Injured songbirds

Pick up the bird gently and place it in a safe covered container such as a shoe box, plastic tub, or pet carrier.

When an animal is injured, they have trouble regulating their body temperature and need to be kept warm with a heating pad or hot water bottle.  They also may be in shock.  Put the bird in a dark, quiet place and contact a rehabilitator.

Never leave a sick/injured or otherwise endangered bird on the ground outside; always pick it up, put it in safe containment, and bring it inside.  Leaving the bird on the ground makes it susceptible to predators such as cats, dogs, grackles, and especially ants.  Leaving the bird outside during our Arizona summers is equally damaging.  If you have pets, put the bird in a bathroom, closet, or laundry room where you can close the door.

If you are squeamish about picking up a bird, approach it slowly and throw a lightweight towel over it.  The towel will make it easier to catch and also it will be less stress on you and the bird. Pick up the bird with the towel wrapped around it and get the bird into safe containment.

When the bird is stabilized, check our Songbird ID section to determine what type of bird you have.  Different rehabilitators are equipped to handle different species.

When transporting birds to a rehabilitator, use a covered box, small pet carrier, or even a brown paper grocery bag lined with an old towel.  Paper clip or staple the bag shut.  Do NOT put water in the transport container!  The bird is too injured or stressed to drink and the water usually spills.

Do not use a cage to house or transport a wild bird.  Stress is the number one killer of captive wildlife and the less an adult bird sees of humans, the better. 

East Valley Wildlife  480-814-9339 (volunteers in SE Valley)   facebook
Liberty Wildlife  480-998-5550 (North Scottsdale)


Injured Bunnies

Follow basic instructions for injured songbirds.  Adult bunnies and squirrels need sturdier containment such as a cardboard box or pet carrier.  If you use a heating pad, place it under the container as bunnies can chew cords.


Injured Ducks

Follow basic instructions for injured songbirds.  Place duck in cardboard box or pet carrier lined with an old towel.  Keep warm and away from stress.
Contact East Valley Wildlife 480-814-9339.

If you are able to catch an injured duck and get it to a rehabilitator, the duck will get care faster. 


Wing Injury

Duck with Broken WingDuck with Broken Wing

Male mallard with broken wing.  Eclipse feathering (the males lose their mating feathers during the summer and change to look more like females)  This male is in the process of losing the green head and will soon have mottled brown feathers until the fall. Call a rehabber if you find a duck with a broken wing.


Angel Wing

Duck with Angel WingDuck with Angel Wing

Wikipedia: Angel Wing also known as Slipped Wing, crooked wing, or drooped wing is a disease that affects waterfowl, primarily geese and ducks, in which the last joint of the wing is twisted with the wing feathers pointing out laterally, instead of laying against the body. Males develop it more than females.

The disease manifests as an incurable anatomical condition which is acquired in young birds. Due to a high-calorie diet, especially one high in proteins and/or low in vitamin D, vitamin E and manganese, one or both carpus (wrist) joints are retarded in their development relative to the rest of the wing; for reasons unknown, if only one wing is affected it is usually the left one. The result is a wrist which is twisted outwards and unable to perform its usual function. Angel wing symptoms include stripped remiges (flight feathers) in the wrist area, or remiges protruding from wings at odd angles. In extreme cases, the stripped feathers may resemble sickly blue straw protruding from wings. In adult birds the disease is incurable and usually leads to an early death as affected birds are rendered effectively or totally flightless. In young birds wrapping the wing and binding it against the bird's flank, together with feeding the bird a more natural diet, can reverse the damage.

The only wild waterfowl populations known to be affected are those fed by man.


Injured Herons and similar waterbirds

These birds can be dangerous; herons use their long, pointed bills as a spear and can do serious damage. 
Contact Liberty Wildlife 480-998-5550 to find a rescue volunteer.

Last updated July 7, 2012