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What to Do When a Bird is Injured: 8 Basic Tips to Follow

Birds are an important part of the natural world, providing beauty, joy, and ecological services such as pollination and insect control. Unfortunately, birds can become injured or sick, either through natural causes or as a result of human activities such as window collision victims with cars or buildings, electrocution, or entanglement in fishing lines or other debris. What to do if a bird is hurt will be covered in this article.

What to do when a bird is injured
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1. What to Do When A Bird Is Injured?

Only if can be caught can a hurt bird be helped. It is quite difficult to trap a bird with a leg injury or other minor damage because it can frequently fly away, regardless of whether it would benefit from treatment

what to do when a bird is injured
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1.1.  Assess the Situation

When you come across a damaged bird, the first thing you should do is assess the situation. Check to see if the bird is genuinely hurt or just startled. After striking a window or other item, a bird may appear hurt, but they swiftly recover completely. To check for wounds, look for blood, damaged wings, or missing feathers. Think about the bird’s location as well. Is there an active street or parking lot nearby? If so, you might need to relocate it to a more secure area.

What to do when a bird is injured
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1.2. When Approaching the Bird, Exercise Caution

Approach the bird calmly and slowly, letting it know you are there with a soft voice. Birds are easily frightened and stressed, so it’s important to be nice and patient with them. Use a towel or other soft material to gently pick up the bird. 

1.3.  Maintain the Bird’s Peace and Comfort

Once in your custody, the bird must be kept warm and calm. Put the bird inside a tiny box or carrier lined with soft material. To keep out light and noise, cover the box with a cloth.  If possible, keep the bird away from pets and other distractions in a warm, quiet space.

1.4. Make Contact with A Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility

The best course of action if you find an injured bird is to immediately contact the nearest wildlife rehabilitation centre. The trained personnel at these establishments can give injured birds the care and attention they need.  They will also be able to assess the best course of action for the bird’s recuperation, whether it entails surgery, medication, or other treatments. What to do when a bird is injured.

What to do when a bird is injured
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1.5. A Supply of Food and Water

If you can’t get the bird to a wildlife rehabilitation facility right away, you can give it food and water. However, you should only do this if you are certain that the bird can feed and drink on its own.

In addition to giving the birds food like little pieces of fruit or insects, offer it in a shallow water dish or saucer. Never attempt to force feed or water the bird. Take the bird outside and check to see if it can fly away every fifteen minutes by opening the box. After a few hours, if it is still there, you can try to locate a nearby wildlife rehabilitator. What to do when a bird is injured

1.6. Do Not Attempt to Treat the Bird Yourself

While it may be tempting to treat the bird yourself, it’s important to remember that birds are delicate creatures with specific dietary and environmental needs. Attempting to treat the bird yourself can cause more harm than good, and may even be illegal depending on the species of bird. Always seek the assistance of a professional wildlife rehabilitation centre.

1.7. Prevent Future Injuries

Finally, it’s important to take steps to prevent future injuries to birds. This can involve simple measures such as closing blinds or curtains to prevent bird-window collisions, or properly disposing of fishing lines and other debris. By taking steps to protect birds and their habitats, we can help ensure their survival for generations to come. What to do when a bird is injured.

1.8. Transport the Bird

When capturing an injured bird for transport to a wildlife rehabilitator, it is important to Handle The bird gently but firmly. Do not pick up a bird by its wings, feet or head; instead, hold it firmly by the body. Once captured try not to handle the bird unnecessarily but instead keep the conversation around it calm and quiet.

2. Cardboard Box for An Impaired Bird

If you need to create a cardboard box for an impaired bird, you can follow these steps:

1. Find a sturdy cardboard box that has a top

2. Put a cloth (not a terry cloth) inside on the bottom.

3. Make a “nest” by crumpling up additional clothes and placing them around the sides of the box.

4. Cut small air holes in the sides of the box.

3. How to Determine if A Bird Is Injured or Orphaned

To determine if a bird is injured or orphaned, look for signs of injury such as bleeding, head tips, or broken wings. If the bird appears to be sick or injured, contact a wildlife rehabilitator. If you find an orphaned bird that is not injured, observe it from a distance to see if its parents are nearby and still caring for it. If the parents are present and caring for the bird, leave it alone. If the parents are absent or the bird is in danger, contact a wildlife rehabilitator.

What to do when a bird is injured
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4. How to Safely Transport an Injured Bird

To safely transport an injured bird, the first step is to contain it in a cardboard box that is large enough for the bird to move around without being tightly confined. Air holes should be punched in the sides of the box, and a towel or old carpet should be placed on the bottom to prevent slipping during transportation.

5. How Long Should You Wait Before Checking on An Injured Bird

If you find an injured bird, there are several things you should avoid doing. Firstly, do not try to force feed or give water to the bird. Secondly, do not attempt to give the bird food or water. Thirdly, do not talk to the bird as you walk towards it because wild birds are frightened of humans and will try to escape. Fourthly, do not use a wire cage to contain the injured bird because it may injure itself further.

6. How to Treat Injured Birds at Home?

The first thing to do if you come across an injured bird is to carefully place it in a cardboard box with an air hole lid or paper towels on top, then place it in a cool, secure location. When damaged, birds easily experience shock and frequently pass away as a result. Use gloves and exercise caution when handling the injured bird to avoid spreading any illness or germs to yourself.

