A few blocks from my apartment is a peculiar storefront. In the windows are branches arranged in skeletal patterns. If you stop and look close enough at the windows, you’ll notice the common city pigeon and other smaller, migratory birds of unknown origin (to me) perching on branches, hiding in nooks.
At first I assumed this was some kind of exotic bird pet store, which always peeves me out a bit. I’m not a pet store fan. But to my surprise, it’s not a store at all, but a non-profit emergency room for birds!
The Wild Bird Fund rehabilitates the city’s avian wildlife from the city “garbage” pigeon to all the kinds of birds that have migrated to New York City for thousands of years. Our city’s built environment changes the life of birds though, from tall buildings to fly into to toxic trash to eat. That’s where the Wild Bird Fund comes in. People come from all the city bring birds to be rescued here, by a dedicated staff of mostly volunteers. It’s the kind of hidden New York City institution that makes me have faith in the city, it’s people and it’s wildlife.
The Wild Bird Fund is donation run, doing the kind of unseen care that makes an ecosystem work. The Fund treats not only the city’s Pigeons but Owls, Red-Tail Hawks, Robins, Great Egrets, to name a few. I love when I see a large, strange bird ambling inside the storefront.
Wild Bird Fund
565 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024
between 87th and 88th Streets