Nelson's home for injured native wildlife

 Harrier hawk

Harrier hawk

We treat more than 150 birds a year in our hospital! Each individual is given a health evaluation, and rehabilitated until strong enough to survive without assistance. Not all animals are able to recover, unfortunately, and we only release those that are back to fitness and health. We partner with Halifax Veterinary Centre for the specialist care our natives require.

What should you do if you find an injured animal in need?
We recommend approaching all animals with caution, as when they are hurt and afraid they can still act defensively. A towel is often a great and safe way to pick up a bird. Our favourite containers for most birds are cardboard boxes, as they provide a safe, dark, enclosed space with ventilation. No need to offer any food or water if you can get the bird to us within 12 hours. However, if it will take more than a day, offering it a bit of water is ideal. Most birds have very special diets, or are too sick to eat well, so food is often not the first priority for treating an injured adult bird. If its a young bird, feel free to call us for advice on what to offer until you can get it to us. If you cannot safely capture the bird, let your local Department of Conservation office know. 

Taking care of native birds requires a special permit from the Department of Conservation, and specialist care is required from veterinary teams and our keen avian team at the zoo to ensure a bird is fit enough to fend for itself, find enough food, and battle the elements day in and day out. We encourage you to seek help if you find a bird in need.