Handling and Transporting Injured Birds

The first thing to consider when capturing an injured bird is that the animal does not realize you are trying to help. You are viewed as a predator. They will always try to flee and/or strike back. Secondly, the capture, restraint and transfer is an additional stress on an already compromised system. Be as gentle and quiet as possible.When traveling with injured birds or baby birds please keep the radio off and be very quiet in the car.

Injured Song Birds
Do not pick the bird up with your bare hands. Even songbirds can have a nasty bite and many may be infected with parasites. Capture by draping light towel over the bird and using gloves to place it in a small box or paper bag. Avoid peering in at the bird. This will only induce panic. Do not give food or water unless advised by rehabilitator.

Injured Raptors
If the bird shows signs of being injured, use great caution in approaching the bird. Raptors have sharp, powerful talons and strong beaks. Locate a heavy blanket or towel and heavy gloves. Raptors that are non-flighted will roll onto their backs when cornered. Throw the blanket onto the bird and it will grab it with its feet. Cover its head to calm it down. Slide the bird into a heavy cardboard box or container using a broom or towel. Try to avoid touching the bird. If you cannot take it directly to a rehabilitation facility, keep it in a dark quiet place until transfer.

Injured Waterbirds
These birds will use their beaks to stab at their intruders. Great care needs to be taken when approaching any of these fish eating birds and it is best to call a rehabber for assistance.