One of the most amazing things about Miami is the abundant wildlife that share space with us humans, making it a true urban jungle.
An afternoon boating trip can be rewarded with sightings of pelicans, manatees, or dolphins. A brisk morning walk can turn into a bird watching expedition with various species like woodpeckers, jays, egrets, and even peacocks spotted.
Having all this amazing wildlife in close proximity of cars, motorboats, and high-rise buildings poses its own set of problems, with birds and mammals injured daily. Thankfully, the caring people of Pelican Harbor Seabird Station are there to take in sick and injured seabirds, native species, small mammals, and reptiles with a mission to rehabilitate and release.
Located at 1279 NE 79th St. Causeway, Seabird Station was founded in 1980 as a way to rescue and release injured pelicans. Today, the facility takes in just about anything except for cats, dogs, and rabies vector species (bats, foxes, and raccoons). Unfortunately, caring for injured wildlife is an expensive undertaking. Christopher Boykin, executive director of Seabird Station says donations and funds are always needed. "Our staff makes very little, less than it takes to live in Miami, actually and we don't have a full time driver or vet. There are a lot of things we'd love to do and donations are always welcome."
Thankfully, there's a way to help out this wonderful facility today — just by going grocery shopping.
Simply head on over to Whole Foods Market in North Miami today, June 30. Do your regular shopping and five percent of your purchase will go to Seabird Station. Every four months, Whole Foods partners up with a local charity to help the community. Last quarter, Whole Foods helped raise over $6,000 for a local organization and the funds can go a long way to help pelicans who swallow fishing line or a squirrel injured in a cat attack.
Seabird Station representatives will be on hand from noon to 4 p.m., if you have any questions, and the station is open for visitors who want to get a first hand encounter with some of the resident pelicans, laughing gulls, terns, and falcons who have set up permanent residence at the facility. In addition, the station hosts monthly pelican release parties and will hold its first ever 5K race in the fall. To find out more about Pelican Harbor Seabird Station, visit pelicanharbor.org.
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.