Help us care for injured and oiled wildlife!
Note: During any wildlife crisis, like the current influx of Elegant Tern chicks, Bird Rescue relies on the support of volunteers like you to help us ramp up at a moment’s notice to meet the needs of wild waterbirds in peril. There isn’t always time to train responders in the midst of responding to an emergency, but having trained volunteers on standby is critical.
**Bird Rescue follows a comprehensive safety protocol to keep volunteers and staff safe as we navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.**
You must be at least 18 years old to volunteer. All volunteers are required to attend an initial Orientation as a prerequisite before volunteering with us.
We ask volunteers to join our membership at a suggested price of $45 to cover the cost of training materials and a volunteer t-shirt at the completion of 40 hours. If your financial situation will make this difficult, please let us know.
How to Get Started
Complete and submit an online volunteer application form for your center of choice.
Los Angeles Wildlife Center (San Pedro, CA)
You must first fill out an online application for the Los Angeles Center before attending orientation.
Orientations are held every other month with the next on: Please email us at Volunteer.LA@Bird-Rescue.org with any questions.
Note: Make sure you enter at 32nd Street and Barlow Saxton Road and head over the hill. You’ll see Bird Rescue off to the right – next to the Marine Mammal Center.
San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center (Fairfield, CA)
You must first fill out an online application for the San Francisco Bay Center before attending orientation.
Please email us at Volunteer.SFBay@Bird-Rescue.org with any questions.
The Volunteer Experience
Volunteer support is critical to the care and support that we give our patients, whether working directly with the animals we care for, or supporting their care through answering phones, filing, cleaning, laundry, or construction. We value your skills and want your experience to be rewarding and fulfilling. However you choose to help, you are helping to return these amazing creatures back into the wild.
In our animal care program, we have three volunteering levels that interested volunteers can learn and progress through. All volunteers begin working within the animal care program by learning “the basics,” and depending on your desire to learn and the time you have available, you can become proficient and confident in rehabilitation. Volunteers interested in a career in wildlife rehabilitation can learn valuable skills not taught elsewhere through hands-on work at our centers.
New volunteers work directly with a mentor and staff to learn how to properly perform basic hospital duties such as cleaning cages, doing laundry, preparing food, and helping to take care of the pools. Husbandry plays a vital part in recovery of any species. When these skills are mastered, volunteers can graduate to Level 2.
Volunteers who are comfortable with providing for the basic needs of our patients may work with staff and mentors to learn more advanced skills such as bird capture within the enclosures, administering medications, gavage tubing, updating the medical records and assisting staff with patient evaluations.
Volunteers who have begun to learn about the intricacies of caring for these magnificent birds may find that they want to continue learning and taking on more responsibility. With commitment and focus, Level 3 volunteers work closely with staff in providing expert care and oversight to animals, performing diagnostic tests, creating treatment plans and performing basic medical care.
Every day, International Bird Rescue strives to improve medical and husbandry techniques for aquatic birds in captivity. We are proud of the dedication and support of our volunteers who participate in every aspect of the rehabilitation process. Their involvement is vital and directly impacts the successful return of animals to the wild.
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Internship Program is focused on aquatic bird rehabilitation and oil spill response. This program is open to all applicants, both international and from the United States, and is available at both of our facilities: Los Angeles Wildlife Center in San Pedro, CA and the San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center in Fairfield, CA. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age at the start of their internship in order to qualify.
The Social Media Internship is focused on bird lovers who like to share their knowledge with other bird enthusiasts.