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How to do the right 🌸 spring and save Portland wildlife 🦊

Fun fact. The Earth 🌎 is closest to the sun in January ☀️ in January and farthest away in July. (So WTF? Why aren’t we wearing 🩱bathing suits on 🎄 Christmas in Portland?) As our lop-sided Earth orbits the Sun, the Sun’s rays hit different parts of the Earth more directly, which means the warmer temperatures come, not from distance, but from more direct solar radiation.
 
What does this mean for us? It means most of us don’t know our science 😛.
 
What does this mean for wildlife 🦊 ?
 
Love is in the air!
With 🌷 spring just around the corner, the solar warmth is building up to supply an abundance of food and nesting material. It’s time to wake up from hibernation and get busy breeding.
 
Unfortunately, this is also a time when we run across animals in need. More often than not, it’s the baby birds, the fledglings, who have been injured or orphaned that catch our attention first. So how can you help?  First, don’t touch until you read ➡️  what to do when you find a wild animal.

Portland has a lot of wild animals, from birds to fury creatures, that need saving. So what’s a person to do? Where can you go to volunteer? Whether you have funds to donate, donated items to give, you can only volunteer from your desk, or you just want to put in some good old elbow grease, we’ve put together a resource guide for you to use on your journey to help wildlife in need in Portland. Here are two important wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers – and their volunteer options – for you to peruse. You’ll also find a  list of What To Do’s that we hope you’ll share with others eager to help save wildlife.

Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Centers

1.Audubon Society of Portland

Portland Audubon’s passionate and growing community has loved and advocated for Oregon’s wildlife and wild places for more than 100 years. With the help of our vast network of advocates, nature enthusiasts, and partners, we inspire and connect people to nature through a variety of programs that are grounded in science and learning. Our mission: To inspire all people to love and protect birds, wildlife, and the natural environment upon which life depends.

