Injured or Sick Birds

Forsyth Audubon often receives questions from local residents about what they should do for  birds that appear sick or injured. Many times, the question relates to birds that have collided with homes or office buildings. Birds that are victims of these collisions may be injured or they may only be stunned temporarily. For immediate action, you can place the bird in an open box so that it is protected from further injury or attack by predators. Often, the bird will recover in a few  minutes and be ready to fly away.

Another common question is what to do about a young bird that appears to have fallen out of a nest. If the nest is safely within reach, it is okay to handle the chick and put it back into the nest. The parents will not reject it just because you have touched it. If the nest is not accessible, create a substitute nest with a berry basket or margarine tin and try the contacts provided below for assistance. Caution: sometimes a young bird may have left the nest and have some difficulty flying, but may have been ready to leave. Young birds may not have all their feathers, but they can hop or fly short distances to cover. Although this is a risky time for them, this may be perfectly natural especially for species that nest on or close to the ground.

If the bird appears sick or to have an injury to a wing or other part of the body but is still alive, you should contact a wildlife rehabilitation expert. One place you can go is the Wildife Rehab, Inc., 336-785-0912.  However, this organization is staffed by volunteers and handles other animals in addition to birds. Sometimes, it may be awhile before they can get back to you. For immediate care, you may try to contact an individual bird rehabilitation specialist, Jean Chamberlain, 336-983-6543. Many of Jean’s patients are injured hawks and owls, but she also is certified to treat songbirds. Jean will provide further advice.