Mission and History

Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.newdonate

Our Mission

The mission of Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research is to achieve excellence in the rehabilitation of injured, orphaned, and oiled native wild birds, with the goal of returning healthy birds to their natural environment. We do this through compassionate care, humane research, and education.

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We conduct ourselves with integrity at all times and hold ourselves to the highest standards in our field. We follow all applicable laws and regulations and treat our patients, volunteers, the public, colleagues, industry partners, government agencies, and each other with compassion, honesty, and respect.

We strive for excellence in all we do and believe that being prepared to respond to wildlife in need is an essential component of that excellence. As a leader in our field, we seek to advance knowledge and improve techniques through innovation, education, and research. Through supportive mentoring and inspirational leadership, we encourage a commitment to excellence throughout the profession.

We embrace responsible stewardship of the environment, native wildlife, and our human and financial resources. We inspire others to make responsible decisions and educate them on ways to lessen their impact on the natural world. We value our volunteers and staff and invest in their education and growth. Through sound financial management, we honor the trust that our financial supporters have placed in us.

We can accomplish our mission only through dedicated teamwork and effective communication. Our volunteers, supporters, and communities are integral members of our team as we work together to help our native wildlife. We value the contributions of our colleagues and industry partners to our mission, and we are committed to working collaboratively with them.


On December 26, 1976, during one of the worst winters of the century, the Liberian tanker Olympic Games ran aground in the Delaware River. Oiled Canada geese were found walking on roadways three miles inland, searching for open water. This spill was the sixth major oil spill in the Northeast region of the United States in a three-year period. Despite the efforts of many people, tens of thousands of animals died as the result of oil contamination. Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research was founded that winter for the purpose of establishing a multi-disciplinary team of wildlife biologists, veterinarians, pathologists, chemists and concerned citizens to study the effects of oil on birds and develop protocols necessary to treat affected wildlife. More than 40 years later, Tri-State continues to be a leader in oil spill response and is internationally recognized for its oiled bird rehabilitation and research. Tri-State’s oil spill team collaborates with oil companies, government agencies, colleagues and concerned citizens all over the world not only to respond to oil spills, but also to lessen the impact on natural resources through contingency planning and training prior to a spill.

In response to community need, Tri-State Bird Rescue opened a full-time Wild Bird Clinic in 1982 to care for ill, injured, and orphaned wild birds. We outgrew the original facility because of a rapidly growing caseload and with the help of the community, Tri-State opened a new state-of-the-art wildlife facility in 1989. Today the Frink Center for Wildlife consists of animal care wards, surgery and research labs, outdoor aviaries and pools, an oil spill facility, and administrative offices.

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