How to Pick up a Bird
For injured or young songbirds, gently cradle the bird’s body as you lift it from the ground and transfer immediately to your prepared box.
For injured or young birds-of-prey or large waterbirds such as herons and egrets, remember that they can seriously injure you with their talons and/or beaks so be sure to wear protective clothing such as a long-sleeved jacket, goggles to protect your eyes and heavy gloves to protect your hands. The bird will be most easily caught by covering it with a towel and restraining the feet.
Follow these basic rules before and during transport:
- Keep the animal warm, 80-90 degrees.
- Don't feed it or give it fluids
- Keep the container in a quiet, dark space to minimize stress
- Stay quiet around it and don't constantly look at the bird.
- Get it to a rehabilitation hospital as quickly as possible.
- Never keep the animal or try to treat it yourself!
Remember, most species of birds are protected and therefore it is not legal to keep them unless you are licensed to do so. Beyond the legalities, these animals require specialized care and diets to grow up healthy and strong. It's important to turn them over to an experienced person as soon as possible.
What To Do First
What to do BEFORE picking up the bird
Specific Rescue Situations