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There's a good chance that you will run into a hurt or sick wild bird sooner or later. Many of us are kind-hearted, caring individuals who want to help but don't necessarily know what to do. I once came across an injured wild bird and was able to help it, so I am sharing my advice.
Place the bird in a small cardboard box lined with paper towels or cloth.
Cover the box with a towel or sweatshirt.
Place the box in a dark, quiet area.
Place a heat source under the box or inside the box. (Do not do this if the bird has hyperthermia.)
Call a wild bird center or rehabilitator. You can also call the vet.
The three most important and immediate provisions for stabilizing injured wildlife are as follows: quiet, darkness, and warmth.
Stress and shock are both preventable, but they are common causes of death in the first 24-48 hours.
An injured bird will be in shock and, as with humans, will be unable to regulate its body temperature. Keeping it warm is essential.
Many licensed rehabilitators do not list themselves in the phone book, so finding the closest one to you might take a few calls or a little research. Keep in mind that most wildlife rehabilitators are volunteers that are doing this out of the kindness of their hearts. In most cases, it is not a paid position. In fact, the rehabilitator is often footing all of the costs him or herself, so please be kind and appreciative. Also, keep in mind that their license probably does not allow them to display birds, so please don't ask to see the other birds at the facility.
To find a wildlife rehabber in the U.S. or Canada, try the links below:
You can also call your local veterinarian, Audubon Society, or Humane Society for a list of referrals.
Do keep the bird as calm as possible in a quiet, dark place.
Do not handle the bird any more than the bare minimum.
Do keep the animal warm (but not hot). If the bird is suffering from hyperthermia (overheating), this step is not needed.
Do not play with the bird, even if it seems "friendly." Shock can make it act unafraid.
Do resist the temptation of showing the animal to others. This can be traumatizing.
Do not feed a bird that is in shock. Wait 24-48 hours, unless the rehabber tells you otherwise.
Do handle it as gently as possible and only when necessary. Birds have no diaphragm and, therefore, use their chest muscles to breath. A tight hold around their body can suffocate them.
Do not put it in a cage. The wire bars can cause damage to the feathers and injure the animal. Use a cardboard box instead.
Do provide water, but in an extremely shallow dish, such as an upside-down jar lid. An injured bird can be completely out of kilter. It can drown in even a small amount of water.
Never force any liquids into its mouth. It can aspirate liquids and drown or develop pneumonia.
Do wash your hands with soap after handling it.
Do not try to keep the bird. It is extremely difficult to care for, not to mention, it is illegal in the U.S.
Do call a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible!
If a bird is not flying, there is a reason for it. This reason could be because it is a fledgling. This will likely be the case if it is mid-summer and the bird in question has a short tail and/or looks downy or fluffy.
It is normal for a baby bird to leave the nest before it can fly, so the parents are probably nearby and will continue to care for their young for some time. They belong with their parents, so please do not "kidnap" them.
If you see a bird on the ground, keep your dogs and cats indoors. Then, watch from a distance for up to two hours. If the parents don't show themselves in that amount of time, you may legitimately have an orphan.
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KGM on August 22, 2018:
My cat brought in a western kingbird female. I had been enjoying watching her eat my sunflowers these past two days. We were able to catch her and hold her gently. She has an oozing wound at her shoulder which I treated with vetracin (it's supposed to be safe for birds and we used it on our turkey when it got into a tangle with a dog). I put her into a covered cage with some water. She's perching there and resting (I can see her through a hole in the cover). Now I'm wondering how long I should let her rest before releasing her, if I should put some food in there (I put some sunflowers in which she had been eating), and thinking it will probably be difficult to release her safely from the cage... Thanks for hosting this site!
margaret on June 09, 2018:
why is there never a phone number?
Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on May 22, 2018:
A few years ago we found a Cedar Waxwing flopping around on the road in front of our house. We picked it up and saw that the tips of its wings were glued together by a big blob of sap. We carefully removed the sap and cleaned the feather tips with a little baby oil on a cloth. We placed it in a pet crate with some towels and covered it overnight. In the morning it seemed to be ok so we let it go. It flew without any problems. What a beautiful bird! I had never seen one before in person.
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on August 12, 2017:
Sorry to hear it CRB. Sometimes that is inevitable :(
C. R. B. on May 30, 2017:
Thanks so much I looked you up before this happened. I was too late it died right after we gave it a name. Thanks anyways though.
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on January 14, 2013:
Hi Rucha and thank you!
Rucha on January 10, 2013:
This is actually a good page I liked it n its very useful.
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on July 01, 2012:
Thank you Ryan!
Ryan Palmer from In a Galaxy far, far away on July 01, 2012:
Awesome advice! People need to be more aware of how to treat injured animals in the wild, as it's just something that isn't publicized as much as it should be! Voted up
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on February 21, 2012:
So awesome Letitia! I am so glad you helped that raven...I really love ravens. They are so intelligent and beautiful! I would definitely read your hub about helping any animal!
LetitiaFT from Paris via California on February 21, 2012:
I sure could have used this last year when I rescued a raven in the middle of the traffic on the Bd St Germain outside my apartment in Paris last year! Don't worry, I got it to a wildlife refuge the same day and it made it through. I think I'll write a hub on rescuing newborn dormice, which I had to do the year before! Keep up the great hubs!
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on February 13, 2012:
Your so welcome Kate!
KateWest from Los Angeles, CA on February 01, 2012:
Good info, thanks so much!
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on February 01, 2012:
Thank you all for your wonderful comments and stories! I love to read everyone's experiences. Keep it coming!
Trinity M on February 01, 2012:
Lovely article and extremely helpful! I always find injured birds, my husband affectionately calls me “The Bird Lady”, but sometimes it’s difficult to care for them. Thank you for the great advice.
Gemini Fox on January 31, 2012:
Thank you for the information! I took birds to a rehab center in Phoenix every once in a while (think they took other wild animals as well). Unfortunately, I don't think that most people even know that they exist!
Currently have glass french doors and every once in awhile birds fly into them. I've always done as you suggest and put them in a cardboard box for a awhile and thankfully(!) I've always had them fly away happy afterwards!
cashmere from India on January 31, 2012:
About a month and half ago I had a pigeon which was injured fly on to my terrace. I put down some grain and water for it and it stayed there for five days as its wing healed. Then one day it just flew off
Mr. Happy from Toronto, Canada on January 30, 2012:
I appreciate this article. Thank You.
Wakan Tanka will watch over You.
oldandwise on January 30, 2012:
Very informative hub. voted up!
Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on January 30, 2012:
Rescuing the injured is a divine job of service. If you succeed in doing that, you're definitely staying near to God. Great advice for helping and nursing an injured bird.
Voted up as useful and awesome.
Liz Elias from Oakley, CA on January 30, 2012:
Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Well done.
This is an excellent article with lots of great advice. Just one more cautionary tip--be sure to check your area for 'what to do' if you live where bird flu and/or West Nile Virus are a problem.
Make the phone calls first, and find out whether or not to even approach the bird to try to help. You may be advised to keep away until the professionals arrive. This is also true if you find a dead bird. Don't touch it until you make those phone calls.
Moon Willow Lake on January 30, 2012:
I never knew what to do with an injured bird before, so thank-you so much for the information! A co-worker at a previous job I had and I one day found a small bird (in fall, not a baby) just sitting still on the sidewalk of an outdoor walkway between two buildings. We gently moved it to an area next to the sidewalk in an attempt to move it out of harm's way, but just didn't know what to do otherwise. It was looking at us and moving its head, but not its legs or wings. I will certainly keep this in mind for any future situations. It's information like this that needs to get taught at our public schools when we are young as I surely never learned any of this until now.
Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on January 30, 2012:
Thanks for the advice. I have not come across an injured bird, but as you say chances are I will. I shall then recall this. Congratulations on H of D.
Mike Pugh from New York City on January 30, 2012:
I never came across an injured bird before, maybe since I live in the city, and everything gets swept up quite frequently here. I will use such great info when that day comes if need be, thanks for providing such useful information to us all. Voted up!
Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on January 30, 2012:
This is good to know, sometimes it's easy for well-meaning people to do more harm than good. You've probably saved a few birds today.
arusho from University Place, Wa. on January 30, 2012:
Great hub, I've never rescued an injured bird, but this is great information I may have to put to use someday. I have a hub about crows and ravens I will link to your hub! Great job!
Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on January 30, 2012:
You give sound advice here. My daughter worked for wild life rehab and had encounters with many injured animals including birds.
One day on the way home we found an injured baby pelican. She was terrified and flopping around furiously. One of us ran home and got a blanket to wrap her in. Then carefully covered her to calm her. Since she was such a large bird, we called the bird shelter in our area and they came and rescued our fledgling baby. Thank you for sharing this.
Amy Becherer from St. Louis, MO on January 30, 2012:
Great information! My daughter and I have rescued many injured birds and taken them to the Wildlife Sanctuary in St. Louis. One day, while I was at work, a homeless man found an injured bird on the sidewalk, who had likely flown into the brick building where I worked. He gently held him up to show me outside my window on the world. I quickly made up a box with leaves to lay on. Since I could not leave work to take him to help, I called the courier, who happened to have a woman on staff that used to work at the sanctuary, and after I convinced the courier service, they did not have to worry about liability; that the bird was sure to die without help, they quickly arrived and transported the bird to the sanctuary. I paid for the trip and it was the best $18 I've spent. I got a call from the sanctuary and they told me the bird was a rare woodpecker, not usually seen in our locale, and he recovered fully. I never saw the homeless man again that cared enough to make a difference that this story had a happy ending.
Sarah Johnson from Charleston, South Carolina on January 30, 2012:
Thank you for a very informative hub about wild birds. Yes, we have met the statistics once and rescued an injured bird, most likely injured by our cat:( Ironically, we used the small cat carrier to transport the bird to the wildlife rescue center. As you mentioned, these centers are usually volunteer type operations, so please consider a donation when you leave!
Great tips about the raptors!
Congratulations on Hub of the Day!
Huntgoddess from Midwest U.S.A. on January 30, 2012:
I really love this information. I always call the city when I find an injured bird uptown, but it's such a big hassle, and they kind of act like you're wasting their time.
They used to be nicer about it.
Also, what about buildings with huge glass windows? Those can be a cause of injuries and even fatalities for birds. I think they should have a hawk decal or something.
Mary Craig from New York on January 30, 2012:
Great advice! We once rescued a robin who lived with us for about a month. The most important thing is not to give liquids. So many people do and the birds aspirate and die almost instantly. I have found soaking a tiny piece of bread in water and offering to the bird (after the first 24 hours) is a good way to get the bird started. Voted up and useful. Thanks for SHARING.
elanger333 from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on January 30, 2012:
This is wonderful. Its important to help out wounded animals and this gives us a better idea as of what to do and what not to do. Thank you.
Mary Wickison from Brazil on January 30, 2012:
Very sound advice. My husband and I have had many injured or young birds that we have cared for. In England, we had a jackdaw fall down the chimney from the nest they had built in there.
Here in Brazil, we have had, a smooth billed Ani, a conure, and are currently raising a young owl that fell out of a coconut tree. These are fed and watered until they are ready to fly away.
Swetank Raj from India on January 30, 2012:
This is great hub! And Congrats for being selected as hub of the day! Really it's a great and i admire it to read to everyone. I also shared it to my friends. It is necessary to take some measurable precautions if you find a bird in such circumstances. Your Do's And Do Not's Part i like most and really beautifully explained in decent manner. Voted up!
colpolbear from Pennsylvania on January 30, 2012:
This is a fantastic Hub! I once found a bird on my front porch in obvious need of help. My neighbor is a "vet" and told us to leave it alone to die in peace without even looking at it. This Hub makes me regret not doing anything even more. Next time, I'll know what to do though. Thank you!
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on January 21, 2012:
Sally and John, you are obviously saints!
John Sarkis from Winter Haven, FL on January 21, 2012:
I found an injured bird once, it was a cold day so I put him close to my heater at home on a large cage which I had in my garage. I nursed it for about 1 week (went to store and bought bird feed...) and he was well after that. Actually, I don't think there was that much wrong with him in the first place, but because we have cats all over the place, I was afraid they might hurt him...
Enjoyed your hub and gave it "thumbs up"
Sherri from Southeastern Pennsylvania on January 20, 2012:
Awesome advice. Having been through a few injured birds, I know that calm, quiet, warmth in a confined space, and no hands-on are the best keys for success in the early moments.
Great tip about not using any loopy fabric like terry cloth.
I learned the phone number of my local wildlife rehabber the hard way, as in on the spot in a moment of crisis. But folks can be prepared ahead of time if they do a little research and know the person they need to call when a bird's in need.
The Do's and Do Not's are critical information.
Voted up and useful.
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on December 23, 2011:
Thanks Tom and happy holidays!
Thomas Silvia from Massachusetts on December 23, 2011:
Hi Mrs. Menagerie, great tips and advice to help an injured bird if you happen to find one .This information will help us help those beautiful injured birds, thanks .
Have a wonderful Christmas !!!
Mrs. Menagerie (author) from The Zoo on December 23, 2011:
Thanks so much K9, Mary, Moonlake and Simone. I'm sure you are all included in the "kind-hearted types that want to help.":)
Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on December 23, 2011:
What excellent advice! I, too, have come across an injured bird more than once, and the old shoebox-in-a-closet method really does do wonders! Great tip about water, though- I had not done that and feel kind of bad about it. I'm so glad you've shared this good advice!
moonlake from America on December 22, 2011:
I have taken many a bird to the rehab center. They get them well and then if they can let them go. We once came home and found our 13 year old son in our kitchen with ana great horned owl on his arm. He had found it in a trap.
Good information on your hub.
Mary Hyatt from Florida on December 22, 2011:
We have a facility here that cares for injured birds. They get pelicans with fish twine around them, and other injuries. Nice info. Hub.
India Arnold from Northern, California on December 22, 2011:
What a compassionate hub. Love your "The Do's and Do Not's of Helping an Injured Bird" chart. I adore birds and it would be so hard to watch one get hurt, but with your tips for helping a bird through its injuries, I would feel like I had a chance at success. Unique topic and awesome advice.
Great work as usual!
Nearly everyone has seen an ill, injured or orphaned pigeon in their life – be it in a city, town, park or a garden. There are a lot of predators, disease and harmful things out there that affect pigeons, and sometimes people don’t know what is the right thing to do when they come across a baby pigeon or an injured or ill pigeon.
First, let me just say that pigeons do not carry millions of diseases that humans can contract. That is just scaremongering, mainly from pest control companies (that are out to make money) and ignorant people (who either hate pigeons or are afraid of them). All living beings carry disease – humans included! – and some do pass on to other species, however, if everyone just used a bit of common sense, such as good hygiene measures (e.g. wash your hands after coming in from outside), then this myth that pigeons are infested with disease that will kill you and your family wouldn’t be as big of a problem as it is. You can contract disease from a dog or a cat but are they hated as much as feral pigeons? Makes little sense to me.
A pest or vermin is defined by people as any animal that is unwanted or destructive, such as rats, mice, pigeons, foxes and racoons, but this term could very well be attributed to cats, dogs, parrots and songbirds, depending on which country and area you are in. ‘Pest’ and ‘vermin’ are not synonymous with ‘disease’.
The following website supplies good points on the subject (particularly the last paragraph): Pigeons and disease
Ok, back to what to do when you come across an injured, ill or orphaned pigeon.
First, after you have correctly assessed that the pigeon is indeed in need of rescuing (a broken wing or foot is pretty easy to recognise, however, read the following about Recognising a sick pigeon and Rescuing a baby pigeon), you need to safely capture it and place it in a box, cat carrier or other secure container (make sure there are air holes!). Put an old towel, cloth or tissue paper in the box so that the pigeon can grip onto something and to also keep it warm.
After you have the pigeon in a secure box and put it in a warm, safe place (not outside!), contact your local animal rescue centre or wildlife hospital and ask if they can help. Unfortunately, some places do not treat pigeons (since they may consider them as pests) so you need to find a pigeon friendly rescue centre. The best place to find your local rescue centre is to search for it on the internet or look in a phone book. Your local vet or pet shop may also know of an animal rescue centre in the area.
