Bird Refuge Overview


Caring for and Releasing Birds Back to the Wild


Visit About Us for more information


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT - April 2014-   Bird Refuge regrets that we are now limited to receive only herons, egrets, bitterns and other less common birds. In many 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 (which we no longer work with) that is injured or truly orphaned contact Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators or Tristate Bird Rescue to choose the nearest rehab center.  If you have a less common bird as listed below, you can call back at 717-843-4914 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.  No drop-off’s or appointments please.

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

·         Bitterns/egrets/herons

·         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 is not a native species)

·         Swallows/larks/purple martins

·         Swifts

·         Tanagers

·         Thrashers/waxwings

·         Thrushes/veery (except robins)

·         Towhees/grosbeak/buntings

·         Warblers

·         Wood ducks (and other native species but no mallard ducks)

·         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 at 757-4420 or at work 717-246-3611)

·         Canada Geese

·         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

·         Pigeons(York can call local SPCA,764-6109, 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.