Save Our Seabirds, Inc.

Save Our Seabirds, Inc.

Save Our Seabirds, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We are the ONLY organization in Southwest Florida that does everything that we do: We respond to over 4,000 bird rescue calls per year. We host over 25,000 paid visitors in our Wild Bird Learning Center each year. We offer four fully-accredited field trips that are age-appropriate for students in grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12. We provide summer camps all season long. We offer a rigorous internship program that hosts college interns throughout the year. Bird rescues began at this location in 1981, when the sanctuary was established by Dale Shields, a.k.a., “The Pelican Man.” It grew to become one of the largest wildlife rescues in the state of Florida, with approximately 5,000 animals rescued every year and over 200 permanent bird residents.

Company details

1708 Ken Thompson Pkwy , Sarasota , Florida 34236 USA
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Business Type:
Nonprofit organization (NPO)
Industry Type:
Ecology and Nature Protection
Market Focus:
Nationally (across the country)
Year Founded:
1981

Our unique Wild Bird Learning Center, which is essentially a living museum, offers fascinating educational displays featuring live birds that have been injured and treated, but are unable to be returned to the wild.

We are the only organization of our kind in the Sarasota County Green Business Partnership, and were recently awarded Gold Certification by the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism, because we practice what we preach!

And now, when you download our Free App  'Save Our Seabirds Interactive' for your visit, you will be ready to access our amazing new Augmented Reality signs, which make your smart device come to life with holograms, videos, and educational voice-overs in English, Spanish, or German.

Strolling along our Birdwalk, visitors compare and contrast the various types of diversification and adaptation that make each species unique, and also gain an insight into why each species has evolved specific features, such as beaks, legs, feathers, or feet, in order to survive in their respective natural habitats. Visitors also learn about the various environmental risks to birds, and how to help minimize them.

Our Birdwalk also serves a broader environmental education purpose. Our Native Plant initiative has filled our sanctuary with native plants and corresponding interpretive signage that explains the importance of native plants to the general environment and also highlights the specific inter-dependencies between plants and birds.

Our 10kW solar array not only reduces our electric bill, it also helps educate our visitors about the importance of alternative energy in our warming planet.

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Our fully-accredited field trips provide opportunities for outdoor, nature-based education for children of all ages, bolstering lifelong learning and promoting physical and mental good health. We also host hundreds of children every summer from the Sarasota County Parks and Recreation Department’s Summer Camp Program.

In a broad, philosophical sense, we strive to do our part to overcome our country’s epidemic of “Nature Deficit Disorder” and the health issues that result, such as obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. We want to help create the next generation of environmentalists.

We are the only organization of our kind in the Sarasota County Green Business Partnership, and were recently awarded Gold Certification by the Florida Society for Ethical Ecotourism, because we practice what we preach!

Making a Difference Since 1981
Bird rescues began at this location in 1981, when the sanctuary was established by Dale Shields, a.k.a., “The Pelican Man.” It grew to become one of the largest wildlife rescues in the state of Florida, with approximately 5,000 animals rescued every year and over 200 permanent bird residents.

After Mr. Shields passed away in 2003, the rescue center continued to rehabilitate wildlife, but eventually closed down in 2006 due to a lack of funding. The facilities were abandoned and soon fell into severe disrepair.

Thanks to the support of a very generous benefactor, Save Our Seabirds was able to transfer to this location in 2008. Since then, Save Our Seabirds has made tremendous progress repairing and expanding the facilities, adding educational programs, and greatly improving standards of bird care.

Future goals include expanding and enhancing the bird enclosures and the rehabilitation facilities, upgrading the hospital to full veterinary capabilities, adding a modern visitor center, and continuing to make advancements in education throughout the facility.

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We are a non-profit organization whose mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release sick and injured wild birds while educating our community about preventing injuries and preserving habitats.