Volunteers for the Marathon Wild Bird Center

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Contact Marathon Wild Bird Center

Volunteers are always welcome
to help care for the ever growing number
of patients we take in.

American Avocet

General Tasks:

We need help with the capturing and transportation of injured wildlife, as well as assistance with the release of successfully rehabilitated birds. Volunteers run errands to pick up supplies, help with fund-raising events, answer questions for visitors, clean cages, feed birds, cage mending, and general assistance. Husbandry volunteers are scheduled for two- to -three hour shifts one or more days a week.

Let Kelly introduce you to some of our great people who volunteer for the

Marathon Wild Bird Center...

Karyn helps Kelly debride a wound. Karyn talks to school children.

Karyn Buckley, Massachusetts

Karyn began volunteering with us when we were cleaning up after the flood from Hurricane Wilma in 2005. By day Karyn works for Centennial Bank. By evening and on weekends she helps out around the bird center keeping our hospital stocked, going on rescues and taking Red, our non-releasable red-shouldered hawk, on long, peaceful walks.

DD with Oliver the Osprey. DD holding Sweetie, the Kestrel.

DD Holland-Schmitt, Washington, DC

A Keys resident for over 30 years, DD began volunteering for us over a decade ago. Although she works full-time at Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate, DD still finds her inner peace tending to our patients four evenings a week. A dedicated volunteer, DD was named to our board of directors in 2006.

Doug and Chris Sutton

Doug and Chris Sutton, Michigan

Whether we need something built or we have a wish list to fullfil, Doug and Chris are on it! Volunteers since we originated in 1995, the Suttons are only a phone call away. Doug loves nothing more than to tinker in his workshop, fixing anything we hand him while Chris enjoys searching for needed items, such as pet carriers and towels, at yard sale, after yard sale. Plus they have raised many orphaned baby birds for the Center.

Evelyn Wilson

Evelyn Wilson, Georgia

Evelyn hired on to be our official part-time  pooper scooper in January 2009. Evelyn is reliable, punctual and has developed a unique relationship with both our patients and all of our permanent education birds.

Heidi Sanders

Heidi Sanders, Ohio

Heidi Sanders from Key Colony Beach. Heidi has helped with morning shifts, but is now regularly scheduled for Friday afternoons. She brings her 6-year old daughter Abby with her. They enjoy tending to the birds and the experience has helped to open their eyes because now they "see" more birds in the Florida Keys than they ever did before! Married to Phil, Heidi also has an 18-year old daughter, Holly, who is attending college in their homestate of Ohio.

Orphaned baby grackles at feeding time

Susie Ward, Virginia

Not only is Susie our web mistress, but has her own reputation as "the bird lady" on Conch Key where she lives with her husband, Gerald. Susie is best known to us as our Foster Grackle Mommy. Over the last few summers Susie has raised hundreds of baby birds, specializing in common grackles but also including mockingbirds, red-bellied woodpeckers, starlings, a red cardinal, and a baby cormorant.

Jerry with Broadwing Hawk release

Jerry Underhill, Georgia

As a retired physician's assistant Jerry was quite interested in volunteering at a hospital for birds. Jerry has loved each and every moment he's spent at the bird center whether it's raking leaves from the path, feeding the birds three afternoons a week or participating in a release or rescue.

Sharon Christiansen

Sharon Christiansen, Missouri

Sharon began volunteering with us after she and her husband Alan sailed into Marathon in 2003. Now, when they're not home in Missouri or taking road trips around the United States, the duo rent a condo in the Keys for three months each winter. Sharon specializes in cleaning, shopping and chatting up visitors.

JD feeding the Gannet

JD Fagan, Texas

JD began volunteering for us just before Christmas 2009. An avid fisherman who is on the hunt to catch and release the biggest shark in Florida, JD is a jack-of-all-trades. Whether it's prepping food to feed our patients, building a new perch or ramp, or catching a wayward pelican, JD is experiencing it all!

Dee holding a pelican

Dee O'Shea, New York

After visiting the Keys for over 20 years, Dee decided to regularly return on her winter treks to the Marathon area. With bird lovers in the family, it wasn't hard for Dee to decide to devote some time every week to aiding the wild birds in need. Dee is a self-starter volunteer and jumps into food prep and cage cleaning the minute she arrives for her scheduled shift.

Billy DeSilver

Billy DeSilver,Massachusetts

A boat captain for Tilden's Dive Shop in Marathon, Billy spends a lot of time on the water! In addition to pointing out different species of birds to his passengers, Billy offers safety tips so if they should come across an injured wild bird they will be able to successfully handle the situation. Billy helps his significant other Karyn at the Bird Center by doing odd jobs that need a man's touch.

Steve Heiney

Steve Heiney, Pennsylvania

Steve is a wiz at building anything (and we mean anything!) and has helped us out on many occasions. When Steve isn't busy enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Cathy, he's either in his boat fishing, in a friend's boat fishing or playing with "man's best friend", his goldendoodle, Lucy!

Cathy Close

Cathy Close, Florida

For the three decades Cathy has been enjoying her career in the Florida State's Park system. Manager of Long Key State Park for the last 18 years, Cathy came to us to volunteer after the flood of Hurricane Wilma. Cathy loves photographing birds and her images have graced our thank you notes, our kiosks, our education booth and will soon be featured on our next T-shirt!

Mike Stahl

Mike Stahl (VENDOR Bionic Bait), Michigan

We love getting to know our vendors personally and having ordered from Bionic Bait twice a week for over two years now made it easy to do so with Mike! Mike's a family man with two sons and a stepdaughter and enjoys fishing and football when he's not doing quality control on his products. On his annual visit to the MWBC Mike had the honor of releasing a recently rehabilitated Broadwinged-hawk!

More pictures to come of our volunteers. It's hard to get these people to stand still for a few moments!!

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