You can take the rescued pigeon to a veterinary surgery, however, many will simply euthanise the bird unless you are willing to pay for its treatment and care. Ask before handing the pigeon over. Some veterinary surgeries will transfer the pigeon to a wildlife rescue centre.
Please read the information on these websites as they contain good instructions on pigeon rescue and first aid: Pigeon and Dove Rescue, Pigeon Aid UK and Pigeon Recovery.
The following link contains a list of wildlife hospitals, sanctuaries and veterinary surgeries around the world that are pigeon friendly: Matilda’s List
This website lists pigeon friendly places in the United Kingdom: Pigeon Friendly Rescue Centres in the UK
The main thing is to not panic. Find someone who can give you advice and help you and the pigeon. Hopefully you’ll feel good about rescuing a pigeon in need.
Feral pigeon caught in netting. Photo courtesy of Dave Risley.
Baby feral pigeon – few days old
2 baby feral pigeons – few weeks old
109 Responses to “Pigeon Rescue: what to do with injured, ill and orphaned pigeons”
I have a feral pigeon baby on my balcony! I originally thought pigeons were disease carriers but after some research and your great site, I now know better. I will now educate those around me too in order to make life better for pigeons. We keep rats and they get the same bad press. Thanks for your helpful and informative website!
Thank you Lara! Your words mean a lot to me!
I used to have rats and loved them to bits, so I also know the bad press they get. Pigeons are almost as bad as rats in some people’s eyes. Sad.
I hope the baby feral pigeon is doing alright. I could watch them all day (especially feeding time!).
Hi, thankyou for your website, its full of great advise.
I have managed to rescue a wood pidgeon trapped behind my gas fire, the poor thing had been there 3 days and is still fighting fit,
I am going to see if he/she is ready to be released in the morning as does not appear to be injured but will try it in a room first.
I am still in shock that it must of fell down the chimney and was a bit scared to begin with but i must say, the pigeon is actaully very cute and a lot bigger than i first thought.
Thank you Sarah,
I hope your woody flies away nicely. Just be careful about test flying him in your house, woodpigeons are very strong and can bash themselves against the window quite badly. I think woodies are very beautiful – they have strong characters and are very strong willed! Good luck!
thank you for ps:pigeon support.no one wants them for rehab.cats tore some feathers and skin from under his wing.i put him in a carrier,seed,water and bacitracin on the wounded area.stillflies when i clean the carrier in the bathroom.have for about 1wk to 10 days.skin is now pink,but feathers underneath not grown in.eating,drinking fine is it time to let “poppins”go and do i do this where i found him even if the cats are still in the area.or set free in a wooded area not far away and heill find his way home?help,he’s frigthened and needs to be free.that’s his right thanks and the pigeons surely must thank you too.
I think you need to speak to someone directly about your pigeon because it is very hard to give advice over the internet without actually seeing the pigeon. Please go to the following forum to find someone near to you who you can call: http://www.pigeonangels.com/pigeon-resources-f8/
Also, the pigeon can only be released if it can fly. If it has any yellow fluff on its face and body then it is too young to be released. Your pigeon must be able to fly properly and should be released where there are other pigeons so that it can join the flock and follow them for food and shelter. But please first find a local pigeon friendly person who you can call and get advice from. Good luck!
Hi im currently working under the m6 motorway and have found a nest with two baby pigeons in looking at them only a couple of days old, but unfortuatly they need to be moved as they are in the way of me doing my job, i dont want to tell my boss as he will get them killed, the parents are still around i have seen them hovering around. I was just wondering if there was any steps i can take which will not harm the babys and keep them with.the parents baring in mind they do need to be relocated. I would be very gratefull if you could get back to me asap. Thx in advance.
Hi Martin, thanks for the email. Unfotunately under the circumstances the safe option would be to seperate them from their parents and take them to a rescue centre. Please call Folly Wildlife Rescue on 01892 750 865 and ask for advice, they may be able give you a closer rescue contact. In the mean time I’d stick them in an box lined with a dish cloth / kitchen roll to keep them warm.
Good luck! And once again thanks for the email.
Hello. I appear to have some unwelcome guest staying with me. some pigeons and dove have found a way in past my bird net on my roof and know they can’t find there way back out. I can’t reach the net to let them out as its 50 feet up off the ground on my roof and know they have entered my tiny box room where i keep my washing machine and dryer and some of them appear to be sitting in that room at the back of my washer where the window is.
i cant remove the washer myself due to the way they are fitted and if i removed the washer they would fly into my flat. PLEASE Help. I know nothing about birds and how to deal with them.
I have sent you an email about your trapped pigeons. Please let me know if you don’t receive it. Thanks
Need some help to do the best for a pigeon i picked up from a layby yesterday,I watched him for a while and he was picking scraps up from the road but was dragging his wing. I believe his was recently hit by a car. as i approached him he didnt flutter to escape … so i took him home. On closer inspection he has a open wound under his wing that has bleed.but dried. He is eating and drinking well but cannot fly. He is currently in my bedroom perched on tray watching the birds from the window. What should i do. I dont want to keep him prisoner… but dont want to let him suffer outside. should i bathe his wound in something and wait to see if he improves.
Hi Kerrie, I sent you an email about the pigeon you have found. As I wrote in the email, you need to find your nearest pigeon-friendly rescue centre that can help you because the pigeon’s wing needs to be looked at by a vet or wildlife rehabber. Please check that the wound doesn’t have any fly eggs (that look like little grains of rice) or maggots! If you find any then they need to be removed immediately otherwise the maggots will eat the pigeon alive. Good luck! Rev
Rescued a feral pigeon from the cats yesterday, put it in a box in a quiet corner of the shed, fully expecting to find a sad little corpse this morning. Found instead a pigeon with an attitude. There are lacerations, so I am worried about infection, and too much feather loss to allow flight. He is now in a small plastic covered ‘greenhouse’ (supermarket thirty quid job), exercising himself by bouncing off the polythene, knocking over his water dish, and generally being a pest, but I rather admire his feistiness, and would like to help him. Have failed to find a rescue centre nearby, and have no car. I think I am stuck with him. Any advice, please?
Hi Jenny, I’ve just sent you an email about your injured pigeon. You’ve done the right thing by keeping it in a safe, quiet cage with food and water, however, it sounds like the pigeon does need some medical help. Please reply to my email as soon as possible. Thank you. Rev
I managed to track down a vet (personal friend), who advised me to spray Savlon on the wounds, and keep the pigeon quiet and safe, as you said. If he is still alive tomorrow, she will call in with antibiotics and take a closer look. I’ve named him Catsmeat, because he very nearly was, and I just hope he can rejoin the local wildlife soon.
I’ll keep in touch, if that’s okay. Please wish us both luck!
Best wishes, Jenny
Catsmeat is eating and drinking, and I have found a nice box, which I have adapted as a ‘nesting box’ following advice from my cousin, who rescues ill-treated parrots. Thank you for your help! I like pigeons, love to watch them flying. Unfortunately, the cats have now discovered his new home, so tomorrow I shall have to find a secure cage for him, as the plastic greenhouse will not keep him safe for long. I’ve sprayed his wounds. Well, if he survives, I shall have to keep him until his feathers grow back. So be it. I like your website! All the best, Jenny
He died. I’d just re-named him ‘Fred’, a proper name rather than a joke one, because I’d thought I could take a chance on becoming fond of him. He seemed to be responding well, would come to my hand and eat out of it, let me handle him without visible signs of disgress, was eating and drinking, but I came home to find him dead. Does anybody need large quantities of wild bird seed, sunflower seeds, suet, meal worms, peas and sweetcorn?
Am feeling sad. Silly to be disappointed, because he had taken a dreadful beating, but still, he was a character.
Better get on with cleaning up the greenhouse, I suppose. He was not exactly houseproud.
I feed a flock of around 40 Pigeons every morning. Along with a few Pied Wagtails, & a rather cheeky Robin who comes into my workshop for his very own supply of grated cheese (medium cheddar of course) .
Last week I noticed a Pigeon behaving very oddly, wobbling around, crash landing, & chucking his food over his head. A bit of research on the internet revealed that he/she is probably suffering from Paramxovirus (PMV).
