Who's for the Birds? | Animal Shelter Close to PCI

Reverse down that Overseas Highway, steer north, and you’ll eventually land yourself in the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center, an animal rescue campus that gets a feathered friend back on his own two wings. This not-for-profit rehabilitation center is the brainchild of well known "bird lady" Laura Quinn, a maritime sailor and nature geek. Late in the 1980s Quinn enlisted the help of Dr. Robert Foley, a local veterinarian, to transform her oceanfront property into a backyard rehabilitation facility. Their operation was a modest venture, to say the least, but with further study fueled by an unquenchable interest in everything avian the enterprise took flight.

Soon enough, regional and migratory birds of different backgrounds and states of health were being recovered and adequately nursed. Preservation of the Florida Keys’ wetland environments is crucial. Birds temporarily sheltered, while gaining the strength to a full recovery, and those that unfortunately must remain in captivity are able to live together peacefully thanks to a huge area of surrounding lush mangroves and healthy vegetation. A large part of the Florida Keys Wild Bird Center’s effort is to educate the public and create a lasting impact with future generations of commercial fishermen, real estate developers, and the classrooms of schoolchildren shuttled by yellow bus on a given weekday.

Families can explore these and birds of all sorts during a visit to the center, which is less than a 15-minute drive from the Postcard Inn. Despite Laura Quinn’s passing in 2010, the Center’s year-round commitment to mending broken beaks and detangling fishing wire marches on. Global temperatures continue to rise as life above, and under, the sea hangs onto a diminishing supply of natural resources. Treat yourself or growing children to an educational afternoon. Before you know it—you’re learning about the caretakers of our diverse world while soaking up the sun’s golden gifts.

Address: 92080 Overseas Highway, Tavernier

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