Bird Information

What to do with a found wildlife bird

  1. . Do not give any food or water to a nestling or a fledgling. Nothing! 
  2. Do not worry about human scent on the bird 
  3. Leave any fledgling alone to let the parents feed them.  
  4. Keep cats indoors! Cat saliva can be fatal to birds and small mammals. 

When assistance for birds is required

  1. Been in a cat’s mouth or brought in by a dog 
  2. No nest can be found (for nestlings) 
  3. Has an injury or sick 
  4. The baby is cold 
  5. If you are unwilling to relocate or reunite 
  6. If you have had the bird for more than 5 hours  

Wildlife Intake Form

Providing Us With the Information Concerning The Circumstances in Which You Found This Animal is Vitally Important to Both Providing Medical Care and Getting the Patient Released Back Into Its Proper Home and Environment

Young Baby Birds (Nestlings)

If a baby bird is on the ground and has no feathers or has visible bare skin between the feathers, warm the baby by gently holding it between your hands. It should feel warm to the touch. The parents will not abandon the bird because it has been touched by humans!

The baby bird may have fallen out of the nest, or the entire nest may have fallen from the tree or shrub. If birds are on the ground, look for a nest nearby. If the fallen nest is found on the ground, put the nest in a small plastic bowl-shaped container with several drainage holes punched in the bottom, place the baby bird(s) inside, and attach it to the nearest tree as high as you can reach.

If the nest is still in the tree, try to return the baby to the nest. If you can’t find the nest but know the parents are around you can try making a substitute nest. Punch several holes in the bottom of a margarine tub and put grass and leaves in the tub to create a nest. Place the baby in the makeshift nest (this will not work for a fledgling who will jump out immediately) and attach it to the tree as far up from the ground as possible but not exposed to direct sun and not exposed so that crows or hawks can see them…maybe under some foliage of a tree. If rain is in the forecast then once you see the parents are coming back then move the nest to a covered area or create something to keep the nest and baby waterproof. Watch from a distance to see if the parents return to feed the babies. You must be out of sight of the parents and watch constantly for 45 minutes. The parents will come and go within a few seconds, so you cannot look away.

To relocate a nest:
If a bird’s nest has been built in an unsuitable location and has to be moved (for example a boat that needs to be moved or a porch light) then move the nest two feet a day until you relocate to a better place. If there are only unhatched eggs, the parents may not find the nest. If baby birds are chirping, there is a much better chance it will be found by the parents. If the nest is in a hanging basket, you can just water your plant around the nest. The birds will be gone in a few weeks. If the nest is in a wreath on the door, try and use another door for a few weeks, or open and close the door gently when you use it.

Older baby birds (Fledglings)

If you find a baby bird that is fully feathered and hopping around on the ground, you have probably found a fledgling. LEAVE IT ALONE. Fledgling birds leave the nest a week or two before they are able to fly, and the parents are probably still caring for it. At this age, the parents only feed about every hour. If you want to watch to ensure the parents are coming to the baby, you will have to watch FROM A DISTANCE for 45 minutes to an hour. The parent comes and leaves very quickly, so you cannot look away. If the baby pooped while you had it, it IS being fed.

If the fledgling is in an unsafe place, like within a dog fence or in the street, you can move it a short distance or to the other side of the fence. You can place the youngster on a low shrub or tree branch and the parents should hear it and find it. If you find a fledgling hopping in the street, move it to nearby grass or a shrub.

If the fledgling appears to have been injured by a cat or dog, seek assistance from a wildlife rehabilitator. Any animal that has been in a cat’s mouth needs antibiotics, even if a puncture is not obvious.

Injured Adult Birds

Birds that have flown into windows will many times recover. Place the bird in a paper bag or in a box with some paper towels folded on the bottom of the box or bag. Make sure there are plenty of air holes in the box. Place in a QUIET place for 1-3 hours (sometimes longer). Take the box outside to check on the bird in case he can fly. Open the bag or box and if the bird doesn’t take off then try again in another hour. If you have found an injured adult bird put it in a box with folded paper towels on the bottom – follow the previous instructions and provide the bird with mealworms (available at a wild bird store or pet store) as well as wild bird seed. Some birds are seed-eaters and others are not, so this allows the bird to pick the best diet if you are not sure of the species. Also provide a small container of water that is heavy enough not to turn over and small enough to prevent the bird from drowning.