Please take the time to read the following, it might save a birds life.
1--Please do not handle any wild bird if doing so would put you at risk. Keep in mind that if you become injured, you cannot help the bird. Call a wildlife rehabilitation center and ask for advise.
2--Never handle a large bird of prey without gloves. If you do not have gloves place a jacket, blanket or box over the bird to keep it from running away.
3--If you need help rescuing the bird and are waiting for help keep a safe distance and try to keep it from leaving the area.
4--Call your local police, sheriff, game warden, nature center or a rehabber if you know of one.
SAFELY HANDLING INJURED WILD BIRDS.
If you decide to capture the bird yourself, use some object (a blanket or jacket) to throw over it. Gently scoop it up and place it in a box. Covering the bird will quiet it and minimizes its stress. This also offers you some protection from the beak and talons.
Remember that wild birds of any kind do not understand that you are trying to help them. This is especially true when they are afraid or in pain. Birds and mammals which are injured but otherwise healthy will try to protect themselves. This is natural and should not be considered vicious.
UNDERSTANDING STRESS AND SHOCK.
Just as with injured humans, shock is often the number one cause of death for injured wild birds. As the first person to come across the bird, you will be in the best position to minimize that bird's shock and stress.
It is natural for us to want to hold, pet and comfort an injured wild bird, but the animal will not understand our good intentions. To a wild being, humans are just another predator. Holding them or petting them is extremely stressful. So keep in mind that fear, noise, touching, extreme cold or hot temperatures all contribute to the bird's stress.
TRANSPORTING INJURED BIRDS
Once you have captured the bird and have it in a box ready to transport to a wildlife rehabilitator try to follow the suggestions below.
1--Place the bird's covered box securely on the floor of the vehicle. Do not transport in the trunk of a car or an open truck bed. Keep the container out of the direct sunlight. Do not use a wire cage, it damages feathers
2--Great Blue herons and sandhill cranes never seem to fit in a box you would have handy. In the case of these two species you can use a thin sheet or blanket, lay the bird on the material, make sure the beak is at the edge of the sheet. The beak tip should be visible in the rollup for easy breathing but the eyes should be unable to see. The body of the bird MUST be belly-down on the seat or floor and propped up to prevent rolling. These species can ride for long distances in comfort in this manner.
3--Keep the car noise level as quiet as possible. No radio, pets barking, or loud talking, etc.
4-- Do not let anyone, especially a child, hold the bird on his or her lap during the trip. It is very important to think about what the injured birds needs and the fact that contact with people, again, is very stressful.
5--Under no circumstances should you try to feed or water the bird. Feeding the wrong food could hinder its recovery and water given with an eyedropper could fill the lungs of the bird.
All Photos, Graphics & Content Copyright © 2002 Fisher