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Bigfoot

Injured Bird or Young Bird Found

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This is posted by Bigfoot but is a cumulative effort from Creeker, Fisherman1313 and Aveschapines.

 

 

What should I do if I find a baby bird? What if I find a bird that is injured?

 

 

Cute, helpless-looking baby or injured birds tug at the heartstrings of every bird lover. We naturally want to jump in and help them, but well-meaning attempts to help sometimes end up doing more harm than good. Here are some guidelines to keep that from happening. If for any reason you decide to pick up or transport the bird, please read the instructions at the end of this article first to avoid injuring yourself or the bird. Please read the entire article before taking any action.

 

 

Remember, most species of birds are protected and therefore it is not legal to keep them unless you are licensed to do so
(this includes trying to nurse the bird back to health).
Beyond the legalities, these animals require specialized care and diets to grow up healthy and strong.
It's important to turn them over to an experienced person as soon as possible.

 

 

BABY BIRDS WITH FEATHERS

 

  • If you find a bird with feathers all over its body (even though it looks like a baby and/or is being fed by adult birds) it is almost certainly is able to fly and has left the nest voluntarily. Babies who have recently left the nest may be less afraid of humans than adults, making it appear that they can’t fly when they can. The best thing to do is to leave the baby where it is; the parents will be back to attend to the baby when you leave.
  • If the bird is in an unsafe area (on a busy road, for example), you can move it to a safe location as close as possible to the place you found the bird. It’s better to remove such dangers as your cat, dog or children than to move the bird.
  • Give the baby and its parents plenty of space and privacy and the parents will most likely return to the baby, or the baby will leave on its own. Check back later to reassure yourself that all is well.

 

BABY BIRDS WITH NO FEATHERS, PIN FEATHERS, OR ONLY PARTIAL FEATHER COVERING

 

  • If the baby is showing skin without feather covering, it may have fallen from the nest or been removed by weather or a predator. Try to find the nest and put the baby back in it.
  • If you can’t find the nest, you can use a small basket or plastic bowl (with holes punched in the bottom for drainage) to make a replacement nest; line it with soft grass and secure it in a safe location, such as a tree branch, as near as possible to where you found the baby. If the baby feels cold to the touch, warm it in your hands before placing it in the nest. Give the baby and parents privacy and check back later to see if the parents return to care for the baby.
  • Do not worry about touching the baby bird; most birds have a very poor sense of smell and will not reject a baby if a human has touched it. Having said that, only handle the baby as much as absolutely necessary to replace it in the nest and let the parents take it from there.

 

Never give the baby bird food or water. Feeding the bird an inappropriate diet can do more harm than good.

 

 

ABANDONED BABY BIRDS

 

  • If you are sure the baby has been abandoned and is unable to care for itself, contact your nearest wildlife rehabber. In the United States, Canada and Mexico it is illegal to keep native birds in captivity; that includes trying to rescue babies, unless you have a license to do so. Many other countries have similar laws. Caring for a baby bird requires significant knowledge and skill, and almost all amateur attempts to do so, even though they are motivated by caring and concern, fail. Follow the instructions you are given until the bird can be taken to the rehabilitation facility.
  • Here is a link to a list of professional wild bird rehabilitators by state. If you are unable to contact a rehabilitator, contact a veterinarian for advice and a referral to a professional who can help you.

 

 

 

INJURED BIRDS

 

  • If you find a bird that appears to be unable to fly but has no visible injuries, remove any dangers from the immediate area and leave the bird alone to be sure it’s really injured and not trying to distract you or another predator. Some birds use this strategy to protect their eggs and nests. In addition, birds may be stunned after hitting a window but recover after a short rest.
  • If the bird has obvious injuries, contact a professional rehabilitator for help. Follow their instructions until the bird can be taken to the professional facility.
  • Handle an unconscious bird as little as possible. Place it in box in a quiet area with subdued lighting until it recovers.
  • Here is a link to a list of professional wild bird rehabilitators by state. If you are unable to contact a rehabilitator, contact a veterinarian for advice and a referral to a professional who can help you.

 

 

  • If you must move or transport the bird, be extremely careful; many birds have strong bills and sharp claws and can injure you, especially if they are scared. Never attempt to handle a raptor if you don’t have professional training and experience.

 

WHAT TO DO
BEFORE
PICKING UP THE BIRD

 

  • Before attempting to capture the bird, prepare a suitable container. A cardboard box with small air holes, just big enough for the bird to stand and turn in, is ideal and preferable to a hard-sided or large container as the bird will be less likely to injure itself if it becomes agitated inside the box. Place an old towel in the bottom of the box. For small perching birds it may be a good idea to line the box with tissues to provide a cushion, especially if the bird is injured.
  • After placing the bird in the box, be sure to close the container securely, particularly with birds of prey, to prevent their escape. Remember, the sooner you place the bird into a suitable container, the calmer it will be. It is important to reduce stress whenever possible.
  • Remember that the bird needs to be kept warm and quiet. When transporting it in your car, refrain from playing the radio or speaking loudly. Cover the box to minimize the amount of light entering into the box.

