The non-profit Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary, Inc. is one of the largest wild bird rehabilitation centers in the United States. For over 30 years, the Sanctuary has been dedicated to the rescue, repair, rehabilitation, and release of indigenous wild birds. Founded in 1971 by zoologist Ralph T. Heath, the Sanctuary is world- renowned for its innovative rehabilitation techniques, and it was the first facility to breed Eastern brown pelicans in captivity.
The Sanctuary is staffed by experienced professionals and dedicated volunteers. Similar to a human hospital, it is equipped with emergency facilities, a surgical center, recovery areas, and an outdoor recuperation area. Display areas feature permanently injured birds that have been given a home at the Sanctuary. Any offspring they produce are released into their natural environment. At any given time, the visitor can view in excess of 600 wild birds.