top of page

Found an Injured Bird?
Follow the instructions below!

1. Find something to contain the bird in.

  • Anything that is breathable and has a lid will work. 

    • Ex. cardboard box, storage container with air holes, cat/dog carrier, etc. ​

  • Place a towel at the bottom of the container to help keep the bird from sliding around.

2. Safely contain the bird. 

  • Place a towel, shirt, blanket, etc. over the bird and gently scoop them up.

  • Click here for further instructions on safety considerations and how to handle different species of birds. 

3. Place bird in a box/container.

  • Gently set the bird down in the box/container and close/cover the opening. 

4. Bring the bird to our hospital location: 92080 Overseas Highway, Tavernier, FL 33070

  • Drive up to the side entrance labeled "BIRDGENCY".

    • If between 8am and 4pm - please ring the doorbell at the Birdgency entrance and someone will be with you shortly. If you do not get an answer, call our bird emergency hotline, (305) 852-4486 ext. 1.​

    • If after 4pm - follow the instructions on our after-hours drop off box by the door. 

If you need further assistance, please call our bird emergency hotline, (305) 852-4486 ext. 1 to speak with our hospital staff members or to leave a message. If it is after 4pm, we will respond to your voicemail by the next morning. 

What NOT to do if you've found an injured bird

1. Do not put yourself in a dangerous situation.

  • Use common sense and wear proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when handling any wild animal. 

    • Gloves are always recommended. ​

    • Click here for further instructions on safety considerations and how to handle different species of birds. 

2. Do not offer any food or water.

  • This opens up possibility for choking or aspiration (water entering the airways).

  • Food can also shock their systems or cause digestive problems.

    • Either because they do not normally eat what is being offered or because they are too thin to be eating solid food.

  • Their digestive systems can also be disrupted due to trauma. ​

    • Adding food or water on top of this can cause more problems. ​

3. Do not pet or handle the animal aside from capture.

  • Wild birds are not used to being around people and any interaction with us is very stressful for them. Keeping them in a dark, quiet space is always best. 

  • Birds may go still and quiet when very stressed, which can be misinterpreted as them calming down. It is not. This is a fear-based response that shows their stress as much as them thrashing around would. 

How to contain a bird

Herons/Egrets/Cormorants

  • Be careful of - their beaks! Their main line of defense are their pointy beaks. Keep their heads contained and away from your face. 

  • Place a towel, sheet, or other large cloth over the bird. Hold their head in one of your hands to maintain control of the head/neck area, scoop their bodies up and hold them under your arm like a football. 

  • Recommended Personal Protective Equipment - eye protection and gloves.

Pelicans

  • Be careful of - their beaks! Their main line of defense is a snap of their long beak. 

  • Place a towel, sheet, or other large cloth over the bird. Fun Fact - they cannot breath with their mouths held shut! Hold their beak in one of your hands, with one finger in between their upper and lower beak. Scoop their bodies up and hold them under your arm like a football. 

  • Recommended Personal Protective Equipment - gloves.

Hawks/Owls

  • Be careful of - their feet! Their main line of defense are their sharp nails/talons. 

  • Place a towel, shirt, or other cloth over the bird. Secure their legs if possible and lift them up. If you cannot safely secure their legs, allow them to grab at the towel or other fabric and use that as a barrier. 

  • Recommended Personal Protective Equipment - thick gloves. 

Songbirds

  • Be careful of - their size! They do not need to be held with too much pressure.

  • Place a small cloth over the bird and cup them in your hand(s). If you've found a baby bird, click here for more instructions. 

  • Recommended Personal Protective Equipment - thin gloves.

bottom of page