HOW TO PICK UP A BIRD

  • For injured or young songbirds, gently cradle the bird’s body as you lift it from the ground and transfer immediately to your prepared box.The wings should be held firmly, but not tightly, against the sides. Remember, songbirds are very delicate and can easily be injured or killed if held too tightly.
  • For injured or young birds of prey or large waterbirds such as herons and egrets, remember that they can seriously injure you with their talons and/or beaks so be sure to wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved jacket, goggles to protect your eyes and heavy gloves to protect your hands. The bird will be most easily caught by covering it with a towel and restraining the feet.
  • Follow these basic rules before and during transport:

 

1. Keep the animal warm, 80-90°F (27-32°C).

 

 

2. Don't feed it or give it fluids.

 

 

3. Keep the container in a quiet, dark space to minimize stress.

 

 

4. Stay quiet around it and don't constantly look at the bird.

 

 

5. Get it to a rehabilitation hospital as quickly as possible.

 

 

6. Never keep the animal or try to treat it yourself!

 

Edited by Aveschapines
Update the link to rehabbers by state
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As a vet - tech let me add:

There is probably someone licensed in your area to care for these: Do the research and find out who - usually the local emergency veterinary clinic is the best place to start. - A blanket/towel can help you handle a raptor if need be. They can (and will) remove one of your fingers.

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I found a baby House Wren in my barn last Saturday.. The temperature in the barn raed 115 degrees. It had no feathers except those silly little tufts of fluff on the eyebrows and an inkling of stubs on his wings. I looked all over the huge barn and there was absolutely no nests in sight and if there had been one above where I found him/her, it would have been 50 feet up in the rafters.

So, I brought it in the house. I called the vets and the Humane Society and got nothing for help. Really, they didn't seem to care. I live in a small town in Montana and there is little to any help for rescues.

I couldn't let it die. So I've been caring for it and it's looking marvelous and has it's feathers and can perch now.

 

My question to anyone who can help me, is when do I let it loose? As of today, you can tell it wants to fly but I don't want to let it loose too soon. I live on a large ranch and there are multitudes of predators.

 

He's healthy and eating well. But I want to let him go be a bird! Any assistance is much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

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I found a baby House Wren in my barn last Saturday.. The temperature in the barn raed 115 degrees. It had no feathers except those silly little tufts of fluff on the eyebrows and an inkling of stubs on his wings. I looked all over the huge barn and there was absolutely no nests in sight and if there had been one above where I found him/her, it would have been 50 feet up in the rafters.

So, I brought it in the house. I called the vets and the Humane Society and got nothing for help. Really, they didn't seem to care. I live in a small town in Montana and there is little to any help for rescues.

I couldn't let it die. So I've been caring for it and it's looking marvelous and has it's feathers and can perch now.

 

My question to anyone who can help me, is when do I let it loose? As of today, you can tell it wants to fly but I don't want to let it loose too soon. I live on a large ranch and there are multitudes of predators.

 

He's healthy and eating well. But I want to let him go be a bird! Any assistance is much appreciated! Thanks in advance!

 

 

Here is a list of professional rehabbers in Montana:

 

http://www.wildcarebayarea.org/site/DocServer/9-16-10_correction.html?docID=381#mt

 

try contacting the one nearest you and see if they can take the bird or advise you as to what to do.  

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My 10 yr old was watering my hanging flowers on the front porch when a baby nuthatch fell out of the basket. He immediately told me and we left it alone and the parents were immediately attentive but then 4 more babies came out! They all had feathers and could fly a little. I'm wondering if I should lower the basket so the babies can hop back in if needed? Or just leave it be? My son felt horrible that he disturbed their nest.

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My 10 yr old was watering my hanging flowers on the front porch when a baby nuthatch fell out of the basket. He immediately told me and we left it alone and the parents were immediately attentive but then 4 more babies came out! They all had feathers and could fly a little. I'm wondering if I should lower the basket so the babies can hop back in if needed? Or just leave it be? My son felt horrible that he disturbed their nest.

 

Much has probably happened in the last four days.  Leave it be, is the best solution.  We had a young Robin fall out of the nest, too young to fly far. We watched and the parents came every so often.  It moved around a bit and eventually disappeared.  We didn't worry, as it was daytime yet, so probably was sheltered some place.  Next day, we learned that to be true, my husband nearly stepped on it.  The young birds will find safer places, especially so close to leaving the nest. And the parents are watching.  Somehow, some way that young Robin got into our  repeating sparrow trap.  We knew it was not going to fly out the opened door and would just hunker down, so my husband reached in to get it.  Oh, did that bird scream!!  Then the parents came over making all of their own ruckus. 

 

We've done things that ended up exposing nests and felt bad, but then we learned from the experience.  My husband was mowing our ditch mid-August a couple years ago.  He thought all nesting was done, but came up to a weed tree.  When he backed up, he found a Dickcissel nest with eggs.  He really could have kicked himself.  Now he waits until much later to mow those ditches.

 

I hope your birds are doing well. 

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Not all rehab centers are able to work with injured birds. Judi Drake in Ontario, Canda is one who can and she can probably help you find the right person in your area.

 

Please remember she receives no funding for the work she does so if you use her services,please donate a couple of dollars.

 

drake@sentex.ca

 

http://soar-southernontario.org/

 

https://www.facebook.com/SongbirdsOnlyAvianRehabilitation

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Very useful information there. An injured wood pecker was once trapped at my window and had no idea what to do. I had no idea who would helped so i just nursed it until it got better. Will check out the organization that is licensed to take care of them around here. It can really be frustrating when you have no one.

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