Found an injured bird: what to do?

Anyone who has found an injured bird is likely to be startled at first – a birdie lying on the ground, whether attacked by predators or flew into something, is not a pretty sight. As an animal lover, however, you should not look the other way, but help if necessary.

This birdie was able to get up and fly away after a while, others need help - Shutterstock / J. Bicking

This birdie was able to get up and fly away after a while, others need help – Shutterstock / J. Bicking

In many cases, for example when you have found an allegedly injured bird that has flown against a window pane, the little low-flying flyers pick themselves up again after a while and fly away. Therefore, you should first observe a bird and give it a chance to recover from its headache on its own. However, if you are sure that the animal has really injured itself, for example is bleeding or has a twisted or broken wing, your immediate help is required.

Injured bird found: transport to vet

If you’ve found an injured bird and think it needs help, you should take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible. Here it is then decided whether he can be treated and cured or whether he has to be put down. Important: call the veterinarian beforehand to see if they are familiar with injured wild birds and can treat your foundling. At best, you will also receive practical tips on how to proceed.

It is important that you transport the bird carefully to the doctor. It’s best to capture it in a blanket – the darkness under a blanket thrown over it is somewhat calming for birds. For the trip to the vet, for example, put the patient in a box with air holes that you have equipped with a non-slip surface such as a towel or some kitchen paper. The bird should neither overcool nor overheat in the box. For longer trips, add some bird food such as grain and water.

Ideally, your budgie will be tame and allowed to fly around the home outside of its cage - Shutterstock / Vyaseleva Elena

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What to do if the bird is badly injured?

Birds have very fast metabolisms and don’t survive long if they are severely injured. Therefore, you may need to provide first aid to the emergency patient. Treat acute bleeding immediately by staunching heavily bleeding wounds with a cotton pad. Carefully dab open wounds that are not bleeding so much with a damp cloth and then put some disinfectant on it. Tip: To stabilize the circulation, you should offer the bird some energy in the form of a glucose solution.

It may be that the animal has to recover a little after the stressful first aid (birds are afraid of people), otherwise it will not survive the upsetting transport to the vet. For this you should position the bird in a quiet and warm place for a few hours where it can stabilize and the shock can wear off.

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