December 31, 2020
2020 presented historic challenges for everyone.
The Bird Rescue Center was no exception—but we weren't going to let those challenges define us.

As the world shut down, we rolled up our sleeves and got to work. We adapted. And we focused on finding alternative sources of income from grants and by creating deeper connections within our community.

If you are able to, please make a year-end gift to support the important work you'll read about below...
Highlights of a Challenging Year
We cared for over 20% more birds than last year without compromising the quality of care. Thanks to a $25,000 grant from the Thelma Doelger Trust for Animals, we were able to substitute the care typically provided by almost 120 volunteers pre-COVID with five additional staff members who successfully saw us through the tremendous influx of baby birds that began this spring. Grants from Impact 100 Redwood Circle and others funded food and medical care.
In a year that foretold doom, we maintained reserve funding that can see us through six months of operations if it becomes necessary. We remained open through pandemic, curfews, and power outages. We aided a sister organization as they evacuated during the Hennessey Fire and successfully evacuated our own facility in under two hours during the Glass Fire. We were presenters to statewide organizations about emergency preparedness and are collaborating statewide to create standard COVID protocols for rehabilitation facilities. We were published in a Wildlife Rehabilitation Reference Guide on the topic of caring for difficult species and we successfully rehabbed our first-ever baby Golden Eagle (we’ve had adults before, but never a baby) and had our story published in the wildlife magazine Wild Hope.
(See page 24)
Heartbreaking Losses & Inspiring Hope
We held our first online classrooms, presenting our educational Ambassadors virtually to bring joy and awe to children learning at home. Sadly, we lost Aurora to old age. She was a Peregrine Falcon and one of our long-time Ambassadors, but we welcomed Marsh, our first-ever Barred Owl, to our education program. 
We said good-bye to Brad Marsh (for whom Marsh is named) after a battle with cancer. Our long-time Raptor Release Coordinator, he was the guiding force behind our Raptor Rehabilitation Program and we watched with joy as those he had mentored stepped up and kept our program going.
We lost another precious life, long-time volunteer and past board member Bill Bevans, but today we also see others following in his footsteps.

Overall, we maintained a stellar standard of care, operating on a budget of less than $400,000 with a staff of only 12 (most of whom work part-time) even during our busiest time of year. We admitted over 2,600 birds from over 120 different species and kept our 80+% survival rate. By comparison, our budget is less than half that of organizations doing similar work, we generally treat more birds each year—especially those that are among the most challenging species—and we do it all with a staff size that is a fraction of many sister organizations.
We increased our building fund by over half a million dollars, turning a generous $250,000 gift into a successful challenge match that raised another $250,000 in less than two months.

We saw the two-acre parcel originally designated for our new home turn into a five-acre parcel in an even more desirable location. All this in a time when many are unemployed, COVID continues to rage on, and our country is more divided than ever. 
This holiday season the most touching of all were the gifts of $5 and $10 that came with heart-wrenching notes expressing wishes to do more. We were important enough for these donors to give what they could. Our work matters.

2020 has been a defining year for The Bird Rescue Center. Our accomplishments have been great in a year where greatness was unexpected. Our resolve has been steadfast in a year that has tried even the most dedicated. 
As I look toward 2021, I acknowledge the challenges ahead. I know that in the coming months, thousands of lives will again be depending on us for survival. These lives have inherent value. Our fire-ravaged ecosystems depend on them for recovery and health. I also know that continuing to grow our capital campaign nest egg is vital to our own survival. 

While I see the challenges ahead, I close 2020 with a renewed sense of promise. I am confident in our future, our ability to grow and adapt, and have an unwavering determination to succeed. We will continue to provide the best avian care possible throughout the five counties we serve. We will succeed in funding our new facility. We will be here for at least another half century.

We will accomplish all of this—in part because we have you in our corner.

If you have yet to make a year-end gift, I hope you will consider one that helps launch us into a brighter 2021.

With all my heart,
Mail your check to:
The Bird Rescue Center
PO Box 475
Santa Rosa, CA 95402

Your gift will make a life-saving difference.
The Bird Rescue Center | 707/ 523-2473 | Email