For the Birds of Indiana
I Have Found a Bird - Now What?
F. A. Q.
Found a Bird
Rescuing a Baby Bird
Rescuing Raptors
Rescuing a Heron
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How You Can Help Us

Found a bird!

Is it injured or sick? - is it unable to flutter wings, is one wing drooping, bleeding, attacked by dog or cat? -if so, call a wildlife rehabilitator. - If not continue....

Is the bird feathered? If yes, it is a fledgling - normal behavior to be hopping on the ground with parent birds feeding it. Keep bird safe from cats, dogs and people and watch from a distance* for parent birds nearby. Bird may be placed in brush or on a nearby tree limb for extra safety. If the parents are in the area, the baby is OK. If there are no parents after 3 or 4 hours, call a wildlife rehabilitator.

*Parent birds will consider you a predator if you stay nearby - STAY AWAY!

If not feathered, continue....

No feathers ? - it’s a nestling that needs help -if you can you find the intact nest put the baby back. It is OK to handle the bird - its parents will not reject it. If the nest is not intact, make a substitute nest from a small basket, line it with dry grass, excelsior, pine needles, hay or straw & attach it to a limb of a tree as close as possible to where the original nest was; watch from a distance (from house or with binoculars) for parent bird to visit baby (babies)**  in nest - if parents visit all is OK.

** Feeding may be very fast - parent birds spend much of their time seeking food, so watch carefully.

If no parents visit after 2 hour - call a wildlife rehabilitator.

Ducklings Goslings and baby Killdeer. These babies feed themselves from day 1. They may get separated from their family. If you find one, look for the family and reunite them and watch from a distance. If the mother is not found, does not reclaim the baby or is known to be dead , call a wildlife rehabilitator.

(For a very good reference chart describing what to do when you find a baby bird, refer to "Healers of the Wild: People who Care for Injured and Orphaned Wildlife" by Shannon K. Jacobs, 1998)


Phone (317) 877-1187