Type to search

Dear Decaturish – Please help Wild Nest Bird Rehab protect our local birds

Decatur Editor's Pick Trending

Dear Decaturish – Please help Wild Nest Bird Rehab protect our local birds

Six baby wrens. Photo by Dana Brooks, provided to Decaturish

We accept letters to the editor. Letters to the editor are opinions of the letter’s authors, not Decaturish.com. Everyone has an equal opportunity to submit a letter to the editor. So if you read something here and don’t like it, don’t jump on our case. Write a letter of your own. All letters must be signed and are typically between 500 and 800 words. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and content. We also reserve the right to publish longer letters if we need to. To send your letter to the editor, email it to [email protected]

Dear Decaturish,

When you hear high-pitched and insistent peeping or chirping in the backyard, local parks, or even downtown, you’re listening to the hungry cries of Decatur’s baby birds. These nestlings (still in the nest) and fledglings (feathered and out of the nest, but possibly not yet able to fly) are usually in the care of their parents, who are nearby, bringing food and teaching them about predators and other life skills. Occasionally, however, these youngsters need our attention and intervention to survive. 

Their survival is important. North America has lost nearly three billion birds in the past fifty years. In one short generation, bird populations have declined nearly 30% (more than 1 in 4 birds), primarily as a result of human-caused habitat loss, climate change, window strikes, pesticides, free-roaming cats, fireworks, and other threats. These losses include songbirds such as Georgia’s state bird, the Brown Thrasher, whose populations have declined by more than 40%. 

Wild Nest Bird Rehab is the only bird rehabilitation and rehabilitator training center in Georgia. Thanks to Legacy Decatur, we are located in Decatur’s Legacy Park, along with several other community-based nonprofits.  As a 100% volunteer-led organization, we treated more than 1,500 birds in 2022 and are on our way to surpassing that number in 2023. Our team includes federally licensed rehabbers, retired executives, veterinarians, and volunteers. In addition to clinical care, we lead a formal training program for state and federally licensed rehabbers and manage Georgia’s only bird rescue tool and hotline.

Please join us in protecting our local birds. What can you do? Look carefully for nests before cutting bushes and trees; if you find a nest, wait until the birds have left before taking action. Consider decals on windows, and turn off your porch fans when you’re not present to prevent collisions. Add native plants, shrubs, and trees that support bird diets and provide shelter and nesting places. Keep cats indoors. About thirty percent of all birds received by Wild Nest have been injured by cats; the rate is even higher for birds that have just left the nest. Sadly, free-roaming cats kill more than 2 billion birds in the United States each year. For help transitioning an outdoor cat to the indoors, the National Wildlife Federation and Paws (a rehab nonprofit) provide useful tips. For cats impossible to keep inside, an innovative product from Birdsbesafe may help. The product is a brightly colored cover for a cat collar that relies on birds’ ability to see color and therefore see a cat before it attacks.  

If you find an injured bird or a nestling or fledgling, please consult our “Help, I Found a Baby Bird” tool on our website. Some injured adult birds may simply be stunned from a collision and need a quiet place to recover.  Baby and juvenile birds can often be successfully reunited with their parents. Our tool can help walk you through the process to a happy reunion! 

Lastly, consider joining us as a volunteer baby bird feeder (we provide hands-on training) or helping with communications, education, development, facilities maintenance, or administrative support. With your help, we will make Decatur a place where Georgia’s birds can thrive and flourish.

– Nancy Eilen, Founder and Licensed Rehabilitator, Wild Nest Bird Rehab

If you appreciate our work on this story, please become a paying supporter. For as little as $6 a month, you can help us keep you in the loop about your community. To become a supporter, click here

Want Decaturish delivered to your inbox every day? Sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Decaturish is now on Mastodon. To follow us, visit: https://newsie.social/@Decaturish/.

Decaturish is now on Post. To follow us, visit: https://post.news/@/decaturish

Decaturish is now on Flipboard. To follow us, visit: https://flipboard.com/@Decaturish.