Birds: Raptors, Songbirds, Shorebirds, and Waterfowl

10532545_10152246426954220_5933121249318729817_nIf You Find An Injured Or Sick…

Raptor: Assess  the bird from a safe distance before trying to handle it. Because of their talons, these birds can be difficult and dangerous to handle without proper training or equipment. If you feel comfortable catching the bird, use a large blanket or box to cover it. With a blanket, make sure to keep the bird’s head covered and its legs under control by holding them above the feet if possible. Once you have the bird safely contained, transport it to a licensed rehabilitator as soon as possible. If the bird is too large or dangerous to handle, call a licensed rehabilitator for help.

Shorebird or Waterfowl: The favorite defense mechanism of these species is to poke out the eyes of their attacker (including humans) with their bill. ALWAYS WEAR GOOGLES when dealing with any of these species. A good rule of thumb is if it has a long, pointy bill, better to be on the safe side and wear goggles.

Songbird or other Passerine: Assess  the bird from a safe distance before trying to handle it. If you feel 1654243_827064300712338_55924570715462853_ncomfortable catching the bird, use a small towel or box to cover it. With the towel, cover the bird’s head, gently hold the wings against the bird’s body and put the bird in a secure, dark container. Once you have the bird safely contained, transport it to a licensed rehabilitator as soon as possible.

If A Bird Hits A Window:

If the bird is not obviously injured, place it in a safe, quiet place outside. Occasionally, these birds are only stunned and can recover on their own in a short time. If, however, the bird is definitely injured or still appears dazed after an hour of rest, place it in a secure container and transport it to a licensed rehabilitator as soon as possible. Birds fly into windows for two reasons: either they don’t realize there is something in their flight path or a male bird sees his reflection as another male in his territory and is acting aggressively toward it. Either way, the best way to prevent window strikes is to use window clings to break up the apparent open space and reduce reflection.

If A Bird Is Trapped Inside A Building:

The best way to get a bird out of a building is to turn the lights off and open as many windows and doors as possible. Birds will fly toward the light and will often leave on their own with this technique. Chasing a flighted bird around a building will be very stressful and can even have life-threatening consequences for the bird.

If You Find A Baby Bird On The Ground Without Feathers:

Look for a nest in the area. If you find the nest and can access it, return the baby to it; if you find the nest and cannot access it, you can make a replacement nest out of a plastic tub with holes cut in the bottom for drainage and some natural bedding (like dried grasses). Place the new nest in a secure, protected area as near to the original nest as possible. In either case, watch the baby from a safe distance to see if the parents return.  If the baby appears sick, injured or there are dead siblings or a dead parent in the area, bring the bird to a licensed rehabilitator.

If You Find A Healthy, Feathered Baby Bird On The Ground: 

Young birds naturally leave the nest before they are fully flighted; they are called  “fledglings.” These birds may spend time on the ground or on branches for several days before they are able to fly. This is a normal process, and these birds should not be rescued unless they are obviously sick, injured or there are dead siblings or a dead parent in the area. If the baby is in danger from a car, domestic animals or people, you can move the baby to a safer nearby area. These birds are still reliant on their parents for food and protection, so make sure the baby stays in an area where the parents will still be able to see and access it.