Songbird Bird Rescue! A Guide for Beginners

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bird rescue

Are you interested in bird rescue? Have you found an injured wild bird? As the migration season approaches, you’ll be witnessing various wild birds in the city, or maybe in your backyards. Since the birds require shelter and food, many people turn their backyards into a refuge by installing feeders, bird baths, and providing supplies for building nests, which is a great idea.

However, with the increasing number of winged travelers, you may find an injured or abandoned bird near your home. If you are encountered with a rescue, your role is crucial, and you will need to take the correct measures immediately.

Many times, although people mean well, they end up making wrong decisions due to the lack of experience with birds.

In this article, I will be sharing useful tips that can help you save wild birds.

 How to Rescue a Baby Bird Aka A Baby Songbird!

The first step to rescuing your wild bird involves you determining if the bird is a nestling or a fledgling. The next steps depend on the conclusion so you must evaluate carefully.

If you don’t have any experience with birds, this may be challenging for you to find out. If you aren’t too sure, you can call up the rehabilitators for help.

Bird Rescue—What Is A Nestling

A nestling is a baby that doesn’t have its flight feathers; their bodies are pear-shaped, either covered with down or completely naked.

Bird Rescue—What Is A Fledging?

A fledgling, on the other hand, will have feathers and seem to be able to fly. The movements may be awkward. A fledgling looks similar to the adults.

Orphaned Young Birds—What to do when you find a nestling

Once you are sure that the bird is a baby and needs to be in the nest, the next step is to identify if the bird is injured. If you find any signs of a wound, fracture or the bird seems cold, listless or dehydrated immediately take it to the rehabilitator.

In case the bird isn’t hurt, the best thing to do is to place it back in the nest. Look for a nest in the nearby trees, if you do find one then look at the babies inside the nest and see if they resemble the one you have found. If they appear similar, place the nestling back inside carefully.

When the hatchling is back in the nest, the parents will feed it. If the parents aren’t around, place the baby in the nest and keep an eye on it but make sure you aren’t visible to the parents as your presence may deter them from flying back. Once the adults return, they will feed the baby, and it will be fine.

Keep in mind that the hatchlings need to be fed multiple times in an hour so the parents should return quickly. If the adults don’t fly back, but the nestlings seem active, then let them stay in the nest.

However, if they aren’t sitting on the nest in the night-time, contact the wildlife rehabilitators. If the parents are inside the nest but refuse to feed the baby, or he falls back to the ground chances are they have abandoned it, and the nestling should be handed to the rehabilitators.

 An Orphaned Bird—What to do if you can’t find the nest?

If you are unable to find the nest, the chances are that a predator destroyed it or it may have fallen off the tree due to a storm.

Search the ground for other nestlings, afterward prepare a nest by taking a cardboard box and placing tissues or a t-shirt for padding.

Place the babies in the box and cover it up loosely with a towel to calm the birds. Place it in a quiet portion of the house and immediately get in touch with the local wildlife rehabilitation center.

How to Help a Fledgling?

A fledgling on the ground may seem in trouble, but usually, the adults keep an eye on them while they learn to fly.

If a healthy fledgling is sitting on the ground, there is no need to rescue it as the parents will care for it.

However, if there is anything around that may pose a threat to the fledgling it needs to be removed. It is also best to keep your pets inside the house as long as the fledgling doesn’t learn to fly.

Again keep monitoring the bird and wait for the adults to show up to feed it as the parents keep feeding the fledglings for a few weeks after they leave the nest. If the parents don’t return, it is best to take it to the rehabilitation center.

In any case, don’t relocate a healthy fledgling away from its original position due to any reason. If there is any danger involved, then remove the threat itself and not the bird. Don’t try to feed the birds anything in case of rescue and take it to the rehabilitator immediately.

How to help adult songbirds?

If you find a wounded bird, take it to the rehabilitation center immediately. You need to prepare a transportation box in the same way as for the babies.

Take a cardboard box or a food container; line it with paper towels or a t-shirt. Hold the bird by supporting its feet and body with one hand and the shoulders or wings by the other and place it in the box. Close the lid of the box and make sure the bird doesn’t have space to escape.

It’s important to remember that birds under stress should not be handled nor examined. Any additional stress will worsen the bird’s condition. Thus, it is highly recommended that you leave the clinical examination to the avian veterinarian and trained rehabilitators.

Birds of prey, aka predator wild bird species such as the Raptors and Herons can be quite dangerous.  If you encounter an Eastern screech owl, raptor, eagle, or any wild bird that falls under the “birds of prey” category. Then do not touch, do not attempt to capture it.

These wild birds have deadly talons and beaks, it is important to contact your local wildlife center or bird rescue center, as they will not only have the equipment to capture the bird. But, they will also have experience and knowledge on safe procedures.

A Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator Are Trained To Help Injured Birds And Wild Animals, So Trust Them!

These were the basic tips to help you out in case you are faced with a rescue. Please do keep in mind that if you ever find a wounded or abandoned bird, don’t ignore it and take the recommended actions quickly as time is crucial.

Wheather you find injured parrots, oiled birds, or aquatic birds. It is important to speak to your local wildlife rescue for more information.

You can help save a bird’s life by acting on time!

About the Author:

Danica Boyd is a bird enthusiast and nature lover. She has been keeping pet birds for several years and now has tons of practical experience in caring for birds. She writes for the team behind

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