9 Best Charities That Help Birds Thrive (Complete 2024 List)

9 Best Charities That Help Birds Thrive (Complete 2024 List)

By
Carla Shaik

Read Time:21 Minutes

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There are around 10,000 bird species worldwide, yet a staggering 48% of them are in decline. Loss of habitat and overexploitation are thought to be the main reasons for this worrying statistic. Birds are a vital part of any ecosystem because they disperse seeds, recycle nutrients, and even fertilize marine ecosystems, such as coral reefs. Fortunately, charities around the world are fighting to save birds and restore the natural diversity of our skies. So, we had to ask: What are the best charities that help birds thrive?

The best charities that help birds thrive are Birdlife International and the American Bird Conservancy. Charities such as the Bird Treatment and Learning Center and Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research also offer veterinary care and sanctuary to vulnerable wild birds. 

Whether you want to raise awareness of the threats facing birds, restore vital habitats so vulnerable bird species can thrive, or educate the next generation of passionate bird conservationists, there is a charity for you. Keep reading to learn more about what the best charities that help birds thrive are all about, how they work, and what your best way would be to make a contribution.

Here’s What All the Best Charities That Help Birds Thrive Have in Common

The charities on this list were chosen based on their mission, impact and transparency ratings, and achievements.

They operate all over the world, from North America to Asia, protecting endangered bird species.

Many of the charities on this list focus their efforts on monitoring and safeguarding bird habitats and flyways. 

Other charities focus their attention on rescuing and rehabilitating injured, ill, or orphaned birds, before releasing them back into the wild.

Yet, they all share the same goal of helping birds thrive around the world. 

These Are the 9 Best Charities That Help Birds Thrive in 2024

Below are our favorite charities that help birds thrive (you can click on their link to directly jump to their section in this article):

(At the end of this article we’ll also share our six-step approach on how you can select the best charity to support.)

1

Birdlife International: Stop the Decline

Logo for Birdlife International
The Science Behind Saving the World's Birds

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

Birdlife International holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To conserve birds, their habitats, and global biodiversity, working with people toward sustainability in the use of natural resources.”

Birdlife International

⚒️

What they do:

Birdlife International works with volunteers and local conservation groups to monitor and safeguard priority nesting, migratory, and seascape sites to conserve bird species around the world. For example, they train local communities who live in and around the tropical forests of Asia and the Western Pacific to manage local conservation efforts. The charity also conducts research and analysis on bird populations to identify new areas in need of conservation and encourage better protective policies. All of this information is free to view through their BirdLife Data Zone

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, Birdlife International is a global network of 122 national partners covering all continents and seascapes to protect vulnerable birds. For example, since their founding, they have identified, documented, and conserved more than 13,000 important bird and biodiversity areas (IBAs) around the world. These areas are home to over 5,000 bird species. Since 2013, the charity has actively protected 726 threatened bird species, reached over 7 million children through environmental education, and released 635 publications that have influenced global conservation plans and policies. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Birdlife International through their website. You can also support the charity by joining their Stop the Spread campaign or by becoming a member.

2

American Bird Conservancy: Together for Birds

Logo for American Bird Conservancy
#BecauseBirds: The World Needs Birds

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The American Bird Conservancy holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Standing up for birds and their habitats throughout the Americas.”

American Bird Conservancy

⚒️

What they do:

The American Bird Conservancy conserves threatened bird species across the Americas through advocacy, scientific research, and conservation projects. For example, through their BirdsPlus program, they connect farmers to finance assistance and markets to unlock funding for habitat conservation and restoration for local bird species. Through this program, they have also developed a Bird Index tool for investors and governments to measure the biodiversity benefits of management practices and identify new areas in need of conservation. In addition, they work directly with fisheries to minimize bycatch and protect seabirds. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the American Bird Conservancy has helped to protect more than 1.2 million acres of land to conserve bird species. For example, in 2022, they established an 880-acre reserve to protect the critically endangered Antioquia brushfinch and 500 acres to conserve the El Oro parakeet. In the same year, the charity restored 100,000 grassland acres to build habitats for a range of declining bird species from North Dakota to Mexico, including the Eastern meadowlark and the chestnut-collared longspur. In addition, since 2020, they have removed over 30,000 lbs of trash that put birds at risk. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the American Bird Conservancy through their website. You can also support the charity by joining one of their campaigns or through planned giving.

