Located on the beautiful Gulf Coast of Florida, the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, treatment, and rehabilitation of sick and injured wild birds, with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. To carry out their important mission, the sanctuary is staffed by experienced professionals and dedicated volunteers.
Seaside Seabird Sanctuary, LLC was founded on July 13, 2016, and moved into its current 1.5 acre beach-front rehabilitation facility on September 1, 2016, following the closing of the properties former occupant, the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary. Seaside obtained it's 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service on December 15, 2016 and held it's official grand opening on March 30, 2017.
The Seaside Seabird Sanctuary prides itself in its commitment to the community. Seaside displays their commitment in the following ways:
Established in 2016
Although the goal is always to release the birds after they have recuperated from an illness or injury, those who have sustained injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild are kept permanently at the Sanctuary or transported to another reputable facility to live out it's life. The Sanctuary currently houses over 100 permenently disabled birds. Some of the permanent residents include Eastern Brown Pelicans, Cormorants, Gulls, Oyster Catchers, American White Pelicans, Hawks, Vultures, Blue Jays, Sandhill Cranes, Great Blue Herons, Owls, and much more. Visitors to the Sanctuary can walk around the grounds and view all the permanently disabled birds on display. In addition to the Sanctuary's display birds, the grounds are home to a countless number of wild birds who freely roam the Sanctuary, and nest in the trees.
One of the main goals of the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary is to help educate the community about wild birds, and the dangers that they face. Seaside employs many different ways to help educate the public. One of the ways is the Sanctuary's Educational Center. Here, visitors to the Sanctuary can come to learn more about wild birds, their natural habitat, avian medicine & Rehabilitation, and what we do here at the Seaside Seabird Sanctuary. On display are various items such as eggs, bones, and feathers belonging to various species of birds. Also on display are vintage and current avian medical equipment that was once used, or is currently used in the avian medicine and rehabilitation field.
Located within the Sanctuary is the Dr. Marie L. Farr Avian Hospital. Here, a team of dedicated and experienced staff and volunteer members diagnose, treat, and rehabilitate anywhere between 2,500 - 3,000 sick and injured wild birds which are admitted into the Sanctuary’s hospital each year. Similar to a human hospital, it is equipped with emergency facilities, a surgical center, and indoor and outdoor rehabilitation areas. Unfortunately, approximately 90% of all injuries are directly or indirectly attributable to humans. Over 80% of the birds that survive the first 24 hours are successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild.
The Sanctuary has become a Central Florida attraction, and is a destination for tourists from all over the world. The Sanctuary is perfectly suited to a bird watching vacation. Many stroll the grounds of the Sanctuary enjoying the tremendous opportunities for photography. Several independant photography classes and clubs have held field trips at the Sanctuary to take advantage of all the photo oppertunities. Visitors to the Sanctuary can also watch the staff hand-feed the Pelicans and Cormorants everyday at 2:30pm.
Seaside also does numerous presentations on the Sanctuary grounds as well. Some of these presentations include daily pelican hand feeding demonstrations, a twice-weekly screech owl presentation, and a Jr. Rescue Team Kids Club class.
Seaside also visits local schools to help educate kids about avian medicine & Rehabilitation, and wildlife conservation & prevention.