What To Do With Injured or Abandoned Birds

Injured/Sick Adult Raptors:
´Get a box and line it with a large towel or newspaper on the bottom.  Make air holes.
´Throw a towel over the raptor’s face and body
´Turn the box on its side next to the bird
´Using a broom or large stick, gently push the bird/towel combo into the box.
´Gently turn the box upright
´Seal the box. Place it in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach hospital staff
´Do not offer any food or water

Orphaned Baby Raptors:
´It is a federal offense to keep native wildlife as pets.
´Baby raptors will need immediate care from a licensed rehabilitator
´Get a box and line it with a large towel on the bottom. Make air holes
´Toss a light towel over the bird
´Pick up the baby raptor by the body and place it in the box
´Seal the box. Place the box in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach hospital staff.  Place a heating pad set to medium under the box
´Do not offer any food or water

Injured/Sick Adult Hummingbirds:

•Get a small box and line it with crumpled tissue on the bottom. Make air holes.
•Pick up the hummingbird by the body and place it in the box.
•Place it in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach hospital staff.
•Offer the hummingbird a sugar water mixture of one part sugar to four parts water.
•Use a straw as a pipet.  Dip the end of the straw into the sugar water solutions, then offer the straw to the hummingbird.
•The hummingbird will place its beak into the bottom of the straw and drink.  Let the hummingbird drink as much as it wants every hour until it is transferred to a licensed rehabilitator.
•Do not get any of the sugar water onto the hummingbird’s feathers, and remove all food/ water before transporting the bird.

 Orphaned Baby Hummingbirds:

•It is a federal offense to keep native wildlife as pets.
•Get a small box and line it with crumpled tissue on the bottom.  Make air holes.
•Pick up the baby hummingbirds and place them in the box.
•Place the box in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach hospital staff.  Place a heating pad set to medium under the box.
•Offer the baby hummingbirds a sugar water mixture of one part sugar to four parts water.
•Use a straw as a pipet. Dip the end of the straw into the sugar water solution, then offer the straw to the hummingbird.
•The hummingbird will place its beak into the bottom of the straw and drink.  Let the hummingbird drink as much as it wants every 30 minutes until it is transferred to a licensed rehabilitator.
•Do not get any of the sugar water onto the hummingbird’s feathers, and remove all food/water before transporting the bird.

Adult Songbirds:

•Get a small box and line it with crumpled tissue or a small towel on the bottom.  Make air holes.
•Pick up the songbird by the body and place it in the box.
•Seal the box. Place it in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach CWC staff.
•Do not offer any food or water.
 

Orphaned Baby Songbirds:

If you find a baby bird during the spring or summer months that is fully feathered, able to perch and grasp with its feet, and able to hop around, then it has likely fledged and will be fed by its parents on the ground. Fledgling birds are learning to fly from the ground up, and will flutter around and hide under bushes, while the parents watch and gather food. Leave the fledgling on the ground near where you found it originally.  It does not belong in a nest (nor will it stay in one) as it is their instinct to be on the ground. If you are unsure about the bird being a fledgling or notice an injury such as a wing droop or a wound, please contact CWC staff and follow the directions below.

If the bird runs around and is chick-like (covered with short fuzzy down) it may be a baby quail or killdeer. These birds nest on the ground, and the parents fly off when people come near. Leave the immediate area and watch to see if a parent will come back.

It is a federal offense to keep native wildlife as pets. Baby songbirds will need immediate care from a licensed rehabilitator.

The bird needs help and should be brought to California Wildlife Center if:

•The parents are known to be dead
•The bird is newly hatched and the nest and nest mates are out of reach
•It has an injury
•A pet or a child has brought it in from places unknown
•If someone has picked up a healthy baby bird or a nest-full of babies and has kept it for a day or two, they can still try returning it to the nest site. Please call CWC for instructions.
•Parent birds have home territories and, even if the nest and babies are gone, the parents remain there searching for their babies and will sometimes resume feeding them after an absence of one or two days.
 

What to do if the bird needs to be brought to CWC:

•Get a box and line it with crumpled paper on the bottom. Make air holes.
•Pickup the baby songbird by the body and place it in the box.
•Seal the box. Place the box in a quiet, dark location (for example, a bathroom) until you reach hospital staff. Place a heating pad set to medium under the box.
•Do not offer any food or water.