Wildlife Department


From box turtles to falcons, seagulls to possums, and everything in between, members of the SPCA’s Wildlife Department can assist with your wildlife emergencies, questions, or concerns. Most wildlife species that are in need can be cared for by our dedicated staff of professionals. Call the SPCA Wildlife Department at 716-629-3528 for assistance.

Call the SPCA Wildlife Department with wildlife questions or concerns: 716-629-3528.

Questions about common wildlife issues? Click here!

Interested in volunteering in the Wildlife Department? Click here for volunteer job descriptions!

Support the SPCA's wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, and release efforts...make a gift today!

 Read our dramatic story of the fallen Statler Falcon fledgling!

- Barred Owl Released! See story below.

- Recommended Reading: Creature Comforts by Joel Thomas. Joel Thomas was the Wildlife Department Administrator for the SPCA Serving Erie County for over 12 years. His wit and expertise shine in this book with common sense solutions to living with wildlife. Joel passed away April 23rd, 2012 after a long battle with ALS. His legacy lives on through the lives that he touched and the wisdom he imparted. Order your copy of CREATURE COMFORTS today.

- Follow WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT News on FACEBOOK, and on our "WILDLIFE WEDNESDAYS" radio segment each week on WECK-AM Radio!


DEPARTMENT MISSION: The rehabilitation & release of sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife.


This department is one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation centers in New York State! There are more than 2500 wild animals admitted per year of 100 different species of birds, mammals, and reptiles!

Annually, the department fields over 5,500 calls from community members with wildlife inquiries.

Our high number of animals is cared for by 3 full-time staff members…and 65 volunteers!!

Of all animals treated, 50% are birds of all kinds: songbirds, waterfowl, birds of prey, etc.

Our outstanding wildlife cases hae included the rehab/release of threatened and endangered species such as Bald Eagles, Peregrine Falcons, and Least Bitterns, all while rehabilitating the more commonly-seen species, including songbirds, cottontail rabbits, and grey squirrels.

The Wildlife Department admits and cares for exotic animals of all kinds.

The Wildlife Department periodically assists the DEC with capture, transport, and care of various illegally possessed wildlife.

Are you a licensed rehabilitator? Connect with us at our Rehabilitator Series!

The Wildlife Department is instrumental in the training and educational opportunities offered to all new York State wildlife rehabilitators.

Interested in booking an all-ages Wildlife Education Program? Click here!


March 2014

by SPCA Wildlife Educator Mary Jo Sicurella

Over the past two months the Wildlife Department has admitted four species of loons and grebes, and six species of mergansers and ducks. Most came in emaciated and weak, or at best thin and a little stronger. The large influx of water birds is due to the unusually cold temperatures. The birds need to fly longer distances to find open water, causing them to become weak and forced down on land. All of the birds were given supportive care, including fish and daily swims. Most recovered nicely and were released on the Niagara River like the grebe in this photo.


Of all places to look for an owl, you probably wouldn't think to check your own mailbox! The SPCA Wildlife Department recently received a call from a woman who reported that a baby owl was camping out in her mailbox. Sure enough it was an adult Eastern Screech Owl! The owl was brought back to the SPCA and after a physical exam, was determined to be incredibly healthy! It's easy to see how the woman thought it was a baby because Eastern Screech Owls are only 6-7" tall. He likely thought the mailbox was a good place to hide from the elements. The owl was released to the location later in the evening.

Rescued Grey Squirrel: Approximately one month ago we received a call from a concerned citizen regarding a grey squirrel that had gotten his toes caught in a wire hanger supporting a bird feeder. A rescue agent cut the wire to bring the squirrel into the shelter, but removing the wire from the toes was tricky. The entrapment caused damage to the toes to the extent that three tips of the toes had to be surgically removed. The squirrel made a complete recovery and was released back into the yard which was now hanger free! 

June 18, 2012

Statler peregrine falcon fledgling, Batavia, 6 wks old, back to Statler 6-18-12This little 6-week-old peregrine falcon has no idea how lucky...and how famous...she is! She's one of four new inhabitants in the well-known peregrine falcon nest at the Statler Towers in downtown Buffalo.

SPCA wildlife rescue personnel received a call from the Sheriff's Department yesterday that one of the fledglings, learning to fly, plunged down to the concrete but was still alive. By the time our officers arrived, the fledgling had been picked up and was already on her way to our Tonawanda infirmary!

SPCA Wildlife Department staff and Dr. Karen Moran saw that the baby was in good shape, no complications from the fall. They then consulted the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and everyone determined an immediate return to the Statler was in order. That return happened today!

Part 1 in our falcon fledgling series is this close-up photo of "Batavia" (dubbed by the DEC). See videos of her return here:  Part 2:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18SMVmEBO_g and Part 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gjTy5RW7Hs !



This Barred Owl was recently brought in to the shelter with head trauma, most likely from being struck by a car. The Barred Owl is sometimes called a Hoot Owl due to its call. This owl recovered well, but we were concerned about damage to one of his eyes. After testing the bird’s ability to fly and hunt, our fears were alleviated. The Barred Owl did well and was released back into the wild!



Learn more about becoming a Wildlife Rehabilitator;
visit the Web site of the New York State Wildlife Rehabilitation Council...


Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo graciously sponsors the Wildlife Rehabilitation Department.