Yesterday, I managed to catch him, as, he had come into my workshop looking for food. He was unable to fly, & was pretty weak. I popped him/her into a small cage that I have, with lots of food & clean water. He spent the whole day stuffing himself!
This morning he’s looking better, he’s still chucking food over his head, & making a dreadful mess
I cannot find anywhere local that would take him in. As, a lot of rescue centres don’t have the facilities to keep a bird with PMV isolated.
I don’t mind taking care of him until he’s better, assuming he makes it, it could be a few weeks according to what I’ve read, but I could do with a bigger cage to keep him in. Does anyone in the SW London/Surrey border area have one that I could at least borrow until ‘Boris’ (as in Karloff) as I call him, is fit for release?
You can contact me via my website http://[email protected]
Hi Stew, I work at Folly Wildlife Rescue in Kent and we would happily take this pigeon in for care (http://www.follywildliferescue.org.uk/ and http://www.facebook.com/follywildliferescue). I will email you further about this. PMV can take months to recover from, if they recover, that is. Some never do, unfortunately.
Hi I found a pigeon on the road at first I thought it was dead but when i moved close Ii realized it was alive. it doesnt seem to have any visible injuries and it looks very clean the only thing is that it seems to be in shock or something as it didnt try to move when I picked it up and even though its eyes are open and it is standing it seems to be in a daze.I used a droper to give it some water with a little sugar dillutted in it and it drank it but still looks very out of it. I wrapped it in a towel and put it in a box and then in a warm room. Is there anything else I can do?
I live in Athens Greece and its hard to find wild bird rescue here.
thanks for ready I hope you can help.
I would love to see our little friend fly away
Hi Bill, what you’ve done is good. The pigeon may be in shock over its accident, so keeping it in a warm, quiet room as you have done is good. (Pigeons suck up water so if you dip its beak in a bowl of water it will drink from it if it wants.) I will email you further information.
hya i have a dove,i rescued from a cat attack,her wounds have healed after anti biotics and pain relief.its been 3 weeks since and id had it since it came out of the nest and had a bad 1st landing…both incident have injured her wing but it now seems strong altho hangs slightly lower and one feather is stuck in the quill…but she flaps so hard she lifts herself up on the side of the parrot cage shes been kept in and she can fly around my living room.altho crashes into things so not to keen to let her go in their again due to possible injuries…i think its time to let her go and shes looking strong.where would be best to let her go.i dont want a repeat of the cat saga as that whats happened last time.someone got in my garden and let her out and a cat got her.too many round here.do i let her go near other doves or just a aplace with lots of trees like my dads as i can put seed down until shes ready to fend for herself….i cant get any rescue centres round here as theyr either closed down or full.shes beautiful but no life in a cage.so needs to have a go.just hope shes strong enough …cheers sara…any help would be greatly appreciated
sorry also will she try to find her way back to mine?shes kinda bonded with me as i had to pump feed her for a few weeks,altho i never petted her.just washed n cleaned her wounds.poor thing its a miracle she survived.her back was a huge hole and you coudl see her wing bone….she deserves such a chance.such a brave birdy.i dont want to release in my garden incase she comes back and gets attacked by neighbours cats…when she flys she flys back to me and sits on my hand…that without me treating her as a pet.bless her
Hi, thank you for contacting. The dove needs to be able to fly properly before you release her, but more importantly if she is tame you cannot release her into the wild. If the dove is very friendly towards you and likes to sit on you and be in your company then I’m afraid she’s tame, and if you release her she may not be able to find food and not know what a predator is to avoid them. If she’s not tame then she can be released where there are other doves and lots of food and trees for shelter, so you need to find a place where there are other doves. I’ll email you to discuss this further.
hya arr thanks for that.she doesnt like me picking her up and wing slaps me when i try i think she is more familiar with me….ive not encouraged any friendship altho she did sit on me in the house when i was seeing if she could fly & flew onto me,i dont think shes scared of me but doesnt want me handling her.im just not sure how strong she can fly or for how long.no way of telling unless i let her go as i cant test fly her,when she flaps she lift herself up and her wings both move so fast.but then im worrying if i cant get her back.reason i want her to go is shes pacing the cage and flying at the bars desperate to get out.its a big parrot cage but shes a bird.i was thinking take the cage to my dads leave the door open for if she wants to come back.i released a dove there a month back and theres about 3 that come back.ill just put lots of seed down.shes not scared of me atall but does that mean shes tame.she wont let me handle her willingly.when i take in injured wild birds i dont stroke them just do what needs to be done and put em back.really hope shes not tame.the feeding by herself could be an issue.shes never fed by hersel
f as shes straight out of nest.she pecks well tho…i guess leave loads of seed out till shes found her barings.i am a nervous wreck over this but cant keep her locked up every day shes deseperately trying to get out..pity theres no rescues round her.3 owls were fanstasic but sadly closed.cheers sara
There was a family of pigeons in my back garden that i have been keeping an eye on and the 3 babys have grown up and there is no sign of the parents or the other 2 babies they may have flown away, but one has fallen and possibly injured itself. I did not see it fall but it does not seem to be able to fly. whether that is because it does not know how or it is injured i don’t know. Anyway when it was on the ground it was attacked by our hens. It is fully grown but still young. I’ve put it in a box with a thin layer of straw. What should I do now?
Hi Charlie, you’ve done the right thing by containing the pigeon. Please keep it warm and put some wild bird seed in a small bowl, as well as a small dish of water. You will need to find your nearest pigeon-friendly rescue centre or vets. If you’re in the UK, please have a look at this website: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentres.htm. For elsewhere, please look at this website for your nearest centre: http://www.pigeonangels.com/f8-pigeon-resources
Hi, I got a baby pigeon today which was discarded by the mother pigeon. I don’t know why she did so.the baby was rite in front of her eyes lingering here and there for almost a whole day but she did not bother at all. Anyways the baby is very small. I think its just of 1 or 2 days. I will contact the rescue center soon but till then please advise me how i can take a good care of it. what should i feed it and in what regular intervals? awaiting your reply.
I am simply loving the feeling of the presence of the baby at my home.
Hi Reva, thank you for contacting us. Please keep the baby warm (make a little nest out of fleece or something warm) but don’t try to give it any food or water unless you have a small pipette to syringe the food into its crop. You have to be careful when feeding such a small baby because the liquid can go into the lungs if you don’t know what you’re doing and kill the baby. Please have a look at this website for advice on what and how to feed a baby: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/caringforababypigeon.htm I will email you directly.
Hi, thanx for replying. i saw the website. i will surely try those tricks. By the way i am regretting to say that i had given it some drops of skimmed milk 2 hrs ago and it has excreted some time before. I thought the baby was hungry and fed him some skimmed milk as i read it on the internet. Its 4am here and i don’t have a syringe. so what should i do? should i wait till morning and then feed the baby or should i continue giving him some drops of skimmed milk in every 2 hrs?
about ten days ago my cat brought in a young pidgeon. He hadnt hurt him and i was initially going to put him out in the field behind the house. Then i realised that he wasnt fully developed and hadnt got all his tail feathers. I put him in a disused cattery that i have, put some hay in , made him a nest left food and water and left him to settle. Hes been fine, grown his feathers and started to fly around a bit. I havent handled him at all and would appreciated advice on releasing him. thankyou
Excellent, sounds like you’ve done the right thing by not handling him / her.
