Birds need your help

Where to find injured birds.

If you see an injured bird, there are many different things to do:

  • Bring it indoors and put in a box with airholes that’s lined with newspaper. You can put some shredded paper in the bottom of the box for added comfort.
  • If the bird needs water, dampen its feathers or offer a bowl of shallow water for it to drink from on its own.
  • Don’t touch it too much because any further stressors could worsen its condition and compromise its recovery!

Report it to the proper authorities.

On the other hand, if you encounter an injured wild bird, it’s important to know what to do next. Remember to not just assume that someone else will or has reported the bird. Here’s a checklist of actions to take:

  • Find out whether or not the bird can fly and report it accordingly. If it can fly, leave it be and report it as a sighting rather than an injured bird. If it cannot, call your local Audubon Society for guidance on where to take the animal for treatment.
  • If you’re in North America, log on to to find contact information for your local wildlife rehabilitation facility and then reach out there directly. You’ll want to make sure the people you are contacting are licensed rehabilitators who are trained in taking care of wild animals safely and humanely.
  • The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) is also a useful resource when looking for veterinary clinics that treat non-domestic animals near you (note that this only applies if you live in North America).
  • When reporting an injured bird, try to give as much information as possible about its condition: did you hear a gunshot? Did a cat attack it? Are there any noticeable injuries? Your answers will help them determine how critical their situation is and how quickly they need assistance.

Transport it to a vet.

Another option is to take the bird to a veterinarian. The most important part here is making sure you are going to a veterinarian that specializes in birds. Generalists—while great for cats and dogs—tend not to be able to do much for your new feathered friend, who may need fluids, oxygen, antibiotics, surgery or just rehabilitation.

Bird rescue organizations may have relationships with local veterinarians, if this is the case make sure you ask your rescue organization first before taking your bird in so they don’t end up double-paying for medical bills.

Once at the vet make sure whoever comes out immediately knows that the bird has been hurt so they can focus on it quickly rather than needing to triage the situation.

Transport it to a rescue.

If you have managed to get the bird safely into a container and it’s not hurt, here are your next steps:

  • Make sure the bird is warm. Birds come equipped with feathers that insulate them from the cold, but if it looks injured or is in shock then make sure to keep it warm. You can use a heating pad on low or wrap it in warm towels. The last thing we want is for your new friend to go into hypothermia.
  • Transport it safely! If you have a car handy, put the container securely on the passenger seat of your car and then place some towels over top of the container so they can’t escape. If you don’t have a vehicle, make sure that when you take public transport that you put a towel over top of their container so they still feel safe and secure (bonus points if these are turtle-covered).
  • Find a rescue centre near you! The quickest way to do this is by searching for local wildlife rescues online or checking out maps like this one from Wildlife Rescue Association BC. You can also check with local vets or pet stores too as some may be able to help as well. But what if there isn’t one nearby? Well, how about…

Give money. Volunteers need supplies!

Don’t have money to give? Don’t worry! Bird rescues need volunteers, food, water and supplies. You can help by giving any of the following:

  • money to the rescue
  • food and water to the rescue
  • supplies to the rescue
  • supplies to the vet
  • supplies to the foster care
  • supplies to the rehab center
  • money to the vet
  • money to the foster care

Take an online course on bird care or veterinary training. Your skills can actually improve the lives of birds in need!

Maybe you’re really busy. Maybe you don’t live in an area with a lot of bird rescues nearby. Maybe you want to learn about birds, but don’t necessarily know how to help them out yet. Whatever the reason, there are lots of online courses available for free or cheap that can teach you more about how to care for birds in need!

If you’re interested in learning more about injured birds and how to care for them, check out this free course from Cornell called “Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation.” It’s taught by Suzanne MacDonald, Ph.D., who actually teaches courses on Cornell’s main campus when she’s not out helping wildlife around the world.

If your goal is simply to learn more about handling birds, another good option is this course on Coursera that covers the basics of animal handling.

Volunteer your time at a rescue center with foster care and rehabilitation. This is a great opportunity to care for animals, but also an opportunity to learn as well!

Volunteering your time is a great way to help out, and it’s also a great way to learn! If you are interested in learning more about birds, this is an excellent way to do so. There is quite a bit of work that goes into taking care of birds, especially when they first come into the center. They will often be scared and not sure what’s going on, and its our job as volunteers to try and comfort them. One thing we like to do is talk to them in low tones or sing songs quietly. We also have birdhouses that they can hide in if they feel scared (which they usually do). We also provide food for them since they are probably hungry when they arrive at the center.

There are many ways volunteers can help with the rescue center, but one of our favorite ways is helping with foster care! This allows us to get up close and personal with the birds when we aren’t able to at our regular jobs or schoolwork that needs attention. Fostering helps keep our costs down so we can focus more resources elsewhere for when we need it most – like rescuing more birds!

Adopt an injured animal into your home, then take them to a vet when they are healed up and ready for adoption!

If you are in a position of financial stability, you may want to adopt the injured bird yourself and take it to the vet. There’s no better way to help birds than actually adopting them yourself and giving them a home!

If you can’t adopt, however, there are still many ways that you can help birds. Even if all of your money is poured into your own family, there are always other ways that you can help out bird rescues: by donating money or supplies (like blankets), working at a shelter, or even just volunteering your time.

If everyone pitches in and takes part in trying to save a life (bird lives matter too), we will be able to get through this together.

There are many ways you can contribute to helping these birds get healthy again. From donating money or supplies, to volunteering your time, there really is something for everyone!

There are many ways you can contribute to helping these birds get healthy again. From donating money or supplies, to volunteering your time, there really is something for everyone!

As with most nonprofits and charitable organizations, monetary donations are always helpful. These funds allow for the upkeep of the facilities and tend to the needs of these animals being rehabilitated. If you don’t have any extra money to spare, don’t worry! There are plenty of in-kind donations that you can make as well! For example, birdseed and food is needed year round by all of these groups. Other items such as cages, toys for enrichment activities, vet records from prior pets (for those who want to foster), and even office supplies will come in handy.

Volunteers at most of these sanctuaries perform a number of roles daily. Some jobs include cleaning up after the animals, preparing food/feeding them each mealtime, performing medical procedures on them (cleaning wounds, bandaging injuries etc), engaging with them during playtime/enrichment activities which helps stimulate their minds while they heal up (and also makes it easier once they are returned to the wild because they aren’t accustomed to humans anymore)

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