In an emergency, you can help an injured, sick or orphaned wild bird by following these basic guidelines:
How to Tell if a Bird Should be Rescued:
- If the bird is injured, appears sick, lethargic, unable to move, inactive, or weak.
- If the bird has more “fluff” than feathers (has some skin showing).
- If the bird does not run away or attempt to fly away from you upon approach. Do NOT chase the bird around. If you can’t safely capture it, call us at (916)542-BIRD (2473)
- If the bird is in an unsafe location where the threat of injury or death to the bird may occur.
- If the bird is being directly threatened due to human disturbance.
- If the bird has been caught by a cat or dog, even if it seems ok (cat and dog saliva is deadly and there could be a tiny puncture you can’t see).
How to Rescue a Bird Needing Help:
- Get a pet carrier or a box with adequate air holes, and line the bottom with a clean towel or tshirt.
- Toss a towel over the bird, then carefully pick up the bird, keeping it away from your face.
- Place bird in pet carrier or box ASAP (be sure to close the top of the box). Put a towel over the top of the carrier to keep stress low (stress can kill!)
- Keep the bird warm, dark, and quiet indoors away from children, pets, and loud noises.
- DO NOT OFFER ANY FOOD OR WATER as this could injure or even kill the bird.
- Take the bird to one of the facilities listed on our Community Partners page. If bird is very small or is injured it is critical that the bird be taken in ASAP! Very small birds MUST be kept warm – a heating pad set to Low under the box (or you can use a heated rice sock or hot water bottle – place a towel between so bird isn’t burned).
We welcome you to train with us to learn how to be a bird rescue volunteer!
If you have any questions, or are unsure if the animal needs help, call us at (916) 542-BIRD