If he can fly and is fully feathered (even under the wings) then I would suggest putting food down to entice a flock and then release him / her while the flock is still in the garden. Hopefully that way the pigeon will join the flock.
hi, this evening whilst walking my friend’s dogs, i found a (wild?) pigeon that had previously been caught and someone had tied a string to its foot (!) but i found her with the string tangled up in some barbed wire and the bird flapping helplessly upside down. untangled the string and drove back with the bird so i could cut the string off and then.. have her at home in a basket with paper and a small towel to stay warm. just gave her water, though i have no food at all, its after midnight. i should say, i’m overseas in asia.. so not sure i will find a pigeon centre nearby.. what should i feed her? am happy to let her re-cooperate from string ordeal and see if she’ll mend, but need advice.. thank you
Hi Julia, thank you for contacting us. Pigeons often get their feet tangled in string, wire or hair, and sometimes it cuts off the blood circulation and their toes fall off. Not a very nice thing to happen, so it is really wonderful that you were able to help the pigeon, especially when it was dangling on barbed wire! Poor pigeon! You have done the right thing by keeping it contained and warm. As for food, if you haven’t got any bird seed, any bread will be ok (seeded preferably) or rice, peas or sweetcorn is ok too for the short term. I will email you directly with more advice.
yes all of you are right I have a doves nest in on top of my house but the baby fell out and I picked it up and got a ladder and put it back but the parents aren’t feeding it so what shall I do
Hi Mo, please keep the baby in a warm, secure location and try to find your nearest animal rescue centre that may help you. If you are in the UK, here is a link to pigeon friendly rescue centres: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentres.htm. This website has lots of information on what to feed a baby dove or pigeon: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/caringforababypigeon.htm I hope you find someone near you. Good luck!
There is a banded pigeon at my home, its been there about 4-5 days now. I am feeding it wild bird seed and it hangs out on the roof. Any idea what the band means? and how to catch it if I need to read the band for id purposes? It lets me get within about 4-5 feet then fly’s up to the roof again.
Any help appreciated.
Hi Beth, it’s probably a racing pigeon that has either lost its way or is injured and hasn’t the strength to fly back to its home. The band on the leg will have some numbers and letters on it that will help with tracing its owner, however, many racing pigeon owners don’t want lost or injured birds back because they haven’t made the grade – so they will most likely kill it if you try to return the pigeon to its owner. It may be that after a few more days the pigeon will fly back to its home, however, if you feel it needs help then you would have to find your nearest pigeon friendly animal rescue centre that can rehome the pigeon for you. To catch the pigeon: you’ll have to lure the pigeon into something with food (e.g. a shed or garage) that you can shut the door and then catch the pigeon inside. If the pigeon doesn’t look like a racing pigeon (e.g. normal grey colouration) and looks more like a fancy pigeon that has escaped then it will need to be caught to trace the owner. Fancy pigeon often cannot find their way home and so would need the help.
hi i found a young pigeon on my window ledge looking very wet n bedraggled, after two days in my bird shed he now lives outside. he goes off on his own for the night but comes to see me every afternoon for some feed and sit on my head.is this normal behaviour for a wild pigeon.
Hi Linda. Pigeons become tame and friendly very easily so it may be that due to your care he’s taken a shine to you.
Hi, there’s a baby pigeon on my balcony. It’s about 1 month and a half old now, but it seems like its mum discarded it. It walks and flips its wings, but I don’t think it can fly because I can see the skin of its back and it looks infected. I’m not that comfortable with pigeons, but I can hear it “crying” and would like to do something. Also, to be completely honest, its nest is covered of poo and it smells and attracts lot of flies. What can I do? Is there anyone I could contact to take him to a rescue center? I’m central/south London. Thanks!
Hi Laurianne, sounds like the baby pigeon needs rescuing so you need to contact someone nearby. This website has a list of pigeon friendly rescue centres: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentresinengland.htm
There is a pigeon with,what looks like cotton or cord around its foot. It is wrapped quite tightly around.
It is limping,and I want to help.
How do you catch a pigeon? She/He is in a flock that lives in the street.
Can I help it? How do I go about catching him/her.
I would appreciate any help. Thanks.
Hi Carolanne, if the pigeon can fly then it will be hard to catch. You will need a net or a towel to throw over it, or if you can lure it into a room with food then try to catch it there. Best thing is to feed the pigeons, and with a friend, try to catch the pigeon with a net or towel, however, you will have to be very quick. It is very sad that many pigeons get wire or hair wrapped around their toes.
We found a pigeon living in the bed of our truck. It seems like an adult and in good health. I have seen it fly but today it hasn’t flown at all. It moved to the side of the chimney when we moved the truck. It didn’t look comfortable and didn’t look like it could fly anymore. We were able to have it perch on a stick and we moved it back to the truck. We gave it water and food and its living in the truck bed right now. I’m not sure what to do. We don’t have pigeons where we live but my husband said there are pigeons living in the parking garage where he works. Could this pigeon have hitch-hiked a ride from the garag e to our house (15 miles)? It seems completely lost I’m thinking we should drive it back to the garage but not sure how it would do with during the return trip. Any comments on this?
Hi Joyce, I will email you about this.
I found a pigeon last night, it was upside down shaking with the neck twisted and in shock, it was in the middle of the street, i didn’t want a car to ran it over so i put it on the sidewalk, when I went by the same place like 10 min later, it was in the middle of the street again. so i picked her up again and put it on a green area, next day my wife told me that the pigeon was in the same place so we went and gave her water, she couldn’t fly and her tail was sideways, she try to flee from us today when we saw her but she couldn’t fly, she could barely run, she ran into a bush and looked scared. so we decided to put it back in the green area, thinking she would be better in a safer place, we brought the pigeon to our house, we put a box with to the house, we put a box with towels and water and she was there calm. we when out and when we came back she was moving more and looked better, we gave her some sunflower seeds and more water. like about 3 hours later she started flapping, she feel upside down again and was stressed out and shaking, i didn’t understand since i tough the pigeon was getting better earlier, I pick her up wrap her in the towel gently and gave her water, she was drinking it, then she really started to drink it a lot and faster so i thought she ll be fine. i put her down in the box again but this time unlike earlier it seemed that her legs did not respond and she feel forward inside the box with out being able to get up or give a step. I picked her up again, but by now her tail was straight again. earlier it was sideways. but this time her neck was a little crooked like last night. so i was holding the little bird and she started to shake even more, after a few seconds it seemed she was going on my hands. it kinda creep me out and I feel bad, I didn’t know what to do, I wanted the little bird to get better and to fly again. she suddenly started to shake slower but stronger so i knew she was going . I wrapped the towel around her body like a blanket and then put the remaining part of the towel behind the pigeon head as a pillow and lay her on her side to make her more comfortable. she then didn’t shake any more and she passed away. I am not into pigeons or birds ET all but I do help them when they come across me and need help. I swear to you, this felt awkward and I felt really sad that the little bird did not make it. did I do something wrong? should I have let her out before this happened? I don’t know , all I know is that I tried my best and me and my family gave her love, we pet her little head when we found her, we gave her food and water and a safe place for recovery, still, I feel sad and kind of guilty because I think maybe I did something wrong. I hope I did not since my intentions were the best. after the little pigeon stop moving and breading, I proceeded to close her little eyes, put her back in the box and took her right across the street in a park and placed the box with her inside right next to a tree. I hope the little bird is happy and in a better place now. any feedback as to my actions and shed some light into what went wrong would be appreciated. Thank you!
Hello Kinich, you did the right thing in taking the pigeon home and giving her warmth and shelter. It sounds like the pigeon was ill and most likely would have been run over by a car or died in the cold. You didn’t do anything wrong, so please don’t feel bad. Sometimes we cannot save an animal but the best thing we can do is give them a safe and warm place to be in during their final hours. Thank you for helping the pigeon. Many people wouldn’t have, and even though you say you’re not a bird person, you still had the kindness in your heart to help.
There is metal netting underneath the motorway bridge close to where I live to preevnt pigeons landing and apparently destroying the bridge (laughable). However, The pigeons have still managed to get in but are becoming trapped, there are a number of dead bodies, and some alive ones but will not make it due to thirst and starvation. There is also one pigeon that is trapped by its leg and wing and cant move. It is obviously suffering as its is squealing and screaming, it is making me feel so sad as I cant do anything to help – the bridge being so high up. Cant get through to RSPCA and tried to find pigeon rescue in Manchester without success. Is there anything to do? It is making me sad knowing at least one bird, probably more is suffering. Please advise thanks Karen
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/35356 – Also if people could sign the petition to ban netting would help
Hi Karen, it is horrible that the pigeons are trapped!! This is a common occurence and is actually illegal for the company who put the netting up to let birds become trapped and die. These facebook groups may be able to help you with contacts in the Manchester area: http://www.facebook.com/groups/408975542471242/ and http://www.facebook.com/groups/PigeonProtection/ Please post what you’ve written to me there and hopefully help will be at hand. The only other thing I can suggest is finding out who’s in charge of maintenance of the bridge and contacting them, or even contacting the local newspaper to report what is happening.
