If the bird has an obvious injury, is bleeding, feels cold or looks sick, or the animal is attempting to move away but is falling over, this animal needs immediate help. Please review our Emergency Care information.
If the animal is not injured, review this information to further determine whether your wild animal needs assistance.
The most common injuries inflicted on birds are cat or dog attacks, hitting windows, hit by a car, and being removed from a nest by predators. Tree removal and storm damage can also displace birds. The most common reasons nests are abandoned are because the parents or young have been attacked. Nests can also be abandoned if one parent dies, if young are sick or the ill may be pushed out of the nest. Nests will be abandoned if they are moved from their original location. The last baby to leave a nest can be abandoned by parents who are busy feeding the ones already out of the nest. Baby birds who have just left the nest can easily find themselves in trouble because their flying and food finding skills take time to develop.
If you've found a baby bird, please know that most perching baby birds are fed insects by their parents, regardless of what they eat as an adult. Bird rehabilitators have a complicated bird formula that tries to imitate the nutrient value of insects. It is best to get the baby to a professional so this formula can be fed to the baby. You can offer birds lukewarm water dripped off the end of your finger onto the corner of the bird’s bill. If the bird is thirsty it will swallow, if not it will shake the water off. A baby bird leaves the nest about two weeks after hatching. It grows so rapidly that missed feedings can cause it to die overnight if it didn’t get enough to eat during the day. Birds eat dawn to dusk and rest at night. Getting the bird help as soon as possible increases the chances that the bird will grow to an adult and be able to take its place in the wild.
If you can walk up to a bird without it running or flying away, contact a wildlife rehabilitator, wildlife facility, or a wildlife veterinarian as soon as possible. Do not keep the animal at your home longer than necessary. Get the animal professional help as soon as possible.
The Animal Humane Society, Golden Valley location, provides care for all wild animals except skunks. We will provide phone advice for skunk situations. Please bring your wild animal directly to the Golden Valley location. If you need further advice or assistance you may call the Wildlife Exam at (763) 489-2223.