What We Do
The Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre receives between 3,500 to 4,500 wild birds a year, including a wide variety of species, many of which are classified as endangered, threatened, or at risk. Each bird is triaged, assessed, and a course of treatment is planned and implemented.
Birds arrive as a result of cat or other animal attacks, collisions with windows or vehicles, falls from nests, being orphaned or displaced, and other situations that put their lives at risk. When these situations are encountered, getting sound advice and ensuring a bird receives the proper care can make the difference between life and death. Visit our Bird Emergency page for information about identifying when a bird needs help and Contact Us.
Birds are particularly sensitive patients. Being in an unfamiliar environment is scary enough, being injured on top of that is even more frightening. To reduce stress and provide them with the best care possible, birds are provided with medical care, appropriate accommodations and nutritional diets during the different stages of their recovery.
We are not open for public visitations, since this would negatively impact the birds' recovery. If you are interested in viewing videos or reading about some of our patients' stories, visit us on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube or sign up for our newsletter (see our links at the bottom of this page). Thank you for understanding that our patients' needs come first.
The Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre plays an important role in conservation by providing care to thousands of wild birds each year, of which many are species that are endangered or threatened. A saved bird returned to its ecosystem contributes to its species' survival, and also helps reduce some of the human-caused harm that affects the natural world upon which we all depend.
The late Kathy Nihei founded The Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre in 1981, after she successfully rehabilitated, over-wintered and released an injured Ruby-throated Hummingbird named Pip. Recognizing the need for a wild bird rehabilitation centre, a legacy reflecting proudly on our entire community was built. At first using her home as the base of operations, Kathy continued to rehabilitate wild birds in her home until a larger location was needed. She continued to work with the birds until she passed away in 2009. A pillar in the community, she is fondly remembered and missed by all.
The Minister of State for the Environment (Ontario) recognized the importance of Kathy's work, stating that the “project will not only make a tangible contribution to the quality of the environment in your community, but also encourage others to do their part.” This helped encourage public support for the Centre, with donations providing most of the Centre's operating budget.
Operating under both federal and provincial permits, the Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre became a registered charity in 1987. In 1991, the Centre was incorporated and moved to the Stoney Swamp Conservation area.
Having a passion for birds and their conservation, Juliette Marczuk (Chair, Board of Directors) envisioned a new, modern, state-of-the-art facility which would be better equipped to meet the growing needs of the birds now and for years to come. Spearheading the project from its inception, Juliette has been instrumental in the project's design and development. Thanks to the overwhelming support of the community, the Building Campaign has raised over $1.7M, allowing the construction to move ahead once municipal approvals and permits have been issued.
With a building no longer suitable for its needs, the Centre moved to an interim location on Cedarview Road (Nepean, ON) in July of 2021. Moving with over 300+ birds in tow, the Centre didn't miss a beat, thanks to the efforts of the staff, Board, and volunteers who made the move possible. The temporary location will be used as the Centre's base of operations until the construction of its new facility is completed.
We provide care to injured, sick, or orphaned wild birds with the goal of releasing them back into their natural habitat where they can continue to play an important role within the environment. Our educational services provide people of all ages an opportunity to learn about wild birds, their habitats and conservation.
"Conservation begins with one small act of kindness, the saving of one life."
- Juliette Marczuk, Chair
Responsible stewardship includes trying to help fix some of the damage humans have caused to wildlife. Birds have declined in staggering numbers. By saving a bird's life today, a released bird can contribute its genetic diversity to future generations and its species' survival. Each individual bird's life really does matter.
BEST CARE FOR WILD BIRDS
Provide highest care standards to resident birds and birds admitted for rehabilitation.
FOSTERING RELATIONSHIPS AND PROMOTING AWARENESS
Develop relationships with the public, communities, schools and the private sector for the protection and care of wild birds.
A SUSTAINABLE CENTRE
Ensure the Wild Bird Care Centre is financially stable, continues to evolve and is supported by a vibrant organization.
With a property on which to build and plans developed, the vision of our new advanced care facility is in its site plan approval stage with the municipality of Ottawa. Until the construction is complete, the Centre will continue to rehabilitate wild birds from its temporary facility, located on Cedarview Road in Nepean, ON.
Governance & Management Team
Board of Directors
Juliette Marczuk, Chair
Ted Yuzyk, Vice-Chair
Susan Phillips, Secretary
Jeff Rowsell, Treasurer
Robert Burns, Director
Robin Jackson, Director
Murray Kronick, Director
Christina Zeigler, Director
Maia O'Sullivan, BSocSc, Environmental Technician
Avian Rehabilitation Specialist
Sabrina Banfield, BSc, Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR), Wildlife Custodian
Education Program Manager
Patty McLaughlin, BSc (Hons), MSc