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Finding an injured bird


If a young bird has been found on the ground during the spring and summer season, then it may well be a fledgling that has just left the nest and is still learning to fly. If you think the bird may be a fledgling, then please refer to our FAQ Finding a fledgling.

An injured bird will need veterinary assistance and then care by an experienced bird rehabilitator who will prepare it for release. Therefore, if the injured bird has already been contained in a closed, well-ventilated box it should, if possible, be taken directly to a local veterinary surgery for assessment and treatment, if necessary. Placing the bird into a darkened box will help to reduce stress and the risk of further injury. If that is not possible, contact the RSPCA 24-hour cruelty and advice line 0300 1234 999 to get more advice.

Caring for any sick or injured animal involves considerable time, expertise and patience to give it the best chance of release and subsequent survival back in the wild. It is an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981 to take a wild bird into captivity, with a few exceptions, such as when the intention is to temporarily care for a sick or injured bird until it is fit for release.

Caution: Handling of any animal either domestic, wild, dead or alive may be potentially hazardous. Obvious dangers include bites, scratches and general hygiene issues. Common sense should be applied in all instances and, if unsure, seek additional advice or assistance. Personal hygiene should be taken into consideration after handling any animal, whether it is domestic, wild, dead or alive.


Other useful information:

What to do if you find a young bird

What to do with injured wild animals

What to do with orphaned wild animals


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