Injured, Sick, and Orphaned Birds
What to do when you find an animal in need:
- Check the list below and call the organization that matches the animal you have. Tell them the type of animal, its situation and location. The expert will advise you what to do next.
- For temporary bird care, place a towel in the bottom of a box or pet cage. The towel will give the bird something to grip onto, and gives other types of animals a place to hide.
- Cover the box with a towel or sheet.
- Place the box in a warm, quiet, darkened area.
- Do not give the bird food or water. This can actually cause death.
Wild At Heart will help you with birds like eagles, hawks, falcons or owls. For other types of animals, look at the selections a the bottom of this page or, do an online search for: “wildlife rescue” or “wildlife rehabber” with your state name to find wildlife services in your region. You can also read this handy pamphlet from the AZ Game & Fish about “Baby Wildlife“.
Does That Bird Really Need Help?
Sometimes a bird on the ground is perfectly normal. This can be true for young, partially fledged owls (some feathers but no flight) or for some birds that actively hunt in urban areas.
Call us (480-595-5047) if you see the following…
- Blood is visible anywhere on the bird.
- It is severely limping or a dragging a wing.
- The bird seems sleepy even when you approach to within 2-3 feet.
- It is a small, fuzzy baby with very few full feathers.
- It is an adult (fully feathered) sitting still in the same spot on the ground for many hours.
- A baby or immobile bird is in a dangerous place like a street, parking lot, edge of swimming pool, or in a yard with dogs and cats.
These can be NORMAL behaviors…
- Flies only a short distance away when you approach within 1-3 feet.
- Tiny owls are not always babies. Most owls species are less than 8 inches tall. Babies are found in Arizona between February and September.
- Babies with lots of feathering (with some fuzzy down) on the ground are common for Great Horned Owls. The parents follow them for weeks to feed them until they gain strength to fly off of the ground.
- Owls in the daytime are often normal. Several smaller species actually spend a majority of their active time in daylight!
Birds That Crash into Windows
This unfortunate event happens frequently; however, most instances do not require assistance. The bird may be momentarily stunned and disoriented from the impact. Usually, these birds need 5-15 minutes to recover and be on their way again. Sometimes, it may take a little longer for the bird to gain its bearings.
If the bird is still on the ground more than an hour and you can approach the dazed bird within 1-2 feet, give us a call at 480-595-5047.
If the bird allows close approach, see if you can place a box over it to keep it safe until a volunteer can come retrieve the bird.
RESOURCES FOR ARIZONA WILD ANIMAL EXPERTS
BIRDS OF PREY
(Hawks, Owls, Falcons, Eagles)
Wild At Heart
QUAIL & SMALL BIRDS
Quail Info Sheet
SMALL INSECT-EATING BIRDS (Ahwatukee / Tempe area)
(Hummingbirds, Flycatchers, Nighthawks & Poorwills)
Wild Wings Rehab
Contact Your Local Rural Metro
The Phoenix Herpetological Society Hotline/Emergencies
AZ FISH and GAME
OPERATION GAME THIEF