Birds admitted to the bird hospital receive full diagnostic exams using state of the art veterinary equipment such as X-rays, ultrasound and endoscopic procedures. Avian rehabilitation specialists carry out surgical procedures and medical treatments and administer medication as prescribed by the Marine Science Center’s staff veterinarian.
Some common threats to birds include: becoming entangled or being caught in fishing gear; car collisions; pollution from chemicals such as fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides; and cat and dog attacks. Many birds become sick after being fed harmful human foods like bread or french fries.
All fully recovered birds are returned to their natural habitat, and some are fitted with leg bands so they can be identified later. If you see a banded bird, please record the color of the band, the color of the code, the code, which leg the band is on, the location where you saw it, and the date. You can report that information online by filling out the report a banded bird form or by emailing band reports.
Visitors can meet some permanently impaired birds that are not eligible for release along the bird boardwalk in the guest viewing area of the Marine Science Center complex.
Due to the current Avian Influenza outbreak, the Marine Science Center's Bird Hospital is currently closed to bird intakes. The Center's bird exhibits are also closed to the public. To prevent the spread of Avian Influenza, the FWX advises that the public should avoid handling sick or dead wildlife, prohibit contact of domestic birds with wild birds, and report wild bird mortalities at the FWC Avian Mortality online form so the FWC can investigate the deaths. We look forward to reopening our bird hospital and exhibits, but at this time it is highly recommended that any injured birds are left in the wild to help prevent the spread of this highly contagious avian disease. If you find an injured or deceased bird, please contact FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) Hotline 888-404-FWCC (3922).
Map of drop-off location [PDF]
If you find an injured bird please, call the FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission) Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922)