Ottawa

Ottawa wildlife centre facing 'overwhelming' number of injured birds

The Wild Bird Care Centre says it's in desperate need of funds after seeing a steep increase in the number of sick, injured and orphaned birds arriving at its doors.

Wild Bird Care Centre seeking to raise $100K through crowdfunding campaign

Barbara Adams, a volunteer and board member with the Wild Bird Care Centre in Ottawa, says the sanctuary has received a higher-than-usual number of sick and injured birds in 2016. (CBC)

An Ottawa wildlife centre says it's in desperate need of funds after seeing a steep increase in the number of sick, injured and orphaned birds arriving at its doors.

The Wild Bird Care Centre says the number of birds it's cared for this year has risen by about 35 per cent over 2015 — and as a result, they're launching an online fundraiser in the hopes of bringing in $100,000 to pay the bills associated with that care.

"At times, it can be quite overwhelming," said Mireille Goguen, the centre's executive director.

"But we've managed to take care of all the birds that come in for almost 35 years now. And despite everything, we've tried to find ways to cut down on expenses."

Mireille Goguen, executive director of the Wild Bird Care Centre in Ottawa, says her organization hopes to raise $100,000 to offset the costs associated with a steep increase in the number of sick and injured birds being dropped off. (CBC)

The centre is projecting that about 3,300 birds will end up requiring care in 2016. That's 900 more than they currently have enough donations to care for, according to their Birds of all Feathers crowdfunding campaign.

It can cost about $100 per bird to cover the costs of food and medication, said Barbara Adams, one of the centre's board members and a regular volunteer.

"It's probably not the worst that we've seen, but it's a higher number than we've seen in the past," Adams said.

'Victim of our own success'

Both Adams and Goguen say that cat attacks and collisions with windows — like the April deaths of some 30 bohemian waxwings at Ottawa City Hall — are among the main reasons birds end up at the centre.

But the centre's increased presence on social media and its participation in events like Doors Open Ottawa may be the cause of the higher-than-usual intake rates in 2016, they added.

"We are a victim of our own success. Because as people find out about the centre, they're more willing to bring birds in," Adams said. 

"We're certainly happy to receive all the birds that have had problems."

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