RSPCA Shop Next Gen Education
Colour mode

Found an injured pigeon

Know when is best to help or not, as sometimes it might be best to leave them alone. If they need help, find out how to help. Baby pigeons might also appear abandoned, but that's not usually the case. How to tell if they need help.

What to do with an injured pigeon

If you find an injured adult pigeon, observe it closely to see how hurt it is before deciding to take it to a local vet or wildlife rehabilitator.

Wild pigeons can carry diseases, so it’s important to wear gloves if you do need to handle a pigeon. If you find a dead wild pigeon in your garden, please report it to the Garden Wildlife Health project.

Visit our injured wild animals page for more information about helping injured wildlife.

I found a baby pigeon

Young pigeons will often leave their nests just before they can fly, and will then spend some time on the ground being fed by their parents as they learn to fend for themselves.


Consider the situation carefully before taking any action. If the fledgling is in danger move it to a safe place a short distance away. Retreat from the area and return an hour or so later to see if the bird is still there. Its parents are probably nearby waiting for you to go and will continue feeding it once you have left.


Anyone finding a fully feathered young bird (fledgling) on the ground should leave it alone. If the bird is injured or sick then contact us or take the bird straight to a local vet.


If the young bird is found in the open and is not fully feathered (a nestling that should still be in the nest) –  try putting it back in the nest first . Full guidance can be found on our baby birds page. If that isn't successful, you can either take it to your local vet, local rescue centre or contact us via our online chat.

Rescued fledgling feral pigeon

I found a pigeon caught in the netting

If you’ve seen pigeons trapped in or behind netting and they’re still alive, please to report the birds to us via our online chat.

If you have seen dead pigeons in netting, or where you are aware that birds are regularly becoming trapped in netting, please report it to us and we can contact the owner of the property as part of our ‘Wild Birds and Netting’ project.

Pigeons on bird prevention netting

I’ve found a racing pigeon

Racing pigeons travel extremely long distances. They'll stop along the way and land for a break if they become tired.


A tired racing pigeon will need to be protected from cats and other predators. Food such as corn, uncooked rice, or lentils, water and a day's rest will usually help them recover enough to continue on their way home.


After food, water and rest a lost bird will usually be able to fly home to their loft. If a bird has been kept for several days it’s best to release the bird several miles away, otherwise, they’re likely to come back to the same place looking for food and water.


If the pigeon hasn’t flown off and isn’t injured, report it to the Royal Pigeon Racing Association (RPRA). Their dedicated team helps reunite lost racing pigeons with their owners.


If you find an uninjured show pigeon, please contact the National Pigeon Association which has a process for finding the owners of show pigeons If the pigeon appears sick or injured, confine the bird and take them to your nearest vet. The vet will then contact the owner through the RPRA or the NPA.

Pigeon advice