New York (1010 WINS) Helping wildlife in an urban jungle, the Wild Bird Fund has opened New York City’s first ever wildlife rehabilitation center on West 87th street and Columbus Avenue in Manhattan.

This non-profit organization was founded in 2005 by Karen Heidgerd and Rita McMahon and has assisted thousands of birds, operating out of Manhattan’s Animal General Hospital, also on West 87th.

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“The birds come from wonderful New Yorkers, who go the extra length to pick up that bird, find out where to take it to get help, and some of them even care for it (themselves)”, McMahon tells 1010WINS’ Susan Richard.

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Check out some of the lucky birds rescued in the latest edition of All For Animals with 1010WINS’ Susan Richard:

As you might imagine, they mostly get pigeons, but the Wild Bird Fund sees more than a hundred species of bird, including doves, seagulls, northern flickers, chuckers and ducks.   Some of the species are native to our area, while others are migratory birds injured while passing through.  Their goal is to release the animals back into the wild, but those that can’t go to sanctuaries.

One lucky animal to have ended up in the care of the Wild Bird Fund is Ernest the ringed neck pheasant.  He was driven down from outside Boston, where he suffered a head injury, a broken leg and a fractured pelvis.  Ernest is basically healed, but still has some residual medical issues which prevent him from being released.  He’s also won the hearts of the WBF staff, and has taken up permanent residence there as the organization’s mascot.

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Clockwise top left: A Wood Duck, Ernest the Ringed Neck Pheasant, a Chucker and a Seagull, all rescued by the Wild Bird Fund. (Photo Credit: Susan Richard)

The Wild Bird Fund is privately funded and accepts donations.  They also have volunteer and foster programs.  Learn more at