Thanks, Karen, for sharing the link.
I rescued a pigeon being eaten by a kestral. He had a big hole the size of my thumb under his wing but I cleaned it and treated it with some Duphacyline spray which we use for the horses and after 2 weeks he is nearly mended but unfortunately he has lost a tremendous amount of weight and I fear I will loose him if he doesnt have a friend to make him eat more. I live in Wigan (North West) and would be grateful to anyone who could offer me another pigeon as company or alternatively take mine till he is fit and well to be released back to his chums. I am willing to pay for any food during his recovery or keep a friend while he is recovering. Please help someone before its too late. Contact me on 07713 627751. Thanks x
Hi Dalila, thanks for contacting us. This website has a few places in Lancashire that may be able to help you: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentresinengland.htm, such as Greenmount Wild Bird Hospital: http://www.gwbh.org.uk/ If you have no luck with these websites, then may I suggest posting your request on this facebook pigeon rescue group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/pigeon.rescue/ They have many members from around the country, so I’m sure you’d be able to find someone local who can help you!
Hello. I found a pigeon this morning when I was walking my dog. He was sitting on the ground, and when my dog went up and sniffed him, he did not move. I decided to take a closer look, and noticed both of his eyes were bleeding, and they were glued shut with dried blood. Initially I did not pick him up because I thought he might have a disease, but when I saw he was still sitting there in the same spot on the ground this evening, I decided to take him home. He put up a little fight, but I put him in a pillow case and he is now comfortably restingin my garage until I can take him to the SPCA tomorrow mornbing. what do you think is wrong with him? I was thinking maybe he flew into a window, or was hit by a car. I could try using some warm water and cleaning off the dried blood on his eyes. Any suggestions?
Hi Susan, you did the right thing in picking up the pigeon. There’s obviously something wrong with it, however, without seeing a photo of the pigeon it is very hard to say what could be wrong (even telling from a photo can be hard). It may be a disease or an injury but whatever the case, the pigeon needs care. Please keep him warm and secure until you can take him to a pigeon friendly vet or rescue centre. You can try dipping the pigeons beak in a small bowl of water to see if he’ll drink, but I wouldn’t try to feed him (unless he’s going to be with you for many days). I hope you find help soon so the pigeon can get the treatment he needs. Good luck and thank you for helping!
I found a pigeon that looks to be two weeks old in the hallway of my building, it came in from the open terrace. It had appeared to have landed in wet cement and had globs of cement stuck to it (there is constuction next door), so i gently washed it and most of the cement came off. It tried to fly afterward but was all wet and kept falling forward and doesn’t have many feathers. I don’t know if washing it was a great idea but it seemed to feel better and there was no way it could fly with all the cement on it.
Now it is resting on the closed terraced in the shade on an old shirt. i put food and water there but i think he needs to rest. I left him there (which is quite secure) because I have cats inside and its family was hanging around nearby and squawking at him !
I’m in Argentina so I don’t believe there is a bird rescue — what would be the best thing to do? Thank you!
Hi Ande, thank you for contacting. Sorry for the late reply (I had internet problems). You did the right thing in rescuing and washing the pigeon. As you said, he wouldn’t have been able to fly with cement stuck to his feathers. Keeping the bird warm and safe is good (which you’ve done) but he’ll need feeding and care if he’s a baby. I found these contacts in Argentina from this website (http://pij-n-angels.forumotion.net/t274-matilda-s-list-south-america) so maybe they can help you?
Dr Hector Funes
J. V. Gonzalez 5359
Vucetich 616 – Tel: 6327-2454
Monday to Friday: From 17:00 to 20:00.
Saturdays from 10:00 to 13:00
Argentina, Buenos Aires….. +54 11 47991683
Andrea Ferrari, Asociacion Ribera Norte (Subcomision de Fauna)
Thank you so much for your answer! Well the little guy is doing much better=
after eating today. I didn’t see him eating so I fed him by hand. I fed hi=
m about a teaspoon and a half of lentils brown rice and seeds and another h=
alf teasspoon six hours later, but now he has more fight in him. How much s=
hould i be feeding him?=A0
He can hop around and fly about one and half or two feet in the air. The te=
rrace has walls that are about six feet high so he can’t escape. What I am =
worried about is that the pigeon family was hanging around and up above and=
I’m worried they won’t want him back if I handle him too much.=A0
I did call the gentleman, thank you very much. He gave me some advice. Ther=
e is a bird refuge or some sort but it costs money. We kind of have our han=
ds full with the overpopulation of dogs and cats here so I will do the best=
I can I really hope i can reintegrate him. but I’m kind of ‘winging it’.
Thanks so much!
I have a small home based rescue and at present have a few young pigeons that will soon be ready to released
my question is
in the wild do the young stay as a family group ?[they seem to from my bird-table studies ]
Should i let them go in the same area as they were found, in case they can rejoin their family units? the one is not a problem[my garden] but the others came from a factory estate where there are a lot of sparrow hawks,[I know because i had to rescue a sparrow hawk that had been hit by a car from here][the birds have been in my care for a few weeks now]
has anybody studied wild pigeons in detail, I know they mate for life,but do they form family groups?
Also I have been feeding wild birds in my garden for the past six years and have a few large flocks of pigeons feeding twice a day each group [they are more the size of chickens now and get through 25kg of feed each week,] I would like to move to the country and get some land to start a bigger rescue centre but wonder how these flocks will survive? some have been bringing their young, and their young have bought their young ect! how is the best way to get them to be less dependent on me?
also although i have had no problems so far could the local authorities do anything to stop me feeding these birds [its my own house] if a neighbour complained for example?
Hi Barry, I will email you with my reply. Thanks for contacting us!
Hi, My pet cat caught an adult pigeon and luckily i stopped her from hurting the poor thing seriously. I put the bird on a flat surface outside and am keeping the cat inside. Although there’s no blood, the bird can’t seem to fly. Its been sliding along the floor for the past few hours. How long does the shock usually take to subside (more or less?) ? Usually when this happens to the smaller birds she(the cat) catches they recover quite fast.
Hi Basheera, I just saw your message. Shock usually subsides after a few hours, however, cats have a lot of bacteria in their claws and teeth, so if your cat has injured the pigeon (even a small cut) then the pigeon can die from blood poisoning. The pigeon would need antibiotics. If the pigeon is injured and cannot fly then it would need to be seen by a vet or wildlife rescuer.
Hi, I found a baby pigeon in the road when it was just a couple of weeks old, must of fallen from the tree. I took him home, that was middle of April this year he alive and well and I’ve been feeding him, first bread and milk, today we was out side and he took his first propper flight but came straight back. He lives in my back room, and roams around the house in the day he’s not long started flying he started flying off the floor on to my lap and then every moning now when I go in the back room to him he flys straight at me and lands on me. He’s defently about 2 months old now, and he like eating his food out on his own. But sometimes still wants to be fed like a baby by putting his beak in my fingers and sqweeks and beats me wiv his wings lol. He’s become a part of our family and I reallly like him, I’ve never done anything like this before. I’m scared if I let him go he won’t survive, a day, but I no if I keep him he can live to up to 15 yrs, what can I build to keep him in. Out side so he can’t get eaten by a cat. Obvioulsy ill let him out to fly, but ill be watching him.
Hi Debbie, thanks for commenting. Yes, you are right, the pigeon can live on average 15 years in captivity, so if you want to keep your pigeon you can build him an aviary in your garden. Here’s a link to a good blog that will give you an idea of what you’ll need: http://www.rescuereport.org/2011/01/how-to-create-aviary-for-rescued-king.html As you have said, there are dangers with letting your pigeon fly freely, so the bigger the aviary, the better really so that your pigeon can fly safely about in it.
oooo, thankyou for replying to me I replyed bk via email. And sent pictures of nasher as I’m when I found him and as he is now or she I don’t know.
Hi Debbie, thanks for the photos. I’ll reply properly to your email soon.
