MANSFIELD, Ohio — The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is designed to bridge the gap between humans and birds.

As many Ohio birds are preparing for their annual fall migration, a few select birds will stay put for one specific reason. These are birds that have found a new life at the Ohio Bird Sanctuary in Richland County.

What You Need To Know

  • The sanctuary is a rehabilitation center for birds and also an education facility 

  • Visitors can expect close encounters with birds of all shapes and sizes 

  • Recently, the sanctuary had the Nelson Brothers from the Animal Planet show Treehouse Masters build them a classroom in the woods

  • Trainers at the sanctuary also train the birds to fly and also return

The 90-acre preserve bridges the gap between humans and birds through family-friendly planning and programming. 

All the birds that live on the property in captivity have been placed there because they would not survive in the wild. 

Gail Laux, with the sanctuary, said they do this for many reasons.

“Create a connection, because if we care about something, we're going to take care of it,” she said. “So that happens through these personal engagements with the birds.”

Recently, the sanctuary had the Nelson Brothers from the Animal Planet show ‘Treehouse Masters’ build them a giant wooden classroom in the woods. “So in the treehouse, we do a lot of field trips,” Abby Bramlage from the sanctuary said. “Schools can come here and they can be part of the field trip in the tree house here,” she continued. “We do activities in here with them. They can meet birds in the tree house.”

Besides being a classroom in the woods, the treehouse also acts as a playhouse for the birds. Amanda Vanderford is one of the trainers and taught Elliott, a black vulture, how to fly and return on command. 

Laux said these birds don’t have to migrate because they have a home here year-round. 

“This gives these birds a very safe and natural habitat that they can have the best normal life as possible,” Laux said. 

The Ohio Bird Sanctuary is open to the public Tuesday - Satuday 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sundays 12 p.m. until 4 p.m.

For more information on the sanctuary, click here.