A young woman's heart for helpless animals has led her to providing a safe haven and second chance for Horowhenua's vulnerable hatchlings and injured birds.
Shantel Nicholson 19, who has hopes of becoming a vet nurse, has been rehabilitating birds for years but launched the charity Animal Adventures in March last year.
Since then, members of the public contact Shantel through her Animal Adventures Facebook page and either deliver the helpless birds to her Koputaora base or she picks them up.
However, the compassionate teen said the community has been less forth coming with donations towards the care of the birds.
With up to 25 birds in her care at any one time, the cost is beginning to take its toll.
She said if an injured bird has needs greater than her ability, then it's taken to the vet, and the cost is often paid for by her parents.
"Mum and dad aren't too impressed but the birds are so helpless, I can't say no."
Currently Animal Adventures is the only local charity where non-native birds can be rehabilitated. It receives between four and five birds per week.
Shantel can raise and release the tiniest of nestlings, small, pink, bald and unable to survive on their own. By keeping them warm and syringe feeding them every 15-20 minutes, they grow and are successfully released into the wild.
Fledglings that are not as young, but are unable to feed themselves or fly, are kept safe in cages until they can or are independent.
Most fledglings brought to her have been ditched, fallen out of their nests or have been hurt by cats.
Shantel said she has an 80 per cent survival rate and the only birds that don't make it are the ones with injuries too extensive or infected.
The young woman's compassion has seen her parents' home and gardens become a haven for bird life. Rehabilitated chickens run around healthy and free, saved from lives as battery hens.
Ducks that can't fly due to a birth defect called angel's wing, also find sanctuary at Animal Adventures.
A starling saved from a certain death, sticks close to the house and often lands on your shoulder.
Shantel said it was brought in after falling from the nest and sustaining extensive bruising.
"We just released him the other day but he's a bit too tame which we generally try to avoid as it's not a good thing in the wild, but he is now a happy and healthy little miracle," she said.
Shantel's facility has a limited capacity with room for a maximum of 25 birds at any one time.
However, there is room for increased capacity but no funds to take care of more birds or to purchase the materials needed to expand.
She said alongside more aviaries and enclosures, her short term dream would be to have her own bird hospital.
"A little shed that can house all the birds I am caring for so they aren't in my bedroom at night," she said.
If you would like to help Shantel and the hundreds of birds she saves each year, donations towards vet fees, or gifts of syringes, tissue paper, newspaper, bird food, containers, cages, or mesh for enclosures would all be greatly appreciated.
Shantel is hoping to go to veterinary school so she can treat the injured birds on her own one day.
"Animals are my passion, they are my life and that's never going to change," she said.
You can contact Shantel at Animal Adventures on Facebook.