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The Fatal Light Awareness Program Volunteer Experience


An Ovenbird is released in a conservation area after being rescued from a window collision in downtown Toronto. (Photo: J.P. Moczulski)

Are you looking for a meaningful way to get involved in your community? Are you interested in helping wildlife and the environment but don’t know how, or where to begin?

The Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP) needs your time and skills to help with the issue of migratory birds colliding with buildings in your neighborhood.

Each spring and fall migration season, one to ten million migratory birds collide with buildings in Toronto alone. Bird collisions with buildings are now a leading cause of bird death.

There are many ways that you can help.

Buildings that pose a threat to birds are EVERYWHERE. Some areas have a higher concentration of buildings with design features that pose a higher threat level to birds. This map shows just a few of these regions across the GTA where birds need your help. Just click on an icon to see the intersection of concern. Please contact FLAP Canada if you are interested to help search any of these areas for fallen birds.

Rewarding Volunteer Opportunities

As a non-profit conservation organization, FLAP relies heavily on the generous commitments of dedicated volunteers to help us in our mission to safeguard migratory birds through our urban environment.

FLAP offers many rewarding volunteer opportunities where you can experience meaningful work with wildlife and the environment in your community. Please take a moment to browse our Volunteer Application for a comprehensive list of the many opportunities available. We are sure you will find something that fits your interests, skills and availability.

Here are a few volunteer positions that you may like to consider:

Volunteer Bird Rescue Driver

Lend a Helping Hand

Have you seen a colourful bird lying maybe five feet from a glass building? Do you want to help? Contact FLAP, it’s easy as a volunteer driver. The best part for me is releasing birds after they have been assessed and treated at a rehabilitation centre. What a joy to see a rescued bird fly off to continue his/her journey.

- John Clarke, FLAP volunteer driver

FLAP requires Volunteer Drivers to transport injured birds to wildlife rehabilitation centres. When the birds recover (and many do!) we need drivers to take the rehabilitated birds to conservation areas for release back into the wild.

If you are available for a few hours a day each week during migration seasons (about 20 weeks in a year) to drive rescued birds to a rehabilitation centre and to a release location, we would love to hear from you. Please email us at or call (416) 366-3527 to enrol as a Volunteer Bird Rescue Driver.


The same Ovenbird (as pictured above) is rescued by a FLAP volunteer and released into the wild later that morning. (Photo: J.P. Moczulski)

Have you ever wondered how rewarding it would feel to find an injured bird, help it heal, and release it back into the wild with your own hands?

As a FLAP Bird Rescue Volunteer, you will be trained with hands-on experience to work with injured birds. Bird Rescue Volunteers are concerned citizens and bird lovers like you, who work on the front lines. They patrol the downtown core in the early morning hours looking for injured or dead birds that have collided with buildings. Other rescue volunteers patrol throughout the day or early evening across Toronto, Markham and Mississauga.

Many of the live birds picked-up by our volunteers recover and return to the wild. Early intervention by Bird Rescue Volunteers is crucial to an injured bird’s survival.

If you are available for a few hours a week—anytime of day or night—to rescue birds during their spring and/or fall migration season, we would love to hear from you. The more volunteers that go out on patrol, the more birds we can save.

View Hitting the Streets with FLAP on YouTube. This four-and-a-half minute video by Deanna Ford provides an excellent introduction to the bird-building collision issue and to the rewards of being a Bird Rescue Volunteer.

Other Volunteer Opportunities

FLAP offers many other opportunities for you to volunteer your time and skills:

  • Are you interested in working with the public? FLAP is involved in several public awareness and education campaigns and needs help with workshops, staffing display booths, setting up displays and distributing literature.
  • Do you like to write? How about writing articles about birds, or about your experiences with birds in nature for our newsletter, Touching Down?
  • Do you like to communicate on Facebook or Twitter? Do you like to blog? How about posting, tweeting or blogging interesting facts about birds to raise awareness?
  • Have you ever wanted to serve on a Board of Directors? FLAP has positions available that offer you an opportunity to contribute ideas for fund development and the many other activities that help keep FLAP moving forward on a mission to protect migratory birds.

Volunteer Application Forms

Your time and your skills are a valuable resource. Thank you for considering FLAP in your search for volunteer opportunities.

Please fill out our Volunteer Application and Acknowledgement of Risk forms, or our Board of Directors Application form.

For more information, please email us at or call us at (416) 366-3527.