3

International Bird Rescue: A Voice For Birds in a Changing World

Logo for International Bird Rescue
International Bird Rescue - Every Person, Every Day

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

International Bird Rescue holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To inspire people to act toward balance with the natural world by rescuing waterbirds in crisis.”

International Bird Rescue

🛍️

What is their product range?

International Bird Rescue protects endangered waterbird species through conservation, research, and education. For example, they run two full-time wildlife centers in Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay to care for injured, ill, or orphaned waterbirds. They also run the Alaska Wildlife Response Center (AWRC) to quickly respond to oil spills and other wildlife emergencies. In addition, their in-house research program focuses on improving oiled wildlife care through the assessment of new techniques and protocols. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

Since their founding, International Bird Rescue has cared for over 160,000 birds on 6 continents by responding to more than 250 oil spills and wildlife emergencies. For example, in 2022, the charity cared for a total of 2,566 birds and aided an additional 2,196 birds through their helpline. During this time period, they performed 270 life-saving surgical procedures, washed 164 birds, and brought 1,087 orphaned birds into care. They also taught 872 K-12 students through their conservation education programs. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to International Bird Rescue through their website. You can also support the charity by getting involved in their Adopt-a-Bird Program or by purchasing items from their online shop.

4

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies: Connecting People, Birds, and Land

Logo for Bird Conservancy of the Rockies
World Bird Sanctuary

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies holds a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“Conserving birds and their habitats through science, education, and land stewardship.” Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

⚒️

What they do:

The Bird Conservancy of the Rockies conserves birds and their habitats through education, science, and land stewardship. For example, they work with landowners to develop grazing management systems that benefit wildlife, including birds. They also analyze the distribution and abundance of individual bird species to understand population trends and develop new conservation plans. In addition, the charity runs several databases, such as their Rocky Mountain Avian Data Center, that allow conservationists and researchers to compare the conservation status and population estimates of threatened species in different locations across America. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Since their founding, the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies has improved more than 1.5 million acres of bird habitat across Northern Mexico and the Great Plains. In addition, their Central Grassland Roadmap contains comprehensive information that allows experts to develop more effective bird conservation programs across a 700 million-acre landscape. For example, in 2022, the charity banded 6,620 wild birds for population research purposes, monitored 234 bald eagle nests, and improved conservation efforts on 178 acres of farmland

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or by joining their Friends Program.

5

World Bird Sanctuary: Raptor Care and Rehabilitation

Logo for World Bird Sanctuary
World Bird Sanctuary

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The World Bird Sanctuary holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator.

“We protect and preserve birds and their habitats through conservation rehabilitation, education, and advocacy.”

World Bird Sanctuary

⚒️

What they do:

The World Bird Sanctuary is a 305-acre hospital that cares for sick or injured raptors in Missouri hardwood forest through their network of rehabilitation staff and vets. On-site, they have an X-ray machine, as well as anesthesia and surgery equipment. In addition, they band and collect data on birds migrating through the Mississippi flyway and run breeding and release programs for threatened species such as Andean condors and barn owls. Furthermore, the charity runs virtual education programs and environmental field trips to teach children about raptors. 

🛍️

What is their product range?

Today, the World Bird Sanctuary is home to over 212 birds and animals representing 65 avian species from around the world. Since their founding, they have reached 1 million children through their education initiatives and treated over 11,000 injured birds. For example, in 2020, the charity hatched 10 critically endangered Vietnam pheasants as part of a cooperative breeding program and released over 30 captive-bred barn owls across Missouri. In the same year, the hospital admitted 578 raptor patients from the Greater St. Louis area.

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the World Bird Sanctuary through their website. You can also support the charity by symbolically adopting a bird or by volunteering.

6

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: Restore. Protect. Care

Logo for The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds
Nature is in crisis, but together we can save it.

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

According to their financial report, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds spent 41% of their expenditure on reserve conservation, 37% on research, and 19% on education. 

