Sierra Wildlife Rescue receives 200 songbirds, seeking more volunteers

Local News

DIAMOND SPRINGS, Calif. (KTXL) – Wildlife rescuers in Diamond Springs are in need of more volunteers to keep up with an increase in the number of injured animals they’re receiving, especially songbirds.

Sierra Wildlife Rescue has received 200 songbirds this month, a significant increase compared to last year.

Members of the public bring the birds to the non-profit rescue after finding them orphaned or injured.

“It’s hard to tell. If only they could talk,” said veterinary technician, Linnea Salveson.

“Most commonly, we see a lot of head trauma birds, birds that hit windows or maybe they fell from the nest and hit their heads. We also see quite a lot of cat-caught or even dog-caught birds that come in,” Salveson said.

“Or somebody’s tree-trimming and a limb falls down and then the nest, and they’re like, ‘Oh my gosh. What do I do?’ And they call us, so of course we’ll take them in,” said Debbie Buckles, board member of Sierra Wildlife Rescue.

Buckles suspects the early onset of warm weather might have something to do with the large number of injured birds.

She says other area rescue groups are seeing a similar increase.

“They also had an influx to the point where we were short volunteers. And it’s really hard because, at the baby bird nursery, some birds eat every ten minutes, some birds eat every half hour, some birds are every 45 minutes, other birds, maybe they’re a little older, eat every hour,” Buckles said.

There is a huge need right now for volunteers.

“Feed the birds, clean their little baskets, do some dishwashing, and lot of sanitizing,” Buckles said.

Sierra Wildlife Rescue also rehabilitates small and midsize mammals like coyotes.

The work is done at the homes of volunteers who have proper enclosures.

There is a need for more of that, as well as for drivers to transport wildlife to other rescue centers.

Whatever job a volunteer chooses, they say it’s very rewarding.

“I get to see them, feed them, and help them out so they can go back out to the wild,” said Harry Pearson, an 11-year-old volunteer.

“It’s my passion. I’ve been doing it about 28 years,” said a volunteer named Jill.

Another volunteer said it’s personal.

“The reward is very personal,” said Joan Winton. “It’s not like there’s somebody that’s going to give you the birder of the year award. It’s a very personal thing that you know you’ve been part of this journey and that you’re getting these birds back into the wild.”

Sierra Wildlife Rescue is licensed in El Dorado County by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Once rehabilitated, each animal is released at an altitude and habitat that is appropriate for the species.

For more information on Sierra Wildlife Rescue, click or tap here.

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