Hi again. Nasher! It was like he was attacking me and my partner he’s never done it before but he hopped over to us and darted his beak at us witch sort of hurt. Different to his normal nipping and pecking at are fingers. It was like he wanted to hurt us. So I took him out side and he has flew into the tree across the rd he’s been there for over a hour now its getting late not much sun time left. Will he be alright? And why do you think he started to do that to usis it his way of telling us he’s had enough of us and he wants out. witch is strange as he doesn’t no what out and about is really.
I need help. For a week at work everyone has been leaving crackers etc. for a bird that had something wrong. The feathers on the back of his head and all of the feathers along his/her back are gone. I started bringing bird seed with sunflowers seeds and cracked corn for it myself because it look in such sad shape. Well I noticed that many different types of birds were eating all that had been left for the pigeon and they were bullying the bird. My heart broke and I have brought it home with me. I need to know how to help it. I don’t know if I am fighting disease or a horrible accident. I have isolated the bird in an ample cage and I am ready to do what I need to so it will come back to life. Please, any suggestions.
Hi Elisabeth, thank you for rescueing the bird. You’ve done the right thing! Please try to find your nearest pigeon-friendly rescue centre that can have a look at the pigeon to see what is wrong with it.
Hi just found a baby pigeon on our garden only a few days old, hasn’t even opened its eyes. Still alive I’ve wrapped it in a sock and put it on a hot water bottle. What shall I do ?
Hi Eve, the best thing to do is contact your nearest wildlife rescue centre or organisation that can take the pigeon to hand-rear. There’s links to places that can help on this blog post. Don’t try to feed the pigeon yourself since the baby pigeon will need to be fed a special diet, and you also have to be careful not to get the liquid food into its lungs when feeding. You’ve done the right thing in keeping the pigeon safe and warm.
Hi, last week my partner found a baby pigeon on our lawn. In fact there was 2 but the other one was already dead, he brought the alive one in and put it under a light overnight, luckily the baby survived, I’ve
now had it a week, we have puti it in warm room in a big box with newspaper , I feed it with a syringe with a ballon on the end and but it so the bird can put its beck in, and been feeding it porridge, are we doing the right thing
Hi Clare, lovely to hear that you have rescued a pigeon in need. Although porridge isn’t the best thing to rear a pigeon, it can be used in an emergancy. I would advise you reading the info on this website for the best food for a baby pigeon: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/ Once the pigeon is older it is good to introduce small seed to its diet.
Hello Revati, I need some advise….
2 weeks ago we got a racing pigeon as a “guest”…it ate with our chickens….and after 6 days it flow happy away.
Last monday I worked in our storage room and a pegeon walked in and didn t like to fly or go away. (it was after this terrible rain). I decided to put it in a box and take it with me home. I gave chicken food and water to it and it was very hungry and thirsty. How ever…it still didn t fly and we decide to keep it in the box with wood chips food , water and air howls ower night in our porch, that not an other animal come and catch it. In the morning I let it out and it was eating happy with our 5 chicken….they also seems not to bother. It walked all day through our garden….it seems it likes company and is is not afraid if I pick it up…..but I think it can t fly….now it is thursday and we do that every day now….it doesn t look that a wing is broken (its not hanging down) it only looks it can t fly…..do you think it will be happy to live with our chicken ? Please let me know. ute
Hi Ute, thanks for contacting us. Have you tried holding the pigeon (let it perch on your hand) and then moving your hand up and down so that the pigeon has to flap to keep balance? That way you can see if the pigeon can actually move its wings or if there is a problem with them. It may be that the pigeon is a young one or it could be too tired to fly at the moment. Pigeons can live with chickens but you need to make sure it has a safe place to go where the chickens cannot get to it in case they try to attack it (sometimes chickens will pick on weak or smaller animals). Pigeons eat mainly seed, grains and dried peas, etc, as well as some fresh food (shredded lettuce, cabbage, sprouts). I will email you shortly with more info. Take care, Rev
Hi, yesterday I was found by a baby pigeon who came out from under a parked car, chased me down the sidewalk and climbed up my leg. He seems to be 18-20 days old based on photos I looked at, he eats well, barley and brown rice so far, and drinks well. I see no evidence of injuries and he can fly a few feet, seems to be fairly content being held. My question is, what now? I live in Italy, there is no pigeon rescue rather the birds are automatically destroyed, so I guess we have been adopted, at least temporarily. I live in a 5th floor apartment in a large city, no access to a garden, so I need some information on how to house him. At the moment, he’s content to stay in a large box in the bathroom to keep him safe from my cat and dog, but that won’t last for long. I don’t know whether I should attempt to reintroduce him into the “wild” when he’s fully fledged, or just accept the fact we have a new pet. Any advice will be greatly appreciated. Mary
Hi Mary, thanks for contacting us. You can reintroduce the pigeon to a feral flock when he’s older, however, if he becomes tame then he may have problems surviving in the wild, so you’ll need to be careful. If you can get a large cage to keep the pigeon in that would be good, since he’ll be protected from your cat and dog (pigeons need length rather than height, so a long length cage is better than a tall cage). I would buy a variety of seed to give to the pigeon as well as the barley and brown rice. There are some pigeon groups on facebook that can give good advice and support if you ever need some more pigeon contacts. I will email you with more info.
Hi. I came across a pigeon in an alley unable to fly looking somewhat bedraggled, tail feathers short and some missing with the feathers not sleek but separated into clumps. I took it home and I’ve had it couple of days, it eats okay. I can’t find anything obviously wrong with it but when I put it on the lawn it scurries off leaning a bit to one side. Do you have ideas and are there any pigeon people near where I live – Clapton, Hackney?
Hi Elisabeth, it sounds like there’s definitely something wrong with the pigeon so it would need looking at by a wildlife carer or vet. There’s a group in London called The Pigeon Rescue Team who will be able to help you. Check their website out: pigeonrescueteam.blogspot.co.uk Good luck!!
I have two not yet fully fledged pigeons in my back gardon traped in my Hollie bush. What should I do?
Hi Garth, I hope you rescued the two baby pigeons and found a pigeon friendly rescue centre or vets to help you. Advice on what to do is written in my post, so I hope you read it.
As I have rescued a pigeon this afternoon in my town centre(Ipswich) I was pleased to read all the emails from careing people looking after so many of these lovely birds.
At the moment I have my one in a box with food and water tissues in my car! as I only have a small flat with two cats! he is safer in there for the night but will see if he is still with me tomorrow to find somewhere for him to get proper help. I spent an hour trying to get help this afternoon but either not interested or just those dam answer machines.Even the RSPB( which I belong to) did not help or give any advice.Wildlife said they were only dealing with hedgehogs!RSPCA were less that helpful.
So I am hoping I can get some good advice from your email addresses. It is sad that so many of ‘so called’ rescue centres are not willing to help.My own vet would just have put it down, I want to give it a chance.
Thank you for reading this.
Hello Margaret, thank you for contacting us. Where in the UK are you based? This website has a list of pigeon friendly people that can help, so you may find one near you on the list: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentres.htm
I hope that the pigeon you’ve rescued survives the night and you’re able to find someone local who can take the pigeon for care and eventual release.
I sent you an email but I don’t think it go to you. Sadly my little pigeon died before I could find help for him. I will not renew my membership to the RSPB or the Suffolk Wildlife as both were of no help at all. RSPCA did not answer their phone I tried for an hour!Phoned everywhere I could think of..
I have buried the poor thing he was a little fatty and feel sad I could not save him but at least thanks to you answering my email I now have a place to go should it happen again, I was just on my way to Thorrington near Colchester who was willing to take him in when he died. You would think a town the size of Ipswich would have a rescue centre.The wild life people were only rescuing hedghogs(I love them too)but Pigeons are living creaures as well.Sorry I sound angry I feel guilty I could not save him. Margaret.
Hello Margaret, sorry I didn’t receive your email. Very sad to hear about your little pigeon. You did your best in trying to find him help (much more than most people would do). Please don’t feel guilty. You gave the pigeon a safe, warm place and did everything you could to help him. Thank you. I hope your next encounter with a pigeon isn’t so traumatic. Please don’t hesitate to contact me again. Revati
Hi, I found a pigeon on the sidewalk. My cat must have caught it and it is alive and breathing heavy. Scared. Put it in cage with water and food and just sits there looking around breathing heavy. Not sure what to do next? Lak
Hi Lori, it sounds like the pigeon is scared and stressed. It may be that after a few hours he’ll be ok and able to fly away, however, if a cat has caught him then there may be an injury and he’ll need veterinary attention. If you can find someone nearby who can examine the pigeon to let you know if it needs treatment or a pigeon-friendly rescue centre that can take the pigeon in for care, that would be the next step. I hope the pigeon isn’t injured and can be released. Good luck!