“Protecting threatened birds and wildlife so that our towns, coast, and countryside will once again teem with life.”

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

⚒️

What they do:

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) campaigns for the protection of threatened bird species across the UK and beyond. For example, alongside the WWF and National Trust, the charity is advocating for the protection and restoration of UK wildlife, while raising awareness of the loss of 38 million birds from UK skies in the last 50 years. Furthermore, they release annual bird crime reports detailing the illegal shooting, trapping, and poisoning of protected bird species and explain how the public can report crimes. In addition, they run on-the-ground conservation efforts, such as their Great Crane Project to rear threatened crane chicks before releasing them back into the wild. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) manages over 200 nature reserves across the UK, which are home to more than 18,700 species. For example, they used 79,336 tons of shingle and sand to create vital nesting habitats for little terns on Horsey Island. Their conservation efforts have also led to a 30% rise in breeding pairs of Manx shearwaters since 2016 and a 39% increase in Dartford warblers since 2021 – the highest recorded number in history. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) through their website. You can also support the charity by joining as a member or by purchasing items from their online store.

7

Urban Bird Foundation: Protect, Defend, Rescue, and Conserve Bird Life

Logo for Urban Bird Foundation
Here to Stay - Urban Bird Foundation

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Urban Bird Foundation holds a Platinum Seal of Transparency from GuideStar

“We engage and mobilize individuals and communities to preserve the interconnected relationship between nature and people.”

Urban Bird Foundation

⚒️

What they do:

The Urban Bird Foundation protects vulnerable bird species in urban environments through advocacy, wildlife rescues, and undercover investigations. For example, they are working to restore burrowing owl breeding populations through the development of suburban protected areas across California and Florida. They also expose cruel and illegal practices such as the unlawful blocking of burrowing owl burrows. In addition, their network of wildlife rehabilitation centers takes in injured or orphaned birds where they are rehabilitated and rereleased back into the wild. 

⚒️

What they do:

Since their founding, the Urban Bird Foundation has restored 10,163 acres of bird habitat in urban areas and responded to 7,000 calls of birds in distress. They now run over 50 wildlife rehabilitation centers across the US. For example, they helped to create the first 21-acre suburban preserve for burrowing owls in Contra Costa County and successfully advocated for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to add the species to the Endangered & Threatened Species List. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Urban Bird Foundation through their website. You can also support the charity by purchasing items from their online store or by volunteering.

8

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research: Help Them Fly Free Again

Logo for Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research
Herring Gulls release

Their impact and transparency ratings:

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

“To provide professional, compassionate rehabilitation to native injured and orphaned wild birds and contaminated wildlife, and to promote their stewardship through education and humane research.”

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research

⚒️

What they do:

Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research has trained staff on call 24:7 to respond to wildlife contaminated by oil spills. The animals and birds are then cared for at their wild bird clinic in Newark, Delaware. The clinic also cares for wild birds that are victims of entanglement, cat attacks, habitat destruction, and pesticide poisoning. In addition, the charity conducts research on the efficiency of surfactants to remove petrochemicals from feathers, as well as studies on the biology and behavior of native bird species

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Every year, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research admits around 3,000 birds to their wildlife clinic, representing over 150 native species. Furthermore, in 2000, they reviewed over 100 products to determine the best and safest substance to remove oil from feathers. Their results were then presented at the EOW (Effects of Oil on Wildlife) conference. In addition, their oiled wildlife response team has attended hundreds of incidents across Canada, the Caribbean, and North America, including rescuing over 200 oiled birds in Mount Vernon in 2023. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or by purchasing items from their Amazon Wish List.

9

Bird Treatment and Learning Center: Wild Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation

Logo for Bird Treatment and Learning Center
Bird TLC of Anchorage, Alaska

🔎

Their transparency & ratings:

The Bird Treatment and Learning Center holds a 3-star rating from Charity Navigator, as well as a Silver Seal of Transparency from GuideStar.

“To care and advocate for Alaska’s wild birds through rehabilitation, education, and outreach.”

