It's springtime & lots of baby birds are leaving their nests. But, some birds don't make it on their first flight...rather they end up on the ground, injured and helpless. If you find one of these injured birds, you need to know what to do - and take action fast.

Background & Disclaimer: I am not a bird expert, but found a baby house sparrow recently, lying on the pavement on it's back. It fell from the second floor of my home, where it had a nest underneath my air conditioner. I love animals, and couldn't leave it there to die. I didn't take the proper steps though - so hopefully you will be able to avoid the stress and exhaustive work I ended up undergoing to keep the little baby alive! Please read the whole instructable because I witnessed some amazing things happen after this bird was injured - and I will share it all below.

First, get a shoebox or small container & fill it with some leaves and papertowel, napkins or thick toilet paper. Make sure you have a lid for the shoebox and cut some holes or slices into it for air. Approach the bird & if possible, pick it up with some of the tissue or paper towel. Look it over & see if it can move, walk or fly. If it can fly, obviously let it go. But, if it was lying there it is most likely injured in some way and needs care.

Here is the tricky part - if you call a local humane society or animal care organization they will tell you to try to put it back in its nest. You know what, if you know the bird is injured (and you will know this by the fact that it cannot fly) then do not put the bird back in its nest. I almost killed the bird I found by doing this. I put the bird back in its nest and checked on it an hour later and it was almost dead from being so cold. It then also tried to fly again by hopping and almost fell to its death a second time. Do not do this if it is injured!

*** Important Note *** Do not listen to those old tales people say about how if you touch a bird the mother will reject it. It is not true at all. And I needed to hold my baby bird to give it care and try to feed it. The parents did not reject it afterwards. Birds don't have a good sense of smell & they recognize their baby from it's chirps and cries. Also, be sure to either wear gloves or wash those hands really well after handling it.

The most important thing to do now, is to get the bird warmed up. You can see if the bird is suffering from being cold because its skin will have a purplish color to it, rather than it's normal pink. Even if you can't see if it's cold, make sure you have a heating pad underneath the shoe box or inside it. It needs to stay very warm to prevent pneumonia. If you see that the bird is breathing deeply or shaking, it is in shock. Keep it in a quiet and warm place.

Call a local wildlife rehabilitation center. There are locations in every state - so you will need to do a search online or call your local humane society or the Department of Natural Resources. If you can't locate one or must wait a while before dropping the bird off for care, you will need to tend to the baby bird to keep it alive until then.

My mistake was that I didn't get the bird into the rehab center the first day I found it. I didn't realize it had a broken wing and tried to reunite it with its family.

Feeding Tips if the Bird Family is Around:
  • If you need to buy some time before you can drop the bird off, then I recommend you first try to take the bird in the shoebox outside near where you found it. Make sure it is as warm as it can be with the unplugged heating pad next to it when you put it out there.
  • Then step aside and far away to observe. I did this, and within 30 seconds its father swooped down to it and jumped inside the shoebox. It then scampered around for seeds (I just put a bird feeder out thankfully) and it picked through them, grabbed one and fed it to the injured baby.
  • It did this numerous times. When it left, I then brought the baby bird back inside to warm it up. I did this about every half hour - as they are supposed to eat that often.
*If the family is gone and you need to feed the baby yourself, then get an eye dropper or medicine dropper. Here are some recommendations for feeding injured birds while waiting to get the bird to the care center - tips are from the Wild Bird Care Center Website:
  • Robins, Starlings and other insectivores:  tinned cat or dog food, preferably beef for robins;  small pieces of earthworm can also be offered on the end of a toothpick - or mushy cat food moistened with water
  • Sparrows and other seed eaters:  slowly scrambled eggs which can be moistened with water for babies;  budgie seed and wild bird seed can be offered to adults
  • Cedar waxwings: grapes, blueberries and other berries cut into small pieces
  • Hummingbirds: 4 parts water, 1 part sugar - boil water, dissolve sugar, cool to room temp - this nectar can then be offered at the tip of the beak with an eye-dropper
It's ok to give the bird a little water with the eye dropper. Be careful to avoid the nostrils and only give tiny drops of water. Do not force it on the bird. The baby bird I found, would take very tiny sips off the end of the eye dropper by opening and closing its mouth really fast. I was unable to open the mouth enough to feed it seeds, so I took what I had, some cat food and made it into a mush with water and used the eye dropper to slowly give that to the bird. The rehab center later told me that my type of bird shouldn't have had that, but it was fine and they needed to know in order to flush it out or provide proper care and medicine. Be sure to tell them everything.

