The Wide World of Wild Bird Rehab

Wild bird rehabilitators are an odd lot. We put up with things on a regular basis that no normal human would suffer even once. We dedicate great swaths of our lives to rescuing creatures who not only refuse to pay us for our efforts, but sometimes attempt to kill us for even trying. Still, we persevere.

We gaze fondly, sort of, at our bird-watching compatriots, who get to go on all kinds of cool trips and see awesome birds, then go home and put their feet up, have a beer, and sleep through the night. They are able to do this because they’re not feeding nestling bobolinks every 20 minutes, or fending off enraged trumpeter swans in order to rescue a fishing line-entangled cygnet, or rising at 3 AM in order to tube-feed an emaciated rough-legged hawk.

Do they know something we don’t?

What you will find on this site are not glorious photos of birds on the wing, but stories and photos of temporarily (we hope) grounded individuals. All have suffered some kind of trouble, but their unique personalities and remarkable spirits remain intact. There will be tales of mishap and rescue, of hope and kindness, of sorrow and loss and the occasional unexpected miracle; all told by the saintly and perhaps slightly off-kilter group of people whose mission is to return an injured wild bird to the sky.

Prepare to be delighted, appalled, amazed, and everything in between.


About suziegilbert

I live in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley and have been rehabbing birds for over twenty years. I’ve written a memoir about the slippery slope all rehabbers eventually slide down, called “Flyaway: How a Wild Bird Rehabber Sought Adventure and Found Her Wings,” published in 2009 by HarperCollins; and a children's book called "Hawk Hill," published in 1996 by Chronicle Books. I also write all kinds of freelance content. Please see my website,
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11 Responses to The Wide World of Wild Bird Rehab

  1. Terry Bain says:

    I am so delighted to find out about your new blog. I loved your book and chose it for my women’s group book club, which included no birders. They all loved your book. I look forward to participating!

  2. I reviewed your book for my blog and enjoyed it very much. Happy to see this blog…

  3. deidre says:

    God bless you for all you do for wildlife. Your book was awesome and I have recommended it many times.

  4. Sigrid Warren says:

    Wonderful news, Suzie! You are such a fun and entertaining writer to begin with, and I cringe and laugh along as I read because aren’t we rehabbers all in the same boat? I look forward to lots of stories, and if I have one about birds I’ll be sure to contact you via email. – And your book was one of the best I’d read in quite some time… Cheers, Sigi

  5. suziegilbert says:

    Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your replies!

  6. Hi Suzie, A great idea to place on line. About a month or so ago, I started the Nature Place Journal on Facebook. We have had about 2,000 people come to the site. I hope to get your permission to use some of your stories.

    Shirley Flanagan.

  7. suziegilbert says:

    Hi Shirley, sure, I’m happy to have people cross-post my stories to other sites. Readers should check out The Nature Place on Facebook, I’ve been a reader for years!

  8. deborah donelson says:

    Hi! I read your book two years ago – (e-mailed you and sent you some images of my artwork) and now find myself sliding down that slippery slope into rehabbing. I volunteer at Wildlife Rescue and am doing some rehabbing at home – just “beginner birds…” Turns out I work with someone who knows you – Peggy McCormick! It was awesome to breathe the same air as someone who breathed the air you breathed years ago – anyway. I loved your book and your attitude toward (wild)life. Love your blog too.

    Best, Deborah Donelson

    • deborah donelson says:

      PS: I live in Albuquerque, NM deborah

      • suziegilbert says:

        Hi Deborah, thank you … and of course I remember you and your beautiful artwork! And I’m so glad to hear you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid and have joined us. As for “beginner birds” – there’s no such thing! They’re ALL so complicated in their own way (and don’t forget Murphy’s Law) so give yourself a huge pat on the back every time one flies out your door. Please send my best to Peggy, maybe we’ll all meet up at a wildlife conference someday – with luck in NM, a place I’ve always wanted to visit…

      • deborah donelson says:

        Actually, you are right. I learned SO much from my summer rehabbing pigeons – I still feel the joy of raising my first Fresh-From-the-Egg babies. And the heart-wrenching disbelief when I watched one convulse and die before my eyes. I got to where I didn’t talk about my habit to non-bird people, because they would always start dumping on pigeons – and that would seem to discredit rehabbers in their eyes, our trying to save Flying Rats. (Grrrr…) But pigeons are lovely birds, I really enjoyed them. Sadly, there are not enough of us to take them in here, and I have to move on. It would be SO fab to meet up some day..

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