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Incredibly Special Volunteering At A Wild Bird Hospital

It's an incredibly special feeling, holding a precious wild bird gently yet securely, while a hospital manager gives medication or treatment to the rescued bird” says team member Kim Frakes. At BirdCare Aotearoa wild bird hospital, this is a regular part of a weekly volunteering shift at the charitable organisation based in Green Bay, Auckland.

Kōtare (sacred kingfisher) at BirdCare Aotearoa. Photo by Eva Cadario

As the largest wild bird rehabilitation centre in NZ by number of admissions, volunteers are crucial to the operation of this special charity. The centre admits around 6,000 rescued wild birds each year, including hundreds of orphaned birds. The babies are raised by dedicated nursery team members until they are old enough to release back into nature.

From the familiar tui, fantails, kingfishers and moreporks, to the less commonly seen kaka, penguins, albatross and other seabirds, BirdCare Aotearoa is permitted by Department of Conservation to care for all types of birds.

The centre has a great community spirit, with a diverse range of cultures and ages groups ranging from university students seeking work experience, to ‘empty nesters’ and retirees enjoying the satisfaction of contributing to a heartwarming cause. Kim Frakes, now the Administration Manager, began as a volunteer in the hospital, like many other staff members at the facility. Frakes says “Current volunteering opportunities include caring for birds and cleaning in the hospital, maintenance and building at the site, and assisting with fundraising, which can be performed remotely”.

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Community groups are always appreciated at the site, providing valuable help with maintenance of the large section and the native bush on the property. The charitable wildlife hospital is funded solely by the generosity of donors and grants. To ensure its continued success as a world-class wild bird rehabilitation facility, the centre is currently seeking further support and ongoing sponsorship.

To learn more about how you can join or support this special organisation, and help save the lives of rescued wild birds, please visit

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