Bird Refuge Overview


Caring for and Releasing Birds Back to the Wild


Visit About Us for more information

ANNOUNCEMENT - 1 OCTOBER 2013 - From October to April is our slower season and we are not limited in the birds we can receive.  So we receive all wild birds except Raptors such as Owls, Hawks and vultures, and we do not receive Pigeons.  So please disregard the information below and leave us a message if you have found an injured heron, egret, or other songbird or backyard feeder types of birds.


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - 1 July 2013 -   Bird Refuge regrets that we are now limited to receive only herons, egrets, bitterns and other less common birds. In most instances, you will find help with your bird concerns in our “Help!  I Found A….” and FAQ menu. After carefully reading through our help sections if you have a common “backyard feeder” bird such as a robin, jay or house finch that is injured or truly orphaned contact Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators or Tristate Bird Rescue to choose another rehab center.  If you have a less common bird as listed below, you can call back with a voice mail leaving full details and type of bird.  Be sure, while you are waiting, to carefully follow directions at THIS website.  Understand that our assistance is now limited.  Volunteer dispatchers can only set appointments only for specific birds that you must be willing to transport.  Be prepared to take a cell phone photo of the bird for identification, if requested. No drop-off’s or appointments without referrals from dispatchers. 

Species That MAY Be Admitted - Less Common, Delicate and State-Endangered:

·         Bitterns/egrets/herons (Leave voice mail at 717-843-4914)

·         Blackbirds (red-winged, yellow-headed, bobolink, meadowlark, etc. but NO cowbirds)

·         Chickadees/nuthatches/creepers/titmice

·         Crossbills/siskins

·         Cuckoos/mourning doves

·         Flycatchers /phoebes/kingbirds/pewees

·         Grackles

·         Hummingbirds

·         Kinglets/bluebirds/gnatcatchers

·         Kingfishers

·         Loons/grebes/bitterns

·         Mockingbirds

·         Nighthawks/Whip-poor-wills

·         Orioles

·         Shrikes/vireos

·         Sparrows  (all except the house/English Sparrow which or not native species)

·         Swallows/larks/purple martins

·         Swifts

·         Tanagers

·         Thrashers/waxwings

·         Thrushes/veery (except robins)

·         Towhees/grosbeak/buntings

·         Warblers

·         Wood ducks (and other native species except mallards)

·         Woodcocks/terns

·         Woodpeckers (includes flickers)

·         Etc.

·         Common Species That Will NOT Be Admitted Due to Limited Resources and Other Concerns: Contact, (302-737-9543), or Red Creek Hotline 570-739-4393 unless another reference is listed.

·         Birds of Prey such as owls, hawks, or vultures (York County, leave voice mail for Mitzi at757-4420 or at work 717-654-3077)

·         Canada Geese  (for goslings, call Kate at 717-572-0748)

·         Cowbirds

·         Crows

·         Domestics and Exotics (Call your local SPCA)

·         Eggs (do not attempt to hatch; imprinting problems and high death rate)

·         English (house) sparrows (non-native; as above)

·         Goldfinches

·         Gulls

·         House finches

·         Jays

·         Mallards (for ducklings, call Kate at 717-572-0748)

·         Pigeons (York can call local SPCA and leave message for Tammy)

·         Robins

·         Starlings (non-native and not protected by state/federal law)

·         Wrens (Carolina or house)

·         Nuisance Animals  (See for tips or contact your local animal control office or nuisance control)


The Director of Bird Refuge, Teresa Deckard, operates under state, federal, endangered species and educational permits issued by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

(For further reading see: Title 34 Game and Wildlife Code and Title 58 Pennsylvania Code or 50 Code of Federal Regulations)

While it is illegal for the public to handle wild birds, their nests, eggs, feathers or young, they can bring the injured, disrupted or orphaned birds to a permitted rehabilitator for quality triage and rehab care.  

Please note it is illegal to transport wildlife across state borders. Bird Refuge handles only wild birds from Pennsylvania. While your comments/messages are important to us, due to time constraints, e-mails sent to Bird Refuge may not be replied to quickly during our busy season.