Wildlife Care Center- seasonal & year-round volunteer activities
Baby Bird season is just around the corner, please apply to volunteer, then you will attend a general orientation, followed by a series of online and in person training. We will contact you when we schedule more orientations.  Volunteers are the lifeblood of our Wildlife Care Center (WCC). They work alongside staff in various roles to help provide care and support to over 5,000 wild animals per year.  Our Wildlife Care Center (WCC) volunteers learn about wildlife rehabilitation while supporting wildlife care and educating the public about our conservation mission.
Seasonal Admissions Greeters
Admissions Greeters are responsible for assisting staff in the admission and documentation of new patients; this job primarily includes welcoming visitors, providing instructions on the patient drop-off procedures, and ensuring the information provided for each patient is as complete and legible as possible. This is currently a seasonal (May – August) position. This is a seated, outdoor role.
Seasonal Wildlife Care Assistants
Seasonal Wildlife Care Center Assistant volunteers are responsible for assisting staff in the care of animals inside the clinic and maintaining a clean and healthy environment for personnel & patients. Job consists of laundry, dishes, enclosure cleaning, food preparation, and other chores as well as assisting in daily weighing & medicating of patients. Requires standing work during most or all of the shift, also bending, lifting, standing, gripping, and repetitive fine-motor tasks.
Wildlife Care Assistants
Wildlife Care Center Assistant volunteers are responsible for assisting staff in the care of animals inside the clinic and maintaining a clean and healthy environment for personnel & patients. Job consists of laundry, dishes, enclosure cleaning, food preparation, and other chores as well as assisting in daily weighing & medicating of patients. Requires standing work during most or all of the shift, also bending, lifting, standing, gripping, and repetitive fine-motor tasks.
Mews volunteers
Mews volunteers are responsible for assisting staff in the care of animals housed in outdoor enclosures. Job consists of cleaning & setting up outdoor enclosures, providing daily patient enrichment & diets, monitoring & reporting on patient condition, upkeep of enclosures, tools, & grounds for the safety of personnel & patients. Requires bending, lifting, using a tall ladder, carrying, and walking on uneven ground.
Flight cage volunteers
Flight cages volunteers are responsible for assisting staff in the care of animals housed in off site outdoor enclosures. Job consists of cleaning & setting up outdoor enclosures, providing daily patient enrichment & diets, monitoring & reporting on patient condition, upkeep of enclosures, tools, grounds for the safety of personnel & patients. Flight cages volunteers report to the Care Center, then drive their own vehicle out to our flight cages at a remote location. Requires bending, lifting, using a ladder, carrying, and walking on uneven ground.
Wildlife Solutions Counselors
Wildlife Solutions Counselors are responsible for providing advice to members of the public who call and email the center for help with injured animals and wildlife conflicts. Callers leave voicemail messages and volunteers return the calls. Volunteers generally work in pairs, and new volunteers are always paired with an experienced mentor during training. Volunteers “Graduate” after minimum 4 months of experience, including at least 2 months of busy season, at which point can work alone and/or be paired with newer volunteer Seated, remote, phone- and email-based role.
Sanctuaries
Sanctuary volunteers help keep our extensive trail system and sanctuary grounds beautiful for guests and the native wildlife that calls it home. We welcome volunteers with special skills as well as those who may just want to on occasion. We have a regular weekly work party for volunteers who have gone through our screening. Training occurs during the volunteer shift, and depends on the volunteers’ skills and interests.
Community Outreach Volunteers
Portland Audubon is invited to many community events, celebrations and classrooms throughout the year. Volunteers assist in outreach and educating about our mission and our work. Volunteers are trained in the content of our educational materials as well as best practices in interacting with the public.
Backyard Habitat Certification Program (BHCP)
Portland Audubon & Columbia Land Trust  teamed up to create a unique program that supports urban gardeners in their efforts to create natural backyard habitats. It’s through our collective efforts to transform urban landscapes that positive change is made. Together we make our cities a healthier place, for ourselves and for wildlife. Our community of Backyard Habitats is over 6000 strong, and growing every day. We currently work with sites smaller than one acre throughout much of urban and suburban Clackamas, Clark, Multnomah, and Washington counties. All you have to do is enroll!
Community Science
Portland Audubon has long been a pioneer in involving the public in wildlife research and monitoring. Our community science projects span the urban environment in Portland to projects statewide including on the Oregon coast. We engage members of the public to help us better understand the ecology, biology, and natural history of birds and other wildlife so we can more effectively accomplish our conservation efforts and inform policy and management. Community Science projects vary in location, duration and required skills. You do not need to attend a Portland Audubon Volunteer Program Introduction to participate in Community Science – you may sign up here.
Take Action
The impact of our efforts is written across Oregon’s landscape, and is fueled by grassroots engagement—a strong community of people working together to protect nature. Help us make positive change across the state by signing up to become a Portland Audubon activist.
Adult Education
There is no better classroom than the natural world. Whether watching a Bald Eagle steal a fish from an Osprey or listening to a Western Meadowlark across the Sagebrush sea, being out in nature gives us something that no book can fully capture. That’s why our classes, outings, field trips, and ecotours bring participants out into the field to experience nature through their senses. All while learning, building community, and understanding how they can help protect the wildlife and wild places we love so much. Join us on a morning bird walk, take one of our classes, or travel the globe with us on an ecotour, and continue to build your own authentic relationship with the natural world.
Youth Education
Fun, safe, educational! Environmental education is about creating a moment that inspires someone to fall in love with nature, to feel awe, wonder, and a connection to the natural world. Our vast array of hands-on programming sets the stage for youth of all ages to learn, play, explore, and develop their own personal relationship with nature. Through community partnerships, school-based programming, camps, and mentorship, Portland Audubon’s programs offer a welcoming and inclusive place for youth to connect with the natural world and each other.
Rare Bird Alert
Updated every Thursday, the Rare Bird Alert covers the entire state and details where and when rare birds have been spotted. This could be anything from an east coast bird that flew off course to an Oregon bird found in an unlikely location. If you’ve seen a rare or out of place bird, contact Brodie Cass Talbott to report your sighting: [email protected].
Join the annual Birdathon
Birdathon is the uniquely Portland Audubon way to help protect Oregon’s native birds. Now in its 41st year, Birdathon is one of our most beloved traditions, bringing people together to raise funds to protect birds while watching birds. Everyone is welcome – expert birders, casual birdwatchers and beginners! Like a walk-a-thon, Birdathon participants (Birdathoners) collect pledges and donations from friends, family members, and coworkers for finding and counting bird species. There are many ways to join Birdathon and make a difference for wildlife: In-person Teams, Virtual Teams, Solo Birdathon!

2. Wildlife Center of the North Coast

WCNC is licensed to treat most native Oregon mammals. Some common species we treat are American Beaver, Big Brown Bat, Brush Rabbit, California Ground Squirrel, Deer Mouse, Douglas Squirrel, Little Brown Bat, Long-tailed Weasel, Mountain Beaver, and Townsend’s Chipmunk.
WCNC is the only rehab facility in Oregon specializing in seabird care, but we are licensed to treat all native Oregon birds. Some species we commonly treat are American Crow, American Robin, American White Pelican, Anna’s Hummingbird, Bald Eagle, Barn Swallow, Brandt’s Cormorant, Brown Pelican, Common Murre, Mallard, Red-tailed Hawk, Western Gull, and Western Grebe.
Our mission is to promote compassion, empathy, and respect for all life through wildlife rehabilitation, ecological teachings, and wildlife conservation.

  • Rescue Hotline: 503-338-0331
  • (all birds, mammals)
  • 89686 Hwy 202 Astoria, OR 97103
  • 503-338-0331

 

Photo credit: Arturo Alvarez