Join the VINS Volunteer Transporter Rescue Network

by Caitlyn Robert
Avian Rehabilitation Intern

Do you want to help wildlife? Do you live in Vermont or close by in New Hampshire? Are you able to drive long distances? We need your help! Join our Volunteer Rescue Network and you can provide the lifesaving transportation injured birds need to reach medical care at VINS!

Every day, staff at the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation answer dozens of phone calls from members of the public who have found a wild animal that appears to be in distress. These calls range from Barred Owls that were hit by cars and are unable to fly, to nests full of baby American Robins fallen out of a tree, to exhausted Ruby-throated Hummingbirds found stuck in a shed. During the call, we provide advice and determine the best way to get the bird help. In some cases, that advice is that the bird is behaving normally and should be given space, while in others, the bird needs to reach medical care as soon as possible. The best chance an individual has to recover and be healthy enough to be released back into the wild is to get to VINS as soon as possible. A lot of the time, the rescuer can box up the bird and transport it to VINS where we evaluate and treat the injuries. Other times, the rescuer is unable, and that is when we rely on our Volunteer Transporter Rescue Network.

Transporters play the essential role of getting injured birds to VINS fast enough to have a decent chance of recovery. As soon as we have a volunteer who is able to transport the bird, we share contact information and the rescuer and transporter coordinate the transfer. Sometimes, that is simply picking up the boxed bird where it was found, at a store or at a private home. Other times, the rescuer is able to meet halfway and the transfer is done at a Park and Ride right off Highway 89.

Every year, VINS rescues and rehabilitates around 500 wild birds from all over the state of Vermont. Last year was a record year with 652 birds. All of these rescues require individuals caring enough and willing to go out of their way to help an animal in need in whatever way that they can. This starts with members of the public calling in, to those willing to capture and box it up, to the individuals able to donate their time and fuel to ensure that the bird gets to the care it needs in the fastest way possible. Only with the help of all of these individuals can the Center for Wild Bird Rehabilitation succeed and the more transport options that we have across the state, especially in remote areas, the better we are able to help Vermont’s wildlife.

If you are interested in being a volunteer transporter, you are encouraged to send in your application today by mail or by emailing to before the Training Event.

Once you have applied, you are invited to the Transporter Training Event on April 7 from 1-3pm. The training is not required, but provides a lot of helpful information and resources. If you plan to attend the training, please contact Caitlyn Robert at

Get more information about this and other volunteer opportunities at VINS here and apply today to become a volunteer!

Join us for the training if you can!
Sunday, April 7, 2019
1pm-3pm in the VINS Classroom
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
149 Natures Way, Quechee, VT 05059

Please Contact Caitlyn Robert for any questions:

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