Fall Migration: How to Save an Injured Bird
It's possible, especially during the fall or spring migration, to come upon a small (or large) bird that seems a bit off. Maybe it holds one wing slightly askew, or is hopping on grass but never gets that far away from you, a scary human.
If you find a bird that doesn't fly away and is clearly injured in some way, the Audubon Society advises that you carefully place it in a cardboard box covered with a lid or a towel. This is to give the bird a little time and space and quiet.
It's possible that the bird hit a window or otherwise hurt itself. Because birds go into shock easily and often die from this, you're helping out by giving it cool-down time, notes the website for Audubon New York.
Don't try to feed or give water to the bird. If it is alive after a few hours, you'll want to try to find a local wildlife rehabilitator. You can find one with a web search. Each state has an association for wildlife rehabilitators, and they will be listed there.
You will also want to check to see whether the bird is a fledgling. It may have a little down, and a short tail and short wing feathers. These have weak flight muscles and are sometimes fed by parents for a few days outside the nest. If the bird has fallen out of the nest or a similar situation, you can find a rehabber through the following chart.
Information on the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association website can also help you determine the proper course of action regarding fledglings.
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