Lastly, try not to become too attached to the little injured bird. My son was a bit hysterical at how ill the bird was. He was crying because he thought the bird would die - and I didn't get the bird into the rehab center until the 2nd day after finding it. It barely survived the night and looked very near death the morning after I found it. I think the bird survived because of my desperation - because of my son and his feelings too. The morning after it spent the night in my house, after giving it some food and water and warmth - it started to seem a bit revived. I got it to the rehab center and it was cared for!

* Cool Piece of Info * I made a short video clip when I put the baby bird outside. I saw it chirp and its father began chirping loudly - then its father swooped down to feed it. Later, when inside and the bird looked very low on life and energy and I needed to try to feed it, I played the video clip and when it heard the sound it became re-energized and began chirping and opening its mouth so I was able to feed it easier. I played it on and off for the bird and it helped keep it alive!

Update!!! It is very common for birds with injuries to not survive, unfortunately. Thankfully, by some miracle, my baby bird did survive at the rehab center and they let the bird go free after it was all healthy. Maybe I'm too sentimental, but I just wished they would have let me take him back home to set him free here, with his family!

I dont want her to die...can yiu plz tell me something
I dont want her to die...can yiu plz tell me something
I have an australian parrot ...she is injured ...her foot is all swelled and i dont know how to heal her....she is getting weak day by day...please tell me how to cure her
Last week, found a Robin in front of my office lying on the ground. It seemed badly injured as it was not moving or making any noises. I transferred it to shoebox and drove 30 miles to put in the wild rehab hospital. I called today to know about it and they said it died the next day as it had a severe spinal trauma. I felt sad as poor bird must have been in so much pain but didn't chirp or make any sort of noises. I was hopeful that it would survive.. It is indeed hard!
<p>Remember my friend, death is not that bad when living thing injured <br>so much, its best to get death instead of living daily in so much pain. <br>Its why death has its own advantages. When I find any small living thing<br> like bee, ant in so much bad condition ( no legs, no wings, so many red<br> and eating them ) I give them instant kill. Trust me, its what anyone <br>would have want in such condition.</p>
yeah it is hard to do but I understand this also....I still try to not harm any living thing.
Hi Vijaya - sorry about the bird. You did everything possible that you could to save it...that was really caring of you. So sorry though - I know it is hard to see. I understand. :)
<p>I found an injured blackbird in my garden. my dad had saved him from my cat the night before. what do I do? He's in a box right now standing up but he's only twitching his head, not moving any other part of his body. Help me please!</p>
<p>Please try to send him to animal help center or at similar place</p>
Robin that couldn't make it!?
Robin that couldn't make it!?
I have a sad story that happened in hign school today. <br>I was at the bus stop waiting for my bus and we saw a pigeon sitting in the corner not moving at first we thaught it was dead but it was moving its head slightly as the corner was full of rubbish we managed to purswade the bird to move across the road as it would not let us touch it when it got across the road we tried to give it some food but it wouldent eat so we just left it alone. When some of the other years found out about the bird they walked over and looked at it and did nothing but then a group of year 11s (16 years of age) came along and started to spit on it and pretend to kick it. Then one of the year 11s got a brick and dropped it on its head which is really wrong as we spent money and time looking after it. It is now dead.<br><br>If you want to see the pigeon when it was still alive search up mlg_magnacarta on instagram.<br><br>I think the bird had an injured back and foot when it was alive<br><br>Any help on helping pigeons as i live in england and it is quite common when we see and dead/injured one
So I live in a colder climate when I got up for school this grey looking thing was in the snow I thought at first he was dead but nope he's alive we are looking for places to help him he might have some broken bones due to the fact he did not fly away
My dad found this guy out by the mailbox and brought it to me and said he couldn't just leave it laying there. We think it flew into a car or something.. I'm not really a bird expert but as you can see I gathered up some paper and put it in a small cooler (yes I'm leaving the lid open so it can breathe) and put wild bird seed &amp; water in there. It hasn't touched either one.. But he is moving his head around more and more. I guess we are just gonna wait and see what happens.
