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Found a sick or injured bird? What to do now

Found injured bird - What to do to help?

Have you found a weakened or injured bird and don't know what to do? Then you've come to the right place! Due to the many enemies and dangers, it is not uncommon for birds to injure themselves. An altercation with a cat, a territorial fight with a rival, flying into a window pane, falling out of the nest or getting tangled up in plastic waste can all cause birds a lot of trouble and ultimately endanger their lives.

In this article, I would like to briefly explain how you can recognize birds in need of help. You will also find out what you can do if you observe a bird that is behaving strangely or has a visible injury. Let's go!

  1. Observation
  2. First aid
  3. Bring where?
  4. Closing words

How can I recognize a bird that needs help?

Features of sick or injured birds

Have you found a bird that appears to be injured? Then the first thing to do is to Keep calm and observe the animal. Because sometimes it just looks as if the animals are in serious trouble - and then you shouldn't remove them from their environment and certainly not simply touch them. The latter even puts the animal under additional stress.

Here are some Featuresby which you can identify a bird that is actually in need of help:

  • Inability to fly
  • Absence of escape reflex
  • Closed, inflamed eyes
  • Parasites in plumage
  • Confused behavior
  • Supine position
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Bite injuries and wounds
  • Lame leg
  • Plastic around the beak
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Hanging wing

If a young bird has fallen out of a nest, it is often also unable to fly. Depending on the condition, danger level and distance from the nest, it is usually more sensible to leave it on site and continue to observe it, as the mother bird will most likely take care of it. Otherwise, if one of the above points applies, the wild bird in front of your eyes will most likely need your support or even medical help.

Tip: Incidentally, I have also written an article about this, what to do if you have a deer accident had. Feel free to find out more about this too!

Capture and provide first aid

Found injured bird? Capture and heal

Injured wild birds such as swallows, blackbirds, swifts, sparrows or blue tits have poor chances of survival due to their high metabolism, the small amount of blood in their bodies and the many predators. Have you found a bird that is definitely in need of help and is not visibly recovering even after a certain period of observation? Then you should do not hesitate any longer and bring him to safety.

It is best to take it very carefully with a towel/a sweater/blanket on and places it in a sufficiently large Cardboard box with air holes, some hay and kitchen paper. This makes it nice and soft and warm, allows it to rest and can also be transported if necessary. You can then hold some water out to him with a spoon and feed him small grains. Then observe his further behavior.

Important: When catching the bird, make sure that you do not squeeze it too tightly to avoid additional stress and breathing problems.

Injured bird found - what to do?

If a bird only has a slight concussion, for example because it has flown into a window pane, then it usually collects and recovers quickly. So if the animal has no obvious wounds, fractures or other clearly visible injuries, you should first still observe something and then feed it up.

Is your first aid not enough or are there immediately obvious injuries? Then you should consult a vet or a wild bird sanctuary. You can also use the telephone service of the relevant organizations to help you act correctly.

  • Veterinarian: Veterinary care in your area is always a quick and useful place to go if you find a sick or injured bird.
  • Wild Bird Station: Fortunately, there are also countless (often volunteer) species and animal conservationists who run care and rescue centers for birds. You can find an overview of the locations, for example, at NABU and at the Wild Bird Aid.
  • Telephone support: If you're not quite sure, you can also call a bird conservation organization first and ask for advice.

Tip: There are also Facebook groups for "wild bird help emergencies"! You can also share your specific case there and get quick advice to benefit from the experience of the members.

Don't look away when you find an injured bird

Release injured bird after healing

Whether large or small - stork, hawk, owl, chaffinch, robin or sparrow - don't look away if you find an injured bird. Observing, securing and helping or getting help are always the right steps to save the life of a wild bird.

I very much hope that I have been able to help you with this article. Do you have any questions, suggestions or further tips to help sick and injured birds? Then I look forward to your comment!

Stay animal-friendly,

Christoph from CareElite - Plastic-free living

PS: Is your own property already bird-friendly? Below Create a garden for birdsyou can find out how you can support the birdlife in your home and enjoy even more birdsong. Good luck with the implementation!

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* Links with asterisks are so-called Affiliate linksIf you click on it and buy something, you automatically and actively support my work with, as I receive a small share of the proceeds - and of course nothing changes in the product price. Many thanks for your support and best regards, Christoph!

Christoph Schulz

Christoph Schulz

I'm Christoph, an environmental scientist and author - and here at CareElite I'm campaigning against plastic waste in the environment, climate change and all the other major environmental problems of our time. Together with other environmentally conscious bloggers, I want to give you tips & tricks for a naturally healthy, sustainable life as well as your personal development.

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