Birds or Nestlings
Baby birds or nestlings have few feathers, get cold fast, and must eat
every 20 minutes to stay alive.
If you find a baby bird, get the baby warm. Wrap it in a
tissue, but loosely so it can breathe. Check for wounds, broken bones,
blood or bruises. A bird taken from a cat is likely to be injured,
even if it isn't bleeding. If the bird is alert, warm or gaping for
food, it is likely not injured.
Second: Return an uninjured bird to the
nest if you can see one. The mother will not reject the baby, nor
smell a human scent. This is a myth. Birds do not have a keen sense of
smell and the best place for that baby is back in its nest. Keep an
eye out for nearby cats.
Third: If you can't find a nest or the
mother, the baby is an orphan. Put the baby in a small box with air
holes and take it to the nearest wildlife care center.
A baby that is bloody, bruised,
cold or not gaping for food is most likely injured. Do not try to feed
the baby. It is easy for them to aspirate (choke) on the food or water
that you are giving them. Put the baby in a small box with air holes
and bring the bird to the nearest wildlife rehabilitation center.
Juvenile Birds or Fledglings
Juvenile birds or fledglings are usually fully feathered or have tufts
of down. They are active and appear able to fly, but can't get enough
vertical height to avoid predators or return to their home.
First: If you find a fledgling, the nest
is probably nearby. If the bird is alert, mobile, hard to catch and
has no apparent injuries, look for the nest and put it back. If there
isn't a nest within reach or you can't see one, fashion a makeshift
nest out of a small margarine tub and a crumpled paper towel. Secure
it in a nearby tree or high bush; the parents will come back after all
threats (you, children, pets) are gone. Monitor the nest to verify
that the parents are again feeding the bird.
Second: If there are no signs of the
parents, keep the fledgling in a box (remember the air holes!) and
bring it immediately to a wildlife rehabilitation center.
For injured seabirds (pelicans, seagulls, or cormorants) or waterfowl
(herons, egrets, or grebes), please flag down a lifeguard, alert the
Harbor Patrol, or call the Wildlife Center. These birds are difficult
to capture and can be dangerous. If you choose to take responsibility
for the bird, throw a large sheet or a box over the creature. If
possible, wear gloves and goggles when handling a wild animal.
Consider how you will transport a large, struggling animal.
times, a severely injured or starving creature will quietly allow you
to pick it up and carry it to safety, but rescuing large wildlife adds
an element of danger. If you should discover an injured or orphaned
mammal, such as a raccoon, squirrel, opossum or coyote, please call
your local police or animal control office for pickup, or bring it to
the Wildlife Center for treatment. Be careful. These animals carry
disease, and will give you a nasty bite as a reward for your rescue
efforts. For injured mammals, we recommend that you flag down a park
ranger, alert law enforcement, or call the Wildlife Center. If you
choose to take responsibility for the animal, throw a large sheet or a
box over the creature. If possible, wear gloves and goggles when
handling a wild animal. Consider how you will transport a struggling
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