Thursday, March 25, 2010

injured bird - what to do

(In lieu of TMI Thursday, today's post is dedicated to the topic of bird rescue and contains info condensed from several older posts.)
Because it's springtime and birds are gearing up for nesting, they're less cautious then usual and will sometimes fly into traffic in a mating chase. Please be especially watchful when driving. If you do find an injured bird, don't handle it directly with your hands but use paper towels or some other barrier. (Not what I'm doing here with my bare hands... do as I say, not as I do! lol. I did once handle a bird that was full of mites, that's why it's a good idea to protect yourself.)

"For some reason, this little bird couldn't fly. I grabbed it and rushed it to a wildlife rehabber. Here it is, cupped gently in my hands. Poor thing was terrified. Best thing to do for injured birds is to keep them covered so it can't see (if holding it, cover the face or else drape a cloth over its container), otherwise stress worsens their condition. The rehabber told us we could hold a q-tip near the bird's beak and let some drops of water fall so the bird could take them if it wanted. She also said traditional wisdom for wildlife rehab is not to do anything for the first 24 hours because animals are in shock and need time to calm down."

Links to wildlife rehabilitators:
U.S wildlife rehabilitators
(searchable by state)
Maryland wildlife rehabilitators:
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
1-877-463-6497 or 410-260-8940
*24 hour line that provides names and numbers of licensed wildlife rehabilitators

Maryland Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
(Directory of people who are certified in animal rescue -- sometimes you can bring an animal or bird directly to someone's house instead of a facility.)

Davidsonville Wildlife Sanctuary
Davidsonville, MD

Second Chance Wildlife Center
Gaithersburg, MD

In some counties, you can call Animal Control and they will pick up the injured animal and transport it to a rehabber for you. (I did this last year with another bird -- Prince George's County Animal Control sent out a van to get the bird and bring it to a certified wildlife animal rehabilitation facility.)
It is polite to offer a donation to help with the burden of expenses.
Sometimes the injuries are too great and there is no hope for rescue. I've swerved off the road more than once after seeing a hit to find the poor bird already gone. In those cases, it made me feel better to donate a small sum to a bird-centric organization in the hope that honoring a small creature's life will help another:
It is a myth that touching a baby bird will cause its mother to reject it. If you see a nestling, search for a nearby nest and place it back if you can. More advice on rescuing nestlings -->.

Lastly, here is an excellent resource from the Maryland Ornithological Society on resources for saving birds in Maryland:


carissajaded said...

Dude you rock for sharing this! I always find birds and have no idea what to do with them. Heart!

Soda and Candy said...

Oh I didn't know that about the touching being a myth, that is important! If you are just walking around and see one and have nothing to cover your hands with you might be too scared otherwise!

I wonder if birds will nest in our backyard again this spring.

tony said...

Great post, I'm always afraid to touch them for fear the mother will abandon them.

Mirella McCracken said...

By the way you have beautiful hands, you should be a hand model:)

spleeness said...

Dear Mirella, will you marry me? Oh oops. You're already married. And both of us is hetero. Damn. You're the perfect one for me though! love you so much!

mirellamccracken said...

LOL LOL, I will marry you:) maybe in my next life:)
I love you too:)

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