banner

Injured Birds

What Should You Do with an Injured Bird?

 

Window Collisions

Sometimes birds are stunned by window collisions but will recover on their own. Give it an hour. It may revive and fly off.

While it recovers, remove it from potential predators such as cats. Place it in a warm, dark, quiet place such as a shoebox lined with a cloth or paper towel. (Do not use shredded paper, cotton balls or grass clippings.) Be sure to provide holes for ventilation.

Do not attempt to provide food, water or first aid to the bird.

After an hour, take it outside and open the box. If the bird hasn’t recovered, take it at once to a wildlife rescue organization (listed below).

 

Other Injuries or Distress

Take the bird to a wildlife rescue organization immediately, if possible.

Using a towel or washcloth, grasp the bird around the shoulders so its wings are against its body and cannot flap. Transport it to the rescue organization in a shoebox lined with a cloth or paper towel. (Do not use shredded paper, cotton balls or grass clippings.) Be sure to provide holes for ventilation.

Do not attempt to provide food, water or first aid to the bird.

If it is nighttime and no rescue organization is open, keep the bird in the dark box overnight. For warmth, you can place the box on top of a hot water bottle or heating pad on low. Take the bird to the rescue group first thing in the morning.

Be particularly careful with injured hawks, owls, herons or other birds with large, sharp beaks or talons. Call a wildlife rescue group for instructions on how to proceed.

Keep in mind that The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 makes it illegal to own or handle wild birds without a permit. This may seem strict, but it serves an important conservation purpose by allowing authorities to curtail activities that harm birds.

Bay Area Bird and Wildlife Rescue Organizations

WildCare in San Rafael. They accept birds from around the Bay Area. (415) 456-SAVE

Lindsey Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek – (925) 935-1978

Montclair Veterinary Hospital in Oakland.  They have vets who specialize in wildlife and they also work with the Lindsey Wildlife Museum. (510) 339-8600

Peninsula Humane Society in San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties - (650) 340-7022 x314 Burlingame office, (650) 494-7283 Palo Alto office, or (650) 329-2413 for Palo Alto Animal Services.

San Francisco Animal Care and Control - (415) 554-6364

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue(707) 526-WILD (9453)

If you need on-site rescue, Wild Rescue is a network of volunteers throughout the Bay Area who are trained in wildlife rescue. If they have volunteers available, they can go out and rescue birds and other wildlife in difficult situations. (866) WILD-911.

If you have an injured shorebird or water bird, International Bird Rescue in Fairfield handles these particular species. They specialize in oiled birds.  (707) 207-0380.

If you find an injured marine mammal such as a sea lion, call the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito. (415) 289-7325.