Bird Treatment and Learning Center

⚒️

What they do:

The Bird Treatment and Learning Center cares for ill, injured, or orphaned wild birds across Alaska, before releasing them back into the wild. They also educate the public on the proper use and disposal of fishing tackle to prevent accidental ingestion by wild birds. In addition, they run interactive and virtual conservation education programs to inspire the next generation of wildlife conservationists and run birding hikes for adults to raise awareness of Alaska’s wild birds. 

🚀

What they’ve achieved:

Today, the Bird Treatment and Learning Center cares for over 500 ill, orphaned, or injured birds at any one time through their 4,000sq foot clinic in Potter Marsh. For example, in 2022, they rehabilitated 551 birds and set up a quarantine area for orphaned waterfowl, with the successful release of 70% of individuals. In the same year, they also spent months degreasing and bathing a raven that had gotten stuck in a grease trap on a restaurant’s roof, before releasing it back into the wild. 

Ways to contribute:

You can donate directly to the Bird Treatment and Learning Center through their website. You can also support the charity by volunteering or by joining the Ambassador Bird Fan Club

How Can You Select the Best Charities to Support?

The charities on the list are, we deem, the best charities that help birds thrive. However, you may have a particular charity you want to support. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure your contribution has the most significant impact.

  • Check out the charity website. Charities that are worthy of your donations are transparent in their mission and their figures. Familiarize yourself with their history, mission, and values. Their website usually is the best place to start.
  • Identify the charity’s mission. Without a goal, the charity is likely to fail. If the charity’s mission isn’t clear, it’s probably worth looking for a charity that does have a clear mission. 
  • Check if the charity has measurable goals. An effective charity has clear goals. You want to know your donation will help the charity reach its goals. But if it doesn’t have targets, it’s likely to fail or squander your gift. The charity should be able to account for its spending and supply evidence of the work they do.
  • Assess the successes or goals the charity has achieved. You wouldn’t invest in a business if it kept missing its targets. In the same way, charities are like this too. If no one is assessing a charity’s progress in reaching its targets, the chances are they’re not making a substantial positive change.
  • Check the charity’s financials and stats. Trustworthy organizations will publish financial statements and reports each year. Some might be exempt from having to do so, but they should be able to provide them to public members who are interested in donating.
  • Locate sources who work with or benefit from the charity. Word of mouth and first-hand experience of a charity’s work lets you know the charity’s quality. If you’re able to do so, check out the charity for yourself or speak to someone familiar with it. This way, your donation will go to the right place. 

How Can You Best Support These Charities?

After you’ve made your decision, it’s time for you to decide on how you’d like to help the charities you’ve chosen. Check how you can help – each charity runs specific programs that have unique aims. Find out what the aim of such programs is and whether they are right for you. 

Here are a few ways you can help your chosen charity:

  • Donate money. You can find donation pages on the website of most charities. Your donation can be a one-time payment, or you can set it to be deducted regularly at different intervals. You can mostly pay via credit card, but some charities also take PayPal or Bitcoin payments.
  • Buy their official merchandise. Charities can also raise money by selling merchandise. So, you can support them by buying the mugs, shirts, caps, pens, pencils, and any other such items they may be selling. Ideally, you should buy as much as you can to share and spread the word about the charity’s activities.
  • Engage in volunteer work. As you’ve seen from our descriptions above, some charities engage in a lot of local and grassroots programs. You can help by taking on and organizing the program in your local area.
  • Help their fundraising efforts. You can spread the word about the charity in your workplace, school, church, etc., and hold creative fundraising drives on social media or offline within your small circles.
  • Share their stories. Most charities have compelling stories that you can share with your audience to attract more people to the cause.

Final Thoughts

Now it is up to you to select the charity that resonates most with you. And whichever charity you end up choosing and contributing to, we are sure that they will immensely appreciate your support. Hopefully, the information within this article has made this selection process a bit easier for you to support charities dedicated to helping birds thrive—based on the causes that matter most to you.

Stay impactful,

PS: Finally, I want to leave you with a thought-provoking TED talk from Dan Pallotta, a leading philanthropic activist and fundraiser, about what is wrong with the way we think about charities – and what we can do about it:

The way we think about charity is dead wrong | Dan Pallotta

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