If you have found a RAPTOR (hawk, eagle, or owl of any type), please fill out the online form found here: RAPTOR ONLINE FORM. our raptor volunteer will get back to you as soon as they are able to. This form is for RAPTORS ONLY - at this time, we don't have sufficient volunteer help to take in birds other than raptors. See below for why this is.
You may be wondering (and feeling angry about) why BWR can't take in birds (other than raptors). We don't currently have a bird intake volunteer; below is information that we posted on our Facebook page about the volunteer crisis that we are experiencing.
Hi BWR fans and non-fans! We are looking for some help with what is possibly the most difficult volunteer position within BWR - Bird Intake Volunteer.
If we had to write a job description for the Bird Intake Volunteer, it would look like this: POSITION AVAILABLE: Bird intake volunteer for Bidwell Wildlife Rehab. Pay is $0 an hour. Job description and requirements are as follows:
• Accessing the BWR bird intake form email box, and responding to online requests for help with birds when they come in.
• EXTENSIVE knowledge of birds, native and non-native, required. Including songbirds, corvids, pigeons, raptors, waterfowl, and more. Ability to identify a bird's species from a blurry photograph is a must. Must also have extensive knowledge of birds' anatomy and potential injuries, and ability to diagnose possible injuries/illnesses from a photo and a finder description.
• Answering on average 6 to 7 requests for help every day, including weekends and holidays. Keep in mind that some finders will get mad if they don't hear back from you within 30 minutes or so, and that forms come in literally 24 hours a day.
• Ability to train new and existing volunteers on birds' diets and how to feed them. This includes native and non-native birds of all ages - newly hatched to adult.
• Ability to try to walk finders through best practices to reunite nestlings with their mothers, and best practices to help fledglings that don't need human intervention. Ability to convince people that this truly is what's best for the bird, even if the finder's expectations are that you will come pick up the bird right away (and deal with the resulting anger/disappointment that comes with that expectation).
• IMPECCABLE customer service skills are a MUST. Many of the finders will be excited and worried, and you will need to deal with all kinds of people who are expecting a volunteer to come out and pick the bird up right away (even if that's not what is best for the bird).
• Ability to keep your cool when finders argue with you, yell at you, or insult you via phone call or text when you don't do what they think you should be doing to help the bird.
• Expect to be dragged and insulted online and on social media on occasion. Expect to be cursed at and told that you don't care about birds on occasion. Must be able to deal with this and be secure in your knowledge that you are doing what's best for the birds, even if the finder doesn't think so.
It's a lot, right? Pretty much completely unrealistic? That's what our bird intake volunteers deal with on a daily basis. We've had three bird intake volunteers this year who are all lovely, knowledgeable people who have had to step away from the volunteer position for various reasons, and burnout is definitely a factor.
We are without a bird intake volunteer for a few weeks, and we're honestly not sure what we're going to do. We have no option other than to refer birds (other than raptors) to organizations outside of the area. WE DON'T WANT TO DO THIS - but without a Bird Intake Volunteer, we are left with very few options.
Any takers? Want more info? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We know this is a raw subject for folks. Our mammal intake volunteer, who was contacted about a bird this morning, has already been told via text that "This is a terrible program where no one helps " and “I want to talk to your supervisor.” (This is a volunteer who volunteers 20+ hours a week.) Wildlife rehab takes the whole community - not just a few wildlife rehabbers.