Wildlife Rehabilitation

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This Northern Mockingbird may not be readily moving or flying, but it is a fledgling learning how to fly.  Young birds that have just left their nest are often mistaken for injured.  The mother bird is usually watching from nearby and waiting for humans to leave before she'll assist her young.


Have you found an animal that appears to be in need of help?  In many cases rescue is not required.  A baby's best chance for survival is with its mother. 

Just because a bird is not flying does not necessarily mean that it is injured. Before calling a state-licensed wildlife rehabilitator you should verify that the bird is not a fledgling (young bird that has left the nest and is learning to fly).  Look to see if you can find an obvious sign of injury.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (including Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge) does not provide wildlife rehabilitation or nuisance wildlife capture services. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's role is to provide permits to those who rehabilitate endangered, threatened, or otherwise federally protected species, like migratory birds.  Please do not bring injured wildlife to the refuge office or visitor center.  If you have found injured wildlife and feel that it needs help, your best course of action is to contact a state-permitted wildlife rehabilitator directly.  Remember, it is illegal to possess/raise/rehabilitate wild animals without a rehabilitation permit - even if you intend to release them.

Click here to view a list of state-permitted wildlife rehabilitators in Alabama.

In North Alabama, the nearest wildlife-rehabilitator for injured native birds is the Alabama Wildlife Center located at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham.  Visit their website for more detailed information about their rehabilitation program.

When calling a wildlife rehabilitator, remember to leave a voicemail if they are unable to answer your call.  Most rehabilitators and rehabilitation organizations are volunteers or are volunteer-run and are short-staffed, they will return your call as soon as they are able.

If you are looking for assistance removing nuisance wildlife, contact a nuisance wildlife control operator that is permitted by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.

Click here to view a list of state-permitted nuisance wildlife control operators in Alabama.