This Is What You Should Do if You Find an Injured Bird
by Matthew Gilligan
We all want to help animals that are hurt, but the majority of us don’t have any idea what to do…but that’s gonna change today, because this article lays out what you should and shouldn’t do if you find an injured bird that smacked headfirst into your window or that you encounter on the street or in the woods.
If you see a bird that appears to be hurt, the first thing to do is to observe it for a few hours by checking back in on it to see if it’s really injured or might be a baby that is trying to learn how to fly.
The fine folks at Mass Audubon say, “If it can walk, hop, and flap its wings, or if adult birds are nearby, leave the bird alone. The parents will continue to care for it.”
Keep in mind that some birds stay in one place for a long time looking for prey. If you’re concerned that a bird is hurt, walk towards it, and if it doesn’t fly away when you’re within 10 feet or less, chances are that something is wrong.
If you’ve determined that a bird is hurt, the best thing to do is to call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. They’ll let you know what to do and if they think they need to get involved. The Mass Audubon people say that if you can’t get ahold of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, put the bird somewhere comfortable so nature can take its course.
And if there are predators around, you can take the bird in, put it someplace quiet and dark in a ventilated box and you can put a small bowl of water and bird seed in the box, too, and take it to a vet’s office.
If the bird you took in passes away or you find a bird that has passed, research if there are disease outbreaks that have occurred in your area and get in touch with your local health department or the National Wildlife Health Center for advice about what to do.
One last thing: if a bird hits your window, the best thing you can do is make sure no other predators get to it while it is incapacitated by placing it in a ventilated box. The bird should improve and be fine, but if it’s not you can get in touch with a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
And remember, if you handle a bird in any way, wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly when you’re done.