The Main Shelter and Thrift Store are closing at 4:00 pm Friday, March 24, for a special event. Adoption visits are first-come, first-served. We recommend checking our current waitlist prior to your visit. Most other services are by appointment only, including reuniting lost animals, surrendering a pet, wildlife rehabilitation, and more.

Jun 2, 2022

Two Little Winter Birds


Two Wisconsin winter birds, a common redpoll and an American tree sparrow, both uncommon patients, were admitted and treated at Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center in early 2022.

Two Wisconsin winter birds, a common redpoll and an American tree sparrow, both uncommon patients, were admitted and treated at Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center in early 2022. The tree sparrow hit a patio door just before dark and was kept overnight in a quiet, warm space until it could be admitted the next morning. The redpoll audibly and forcefully hit a window at a person’s home and was immediately rushed to the Wildlife Center for medical evaluation.

The common redpoll

Two little winter birds, sitting in a tree:

both flew off and came to be,

Sitting on the ground with an injury.

Reflective glass, a shining light.

Mirrored trees and windows bright,

Each of which can risk their life.

For urban structures interfere,

with all the birds who migrate here,

Causing pain, and death, and strife.

Yet caring folks look outside;

and people help, with not much time,

To pick up birds and bring them home.

To give them warmth and time alone.

They offer rest, a place to stay.

Kindness given, unbeknown.

But many times, it’s not enough,

as these small birds have had it rough.

More is needed, but most don’t see.

It takes a specialist, not you or me,

For rehabilitation and recovery.

With skillful hands and open hearts,

they do the job gladly, but there’s costs.

Putting together broken parts,

For which your gifts can help a lot.

X-rays, bloodwork, meds, or swabs.

They truly have a difficult job.

But in this way, they make things right

For injured birds flown through the night.

A fractured shoulder, swollen ears,

bruised eyelids, or bloody nares,

These wild creatures need best odds to fight.

A second chance to fly away,

a reverse from what it was that day

When they’d struck a pane with fierce deliverance,

And in the snow, they sat with innocence.

Human caused, they’d put them there.

Yet others chose to give them care,

Restored their health and made them well.

It gave them all a story to tell,

And releasing them makes all the difference.

The American tree sparrow

Both little winter birds have since been released to their home territories: the redpoll on February 7, 2022, and the tree sparrow on February 21, 2022.

Jackie Sandberg is the Wildlife Program Manager for DCHS's Wildlife Center.

2021 Annual Report

2,579 wild animals were admitted

152 Unique Species

DCHS's Wildlife Center is turning 20!

Dane County Humane Society (DCHS)’s Wildlife Center was founded in 2002 and has grown to be the third-largest wildlife rehabilitation center in Wisconsin. Our mission is to promote the health and welfare of wildlife through rehabilitation, professional training, and public education. The Wildlife Center is coordinated by six full-time licensed staff, one part-time veterinary technician, one annual apprentice, and approximately 20 interns. With help from over 150 volunteers, our team works together to help the thousands of sick, injured, or orphaned wild animals admitted to the Wildlife Center each year. We’re entering our 20th year in operation and are excited to celebrate this milestone with our supporters!

Support Our Wildlife Center's Lifesaving Work!

Read All the Stories in Family Tails 2022

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