<p>Hi Krista, </p><p>I hope the bird is ok...please update with news on it. That is a beautiful bird. Are you guys thinking of taking it in anywhere? Some bird rescue places will help them and do vet care on them for free or a donation, etc. I hope it goes ok..thanks for the photo and comment.</p>
Sadly, he passed away today.. I was looking at places to take him lastnight and I'm not sure they take in wild birds. I think his neck or back may have been broken because he wasn't really moving it. I'm just happy he's not in pain anymore..
I found a bird close to a pool in my trailer park and i picked it up and put it in a box with lots of holes i fed it but i dont know what it eats please help me i do not know what to do please help me
Hi Daritza, how is the bird doing? I would try to find a local animal or bird rescue or even a humane society and call them and they can tell you what to do from there. I hope it's going ok..I didn't see this until now.
It was hurt but i cant find were its hurt
It wont walk and cant get up and cant fly
I found a bird with an injured leg. I dont know if it is a baby or an adult bird, but I dont know what to do. It was at the entrance parking lot of a grocery store. What should I do??
<p>I'm sorry I didn't see this! What happened?!?</p>
<p>Thanks for the post. </p><p>I had an interesting encounter today.</p><p>This morning I heard a rustle in my living room. I go downstairs and i see my cat has a bird in his mouth and the bird is trying to escape. </p><p>I got the bird but he looked injured. I put him in my hand and he just sat there. At first I thought he was dying, but he was actually breathing fine and just needed to rest. He would close his eyes as he was trying to sleep. If I talked he would open his eyes and wake up. I was surprise at the birds awareness. </p><p>I brought him up to my office and put him in a towel beside my laptop. He sat there for about 20 minutes then started to fly around in my room. Now hes sitting in my office on the floor. I cant approach him, but he does seem curious of me. </p><p>I put a a plate with fish food down to see if he will eat it. He hasnt yet but is getting closer to the food. </p><p>He looks to be fine, maybe his leg is a little injured but im going to try to put him back outside. </p>
<p>Hi Jesse, Your description of the situation made me feel like I was right there with you and the bird. They are fascinating creatures! I hope the bird is ok and you can let it out and hope it will be alright - please let me know how it goes! Take care :) </p>
<p>I found an amazing site, like this one, for caring for baby / injured birds. www.2ndchance - Thought I would pass it on....</p><p>Over the years, I have found and helped many wild animals. One BIG mistake I made - and learned from - Don't ever give birds, especially baby's - any fluid. including water. The birds aspirate it - they actually drown! I learned this terrible lesson the hard way. A few years ago., I rescued a baby on a 98* day. Water was the logical answer - 1 tiny drop at a time. The baby drowned on my water - died shortly before the rescue agency arrived the next day.</p><p>As Holly mentioned - moistened Kitten Chow - the water in the food will be enough fluid.</p>
<p>i have 3 fledglings and i put a waterdrop on my finger and they begged for more, i also feed them chick starter (non medicated and mealworms mushed up with kombucha for moisture, they are healthy and are now leaving the bird cage which is on my back porch and coming o me for food when they get hungry,,,,hoping they will learn to eat on their own someday,,,but if not , I will always be there for them.</p>
<p>o.o where is the video.. is there any link??</p><p>even i found a baby bird(sparrow) next to my door.. thanks for ur advice about shoebox :D</p>
<p>aww i should have posted it!!! I think i will upload it to youtube...and put a link here. I am sorry I never replied!!!!</p>
<p>at the top of the page</p>
<p>My dog brought the bird to the from porch when we saw it it was barely alive we fed it and and as we were bring the shoe box it passed away. It was quite unfortunate</p>
<p>It's not your fault. :( Sorry that happened...from what I've heard, more often than not, they do not survive injuries. I feel it's practically a miracle the one I wrote about above did survive...just barely survived being overnight in my home - but it did. I still see its old family around my home...</p>
I just found a sparrow that my cat yanked of are fence and he can barely stand I think he hurt his legs so now I've got him in a box to keep away from the cats until he can fly
<p>hope he survived :)</p>
<p>I found a starling in my house, it's eating and drinking well and it is warm, but it is unable to fold its wing out fully, it can only open it's right wing halfway. It also cannot stand up. I don't have any rehab centers nearby. What should I do?</p>
<p>I'm sorry for not replying way sooner...as it's been 17 days now....what ever happened with the bird? </p>
