Wild animals need professional care when they are sick or injured. Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators are people who dedicate their time and energy to healing sick wildlife and raising orphaned youngsters with the goal of returning them to their natural home. They are licensed by state and federal agencies.
Remember! All wild birds are protected by law.
Government Banding Lab
If you find a bird with a band you can submit an electronic report or you may call toll-free to 1-800-327-BAND (2263) from anywhere in Canada, the United States and most parts of the Caribbean. The operator will need to know the band number, how, when and where the bird or band was found.
BIRD RESCUE AND TRANSPORT INFORMATION:
Rescue an animal only if:
- the parents are known to be dead and the animal is too young to survive on its own
- the animal has been injured
- the animal is in immediate or obvious danger
- bird is found with a cat
Transporting Injured Birds:
- Place box or paper bag in a quiet, temperate area and transport to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.
- Provide a quiet, dark place for birds to rest while waiting for transport.
- DO NOT HANDLE THE BIRDS, OR LOOK AT THEM ANY MORE THAN IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. STRESS KILLS!
- Attempting to feed is NOT recommended. It is usually best to provide water only.
- Never transport a bird held in a person's lap or loose in the vehicle. The bird could get loose and cause an accident.
- Speak quietly, do not play the radio in your car.
(left-outdoor flight enclosure, right- ICU indoor inclosures)
Handling Injured Adult Birds
Any wild animal including birds, when scared, will try to protect itself no matter how big or small. When you approach a wild bird they do not understand that you are trying to help. Unlike baby birds that will gape for food from anyone, adult birds are very frightened of people!
Cats carry a bacteria (Pasteurella multocida) in their saliva that is very toxic to birds and can cause death within 48 hours. Any bird found with a cat should be examined by a Wildlife Rehabilitator immediately.
- Prepare a box (before capturing the bird if possible) by placing ventilation holes in the top of the box and placing a towel or paper towels on the bottom of the box for traction. The box should be large enough for them to stand in but small enough to keep them from flapping or flying around.
- Gently pick up the bird with an appropriately sized towel. Place a towel or sheet over the bird. Pick up the bird, covering and all, and place in the box. Gently try to remove the covering, leaving the bird in the box. If the bird is firmly attached to the towel or sheet try to at least uncover the bird's head.
- Use gloves (such as welders gloves) in addition to the sheet or towel and wear eye protection when handling loons, herons and other birds with long necks and large pointed beaks. These birds should be approached with great caution. They will strike at your face with great accuracy!
- Place the bird in the box and put the box in a quiet room, away from extreme temperatures.
- Take the bird to a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible following the transport instructions above.
Injured owl or hawk adults:
- Approach raptors with great caution. Most injured raptors will use their strong feet & talons as their main protection but will also bite.
- Use of gloves (such as welders gloves) in addition to a sheet or towel is recommended.
- Place a towel or sheet over the raptor allowing them to grasp it with their feet.
- Pick up the bird, covering and all, and place in the box.
- Gently try to remove the covering, leaving the bird in the box. If the bird is firmly attached to the towel or sheet try to at least uncover the bird's head.
- Transport the raptor to a wildlife rehabilitator as described above.