7. What Are Some Typical Reasons for Backyard Bird Injuries?

  Backyard bird injuries frequently result from:

Windows, which birds may fly into and injure themselves

Predators such as cats or other animals that can attack birds

• Traps  such as snap traps or glue traps that can harm or kill birds

Infections and wounds caused by accidents or fights with other birds

• Diseases such as avian pox can affect multiple species of birds.

8. How to Prevent Bird Injuries in Your Backyard?

By placing bird feeders out of cats’ reach and using baffles to keep squirrels and other animals away from bird feeders, you can prevent birds in your backyard from becoming hurt due to collisions with windows and predators like cats.

9. Why Not Provide a Hurt Bird with Food or Water?

Giving food or water to an injured bird is advised against because it might not be able to swallow correctly as a result of the injury, which could result in more damage. Improper food or water can also be detrimental to the health of the bird. It is essential to get in touch with a certified wildlife rehabilitator who can offer the bird the proper care and treatment for its unique needs.

10. How to Handle a Bird with A Broken Wing?

Handling a Bird With A Broken Wing Cautiously Is Essential to Preventing Further Damage. Identifying a Bird’s domestication or wildness is the first step. If you think the bird can be saved, wrap it in a fresh piece of fabric and put it in a box. The bird will feel secure and be more protected if its broken wing is wrapped. Don’t press the wing into the bird’s body; it should be against the bird’s body in a natural position.

What to do when a bird is injured
By: picture guy/ unlimphotos. Copyright March 23, 2023

11. How to Clean Wounds on The Birds?

If you see any blood or wounds on the bird, carefully clean them with warm salt water. It’s crucial to handle injured birds carefully if you notice cuts or wounds. Warm salt water can be used to clean cuts and other wounds. In addition, you can place some newspaper in the box’s bottom and a hot water bottle wrapped in cloth and filled with hot water from the faucet close to the bird.

12. How Can You Tell if An Adult Songbird Needs Help?

If you find an adult songbird that needs help, there are several signs to look for. Signs such as head tilt, bleeding, one wing hanging differently than the other (might be broken), or immobility indicate that the bird needs help and should be taken to a wildlife centre. Fledglings can be easily mistaken for injured adults.

One way to tell if a bird is a fledgling is if it has a short tail. Other signs of injury or illness include open wounds under the wings, closed, squinted, crusty, weepy, swollen or bleeding eyes, fluffed up feathers indicating he is trying to stay warm and dangling leg. If you find an injured bird with any of these symptoms, you can contact a wildlife centre for assistance.

13. What to Do if You Cannot Find a Wildlife Rehabilitator Nearby?

If you cannot find a wildlife rehabilitator nearby, there are several things you can do. You can try contacting the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council or your local Game and Parks Commission Conservation Officer to locate a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

You can also consult the List of NJ Wildlife Rehabilitators or visit the website of the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council to find a wildlife rehabilitator near you. In an emergency, it is important to keep the animal in a warm, quiet place until you can get help.

14. How to Find Local Wildlife Rehabilitator?

You can get in touch with your state’s Game and Parks Commission Conservation Officer or Department of Conservation Regional Office to discover a local wildlife rehabilitator. You can get a list of authorized wildlife rehabilitators in your area from these organizations. You can also locate licensed wildlife rehabilitators in your city and state. What to do when a bird is injured.

In conclusion, encountering an injured bird can be a stressful experience, but there are steps you can take to help the bird and increase its chances of survival. Assess the situation, approach the bird carefully, keep it warm and quiet, contact a wildlife rehabilitation centre, provide food and water if necessary, and do not attempt to treat the bird yourself. By taking these steps and preventing future injuries.

 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1.  What Is the Goal of Wildlife Rehabilitation?

The process of caring for sick, injured, orphaned, or injured wild animals to allow them to be released back into their natural habitat is known as wildlife rehabilitation. The primary objective of wildlife rehabilitation is to give sick, hurt, or orphaned wild animals professional care. To get the animals back into their natural habitat, wildlife rehabilitators take care of orphaned or injured wildlife.

2. Managing and Caring

Here are some things to consider as you prepare to catch, handle, and care for the bird while you seek professional guidance if you have decided to step in. Watch out!

Birds are usually better at ease when their feet are supported and their wings are close to their bodies. Think about the bird’s size before attempting to handle it. What to do when a bird is injured.

Small birds: May be safely held in one hand by placing the hand over the bird with the head resting between your fore and middle fingers and allowing the remaining fingers naturally wrap around the wings.

Medium birds: Use two hands, one on each wing of medium birds.

Larger birds: Calling a professional rescuer is advised because larger birds can cause some damage.

3.  What Type of Carrier Is Best for Transporting a Bird?

The type of carrier that is best for transporting a bird depends on the size and species of the bird for transport the bird Easily. For parrots with longer tails, such as Indian Ring necks, a travel carrier with a movable perch that can be moved into two different positions is recommended to ensure their tail doesn’t touch the bottom of the carrier.

For small birds, VIVOHOME 19 Inch Acrylic Bird Travel Carrier Cage is recommended. For medium-to-large-sized birds, Prevue Pet Carrier Products Soft Sided Bird Travel Carrier is an excellent traveling cage with side doors for easy access and a foldable design for storage purposes. 



Pooja Thakur

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