Injured Wild Birds

What should you do if you find an injured wild bird?

  • You can try a vet local to you, some will take birds in, some will not
  • You can see if you can find a Bird Rehabilitation Centre near you.
    Google may help – type in injured bird or wildlife rescue or wildlife rehabilitation and type in your county or nearest large town.  Please bear in mind that you will probably have to take the bird over there as few place can collect.

If you have found a bird at night or the weekend and can’t find any help until the morning the absolute best thing to do is place it in a safe dark cardboard box with a towel on the floor of the box, and put it in a warm quiet place until the morning when you may have more luck with contacting people.

If you need to call us we should be able to give you more specific advice about a bird of prey that you might find.  You can call 01531 820286 or 821581.  If you can take a picture and email us – info@icbp.org then all the better.  Please be aware that we are birds of prey specialists, and do not take in other wild birds – it would not be fair to house birds that are essentially food for our residents!

Please note that we are unable to collect injured birds.

Useful information when dealing with an injured bird

  • The first thing to remember is that if a bird is sitting looking very tame and allowing you to approach – it is almost undoubtedly sick or injured – healthy wild birds don’t hang around.
  • You also have to remember that any injured bird will be terrified and stressed, and a bird of prey can hurt you if you are not careful.
  • If possible wear a pair of gloves to pick up a bird; however the chances of you having a good strong pair to hand are slim. So you can use a towel or even your coat, walk up slowly and cover the bird from the front with the material, then pick up from the top and try to fold the wings up to the body.
  • Avoid the feet, hold the legs, but not in a murderous grip – just firmly ideally you should have one finger between the legs, but that takes experience.
  • If you can find one, put the bird, still in the towel, into a cardboard box, preferably one larger than the bird, but not huge. And make some ventilation holes in the side before putting the bird inside.
  • If you are near home put the box in a warm, dark, quiet place away from children and pets until you can get specialist help.
  • Do not disturb the bird once placed inside the box. Stress is the biggest killer of all so the less disturbance the better.
  • Don’t feed the bird or give it water, this can kill them if given the wrong food, or the wrong amount, particularly if they are very emaciated.
  • It is best to bring it to us, or a local rehabilitator as soon as possible. Or you can phone a local veterinary surgery and see if they are prepared to accept the bird.
  • Picking up an injured bird and getting it to us, or someone who is experienced can mean the difference between life and death, so it really is worthwhile doing if you can help. However bear in mind that once you do pick up an injured animal of any kind you take on the responsibility of making sure that it is dealt with and that may mean driving it to someone who can care for it.  Although we will happily take in injured wild birds of prey, we do not have the time, staff or funds to go out and collect them.

Thank you for your support and for helping us save birds of prey!