<p>I too found a starling who seemed well, different. I have a fenced in backyard and every morning I let my cats out and refill the bird feeder and bird bath and then about 30 minutes later I bring in the cats because the birds come by shortly after that. Well, I was at the feeder and my cat was next to the water pump (we have a well) and grabbed this bird that has a mottled brown color to it (I'm not sure if it's a starling or not as it's the size of a starling or a red wing blackbird, of which we have many). Anyway, I quickly moved my cat away and grabbed the bird carefully and moved him into a box away from the cat. Now we have no trees in our yard or around the fence line so he didn't fall out of a tree and he had no puncture wounds that I could see nor any blood. He just seemed weak and he's favoring one leg versus the other although both move just fine and he fully extend and flap his wings with no problem but he can't seem to stand up. I'm not sure how long he'd been sitting in the brush by the fence but probably awhile. He is eating and drinking and eating a lot of seed so I think maybe he fell or ran into the fence and is just recovering. Perhaps your bird just ran into something and needs time to heal. Sorry I can't be of more help.</p>
I found a baby sparrow it looks as if it has an eye injury it hops but doesnt fly i live in phoenix az i dont know who to contact for help
<p>Hi Shannon - I found some places for you to contact: Fallen Feathers - Rescue &amp; Rehab http://www.fallenfeathers.org/ 623-533-2348 (northwest phoenix, az) and here is another page with a list of rehab places where you can call and take the bird! Let us know how it turns out! Hope the baby bird is ok!</p>
<p>WILDLIFE REHABBERS; They have ALWAYS disappointed me, none I brought birds to seemed compassionate or very dedicated. They always told me the birds didn't make it when I'd call later. None seemed anywhere as concerned as I was. One rehabber just sat and talked to her family without even looking at an injured bird until an hour after I brought the bird to her. I have yet to see any do anything but observe and they told me they DON'T bring the birds to vets for medical assistance. What the hay?? I was told if they don't think they will survive or the injury is extensive, they put the birds in a box and kill them with gas. Yesterday a dove slammed very very hard into a sliding glass window trying to escape a hawk- so hard this left a mark on the glass. He (she?) could not walk and could hardly stand. I did not even consider a rehabber for the foregoing reasons. Besides, just driving and transferring the bird would create more stress and take him out of his comfortable environs where he might have 'family'. I lifted the bird with my bare hands, trying to keep the wings flat against him. I put him in a cardboard box 2'x2' that I had punched full of holes on all sides and the cardboard lid. I left him there for a few hours and observed. The bird was wide-eyed and alert and flapped with spirit, though unevenly and the tail dragged and could not be lifted. I waited a few more hours and let him out. He could stand on his legs for a moment but then would drop down. He could hardly lift his tail. He could flap again unevenly but could not fly. So I put him back in the box and carried him into a bedroom room that is completely empty with the window closed. I put birdseed on a paper plate and water in a tiny container used for a bird cage. I did not try to feed him or touch him. I took the box he was in and put it on its side so he could walk out and closed the door. The next morning I slowly opened the door and the bird was eating. He flew into a wall because he was scared, but he flew! He can now walk really well and very fast. His tail no longer drags and his lifted. He seems normal but I'm going to observe him for hours if not a day longer. I read that when birds fly into something, they can be stunned, but this can also lead to brain swelling which can cause temporary or permanent incapacity. It appears the condition was temporary. I'm glad I gave this bird a chance to recover. I believe some quick-trigger 'seasoned' with less passion than mine might have killed him yesterday when the picture didn't look so good. To be fair there may be others that are good and committed. But in general it is hard to find ANYONE that cares enough and has the good judgment necessary to rescue on their own. I rescue dogs and cats and my goals is always to give them all the best chance at life. I've spent thousands on stray animals and I am willing to go to a great extent, like staying up all night long, if necessary to do this. I applaud YOU in your efforts but just beware that others might not have your unbridled love and dedication.</p>
Ha i have one right now
Same iv rescued a few birds
That is so cool! We live in Michigan and we have a cat, so we get lots of injured birds at our house. This would help a lot!
:) Good!

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Bio: Army Vet. I love learning & being creative.
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