm Daily

Wild Bird Rehab is Open
Accepting Calls Only
802.359.5000 x212
8am to 5pm

Updated May 2, 2022

Center for Wild Bird Rehabililitation Update

In order to protect our ambassador birds the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation is only able to accept certain bird species at this time due to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza. Please call at 802.359.5001 x212 and staff can assist you with wildlife calls.

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been detected in birds in the state of Vermont.  Many strains of avian influenza occur naturally in wild birds in North America. Highly

pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) refers to strains that are especially infectious to domestic

poultry.  This particular strain is very infectious among birds and has been documented in many wild bird species across the US.

HPAI has been detected in many states across the US in both wild birds and domestic poultry.  Currently, hundreds of thousands of birds are migrating to their breeding grounds in the Northeastern US which means a higher risk of transmission due to the volume of birds concentrated in small areas.

HPAI can be spread through feces and respiratory secretions of infected birds and is easily transmitted on objects contaminated with virus particles. The virus is able to survive in cold temperatures and aquatic environments (Minnesota Raptor Center). Symptoms are neurologic in nature and consist of seizures, head twitches, and disorientation in many species.  Waterfowl appear to be asymptomatic carriers of the virus and are higher risk for transmitting the virus to more susceptible species.

To protect the health of current education and exhibit birds on VINS campus our rehabilitation department will only accept certain bird species this season.  If you find any injured or orphaned wildlife please continue to call us at 802-359-5001 ext 212 and staff can offer advice over the phone.  

To date, the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/other/index.html) reports that there have been no human cases of AI that resulted from exposure to birds on this continent.  Though the risk of transmission is low the recommendation is to limit direct contact with avian species as much as possible.  If an injured, wild bird is found please contact VINS at 802-359-5001 ext 212 and our rehabilitation staff can give further information and advice.

Please visit: https://vtfishandwildlife.com/learn-more/living-with-wildlife/wildlife-diseases/avian-influenza-wildlife-health-bulletin for more information regarding HPAI in Vermont.

What VINS is doing:

To protect the health of all exhibit and education birds on campus our Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation has isolated from the rest of the VINS campus.  Rigorous biosecurity measures have been put into place at the rehab facility to minimize risk of transmission from a rehab patient to our resident birds. 

VINS is also in close contact with VT Fish and Wildlife to ensure the safety of all birds on campus.

Bird Feeder Recommendations

Our recommendation is to pause use of bird feeders and bird baths at this time.  Little is known about the transmission risk to songbirds specifically, but minimizing large amounts of birds gathering to feeders and baths is one small measure that can be taken to prevent potential transmission of not only HPAI, but other common feeder disease like salmonella and conjunctivitis.

Hummingbird Feeder Recommendations

Little is known regarding the transmission risk of hummingbirds at this time.  Every bird is at risk of infection, but hummingbirds most likely pose one of the lowest risks.  Hummingbird feeders tend not to attract a high volume of birds, so risk is potentially small.  Feeders can be put out, but monitor your area for transmission and clean your feeder regularly.

Visit https://www.usgs.gov/centers/nwhc/science/distribution-highly-pathogenic-avian-influenza-north-america-20212022 for more information about the transmission in your area.

Poultry/Domestic Bird Owners

Please follow VT Fish and Wildlife guidelines at: https://agriculture.vermont.gov/agency-agriculture-food-markets-news/recent-detection-avian-influenza-north-america-raises-concerns

Resources

HPAI-Banner-2022

"Avian Influenza - A Virus on the Wing" Virtual Presentation

Join VINS’ consulting veterinarian, Dr. Basil Tangredi, to learn about the biology and ecology of this dangerous virus. Find out how HPAI affects birds and what past outbreaks can tell us to expect from this one.

Our Wild Bird Rehabilitation Program

VINS' highly trained rehabilitators treat over 1,000 injured, orphaned, and ill birds from throughout Vermont and New Hampshire each year and care for all resident raptors, songbirds, and reptiles at the Nature Center.
We answer many calls daily regarding questions about wildlife from throughout the region. We hold 10 permits with the state and federal government and work closely with the game wardens to support wildlife concerns and needs.

 

We have begun research regarding the prevalence of blood parasites in birds admitted for care. In addition, we are banding released patients to potentially collect more data on survival rates once they return to the wild. We are also collaborating with other organizations on several research projects. These organizations include the Vermont Center for Ecostudies (Loon population monitoring) and Southeast Wildlife Disease Cooperative and Vermont Fish and Wildlife (prevalence of West Nile Virus in Ruffed Grouse).
MedicalCare-CWBR

Medical Care

VINS Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation is open 365 days a year to treat injured & orphaned birds that are often victims of cat attacks, habitat destruction, vehicular strikes, lead or pesticide poisoning, and entanglement in improperly discarded fishing line or other litter. 

Call 802.359.5000 x212 (after hours x510) if you have found an injured or orphaned bird. 

Husbandry-CWBR

Husbandry

Proper husbandry varies widely by species and age. VINS Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation is equipped to care for each patient with:

  • Specialized diets
  • Species-appropriate housing
  • Temperature control
  • Habitat enrichment