Hi my husband found a pigeon yesterday ive tried to research what i can and then I found ur site. Can u help hes been in iso in my bathroom as I have 5 parrots. I called a wildlife ctr to try and take him but im not sure they can. Vet emerg will only kill him. Hes eating and drinking has greenish poop prop due to irritation of eating parrot seed. I cant see any symptoms of disease his eyes and beak are clean he seems to smell pleasant he is very friendly will let u pet him seems to have a demeanor like a pet but his head he tilts to the one side but has no broken bones and ive thoroughly checked
Hi Dana, thank you for contacting us. I shall email you for more information.
Daughter found a baby pigeon on the ground, no nest or
other birds around (it’s been really windy lately).
What do we feed it, if we can’t find a place for it.
Looks healthy, has most of its feathers, but still too small to fly.
Hi Calvin, sorry for the late reply but I have only just seen your message. I hope you saw the links provided on my blog about pigeon caring and rescuers and found the help you needed for the pigeon you found.
Hi there. Thrilled to have found your site. My partner arrived home from lateshift (10.30pm) to discover a pigeon waiting patiently on our front doorstep. We suspect its one of our regular visitors to our window feeders.
It is clam, bright and alert but has a visible wound on its breast – likely caused by a cat. Wound has fresh blood but is not bleeding badly.
It allowed me to pick it up without fuss and we have gently tended its injury before putting it in old cat box with a towel, seed and water. It is now resting in the hall with the lights off.
Question is…what do we do now?
Would really appreciate your advice.
We are in Glasgow.
Many thanks, Helene.
Hi, Helene, thanks for contacting us. The best thing is to find a local rescue centre or pro-pigeon vet that can help. Have a look at this website for contacts: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentres.htm If the pigeon has been injured by a cat there is a chance of it dying from septicemia from the bacteria in a cat’s saliva, claws, teeth, etc. I hope your pigeon has survived the night and is in good spirits. You did the right thing in providing it a safe place for the night but it will need long term care if it cannot fly. I hope you are able to find someone near you who can examine the pigeon and give it any treatment it may need. Rev from Pigeons as Pets
Can anyone help, I rescued a pigeon from St Helens towncentre he has one leg tucked up and cannot stand up properly he is eating and drinking and very lively at the moment he is in a rabbit hutch, but I don’t know what to do with him as I have 2 cats and 2 dogs can anyone help a rescue centre perhaps, I don’t mind paying.
I came home this evening to find a pigeon on my floor near the chimney. Have been having “soot” issues and reckon a bird was stick and so it seems. The poor thing must have fallen / made its way down the chimney.
Its now in a cat carrier and is quiet. Think its injured, but not sure? Foot maybe but hard to tell.
I think the bird is in shock and possibly has also got soot in its lungs. Left water and bread but took neither.
Hoping that in the morning it will have recovered.
Will ph the SPCA in the am to see if they have any suggestions and possibly take it to the vet….but dont want to put down unless vet reckons it cant recover??
PS Im in Dublin!
Hello Gill, the best thing to do is look on the internet for your nearest pro-pigeon rescue centre or sanctuary who can help. This website has some contacts in the UK: http://www.pigeonrescue.co.uk/rescuecentres.htm
Hello Orla, I don’t know of anyone personally who can help. The best thing is to search the internet for pro-pigeon people or look for help on a pro-pigeon forum or group on Facebook (there are many). Some vets will automatically recommend putting a pigeon to sleep, others may know of a rescue centre who can help. I hope your pigeon is ok and you find the help you need.
Hi there, I have been feeding pigeons on my balcony for a while now. Unfortunately this weekend a young pigeon was being bullied by the others and looked like it was gang raped by them.
It now looks like it can’t fly, it is hudled in a corner and was there all night in the rain. It can walk and feed but the others keep comeing back and trying to pick on it or mate with it.
Is there anything I can do to help it? I don’t think there is a rescue centre nearby
Hello Kimberley, if the pigeon cannot fly then it won’t survive out in the wild so finding someone who can care for the pigeon should be your first step if you want to help it. Facebook has many pro-pigeon people and there are also some pro-pigeon forums online that may have contacts near to you who can help (I am assuming you have already looked at the links on my blog post): http://www.pigeons.biz/forums/ or http://pij-n-angels.forumotion.net/. I hope the pigeon is ok and you are able to find someone nearby who can take the pigeon in for rehabilitation.
Hi could u advise me. I feed the birds and get a lot of pigeons. Have 3 cats. Yesterday at 5pm ferel pigeon was just sitting on lawn and when I went out to kt it. Keeping cats inside,, where they had been all day due to rain. Anyway pigeon flew up nearee I got. His wing definitely injured. He flew onto garage then later when I let cats out he flew up to side of house under guttering
It has stayed there all night kind of splayed out hanging on. What can I do or shpuld have done. I obviously cant get up to it. It can fly but will it stay therrrn
Hello Jane, as written on my blog post, any injured animal should be caught if possible and taken to a pigeon-friendly vet or rescue centre for evaluation and care. I understand that it is hard to catch a bird if it can still fly, but if it has an injured wing, over time it will find it more and more difficult to fly and will be easier to catch if it is in the area again. But when there are so many potential predators and hazards (e.g. cars, cats, birds of prey) in the area their chances of survival is slim. I hope the pigeon you saw is still ok but if you do see it again, please try to catch it.
Hi Can you please advise me? This afternoon I found a pigeon at my front door. He freaked out when I approached the door so I backed away and went around the back. I was hoping he would just go on his way once I got out of the way. However, he’s still there and it’s been hours. He doesn’t look injured but I haven’t had a close look yet as it frightens him if I approach.
A few days ago there was another injured pigeon near our house and we gave him/her food and water but unfortunately he/she died. I think that bird had been hit by a car or something. I’m wondering if this one is the first pigeon’s mate and doesn’t know what to do… I don’t think the local vets would rehabilitate him. Also I have a dog so I’m concerned about bringing him inside, but also concerned about how vulnerable he is just sitting outside the door in full view of all the passers by, dogs, cats etc. Not sure what to do the poor thing looks so lost. Worried how the night will go for him. Should I put a comfy box next to him with some food and water or should I move him or bring him in? I don’t think the local wildlife group would help as they only look after native birds and fauna. I’m in Melbourne. Thanks
Hi Lucinda. Sorry for the late reply. I have been away. I hope you found the help you needed. Pigeons (or any bird) that cannot fly always need help. As written in my blog post (which I hope you read), finding a pigeon-friendly rescue centre or vet is the best thing to do to ask advice and for them to assess the condition of the pigeon. The links on my blog post have more information and also some names of people who are pigeon-friendly around the world, for future reference too. It can be hard to know what to do but if the pigeon cannot fly then it should be put somewhere warm and safe while you find someone who can help. Sometimes the pigeon is very young and needs hand-rearing.
Thanks for your reply. I decided to offer the pigeon some food and water and was also planning to give him a warm box to sit in but when I took everything out he was gone! I looked around but there was no sign of him.
The front deck where he had been sitting has a large floor to ceiling window next to it and I wonder whether he had flown into it and hit his head on the glass and was just trying to recover. If so, he probably had an awful headache. Perhaps he flew off. He didn’t look too young. He looked fat and had beautiful shiny feathers (the purple ones around the neck). I hope he’s ok.
My worry is that I recently had my gutters cleaned of leaves because we’re heading into winter and the ceiling can leak if the gutters are full (I’ve got a huge tree next to the house). The guy told me he’d also removed a nest from one of the gutters. I told him I wish he hadn’t done that in case a bird needed it. He said he checked and there were no eggs. However, I’m worried that perhaps it was the pigeon’s nest and he’d lost his home . I certainly know now that next time I get my gutters cleaned I need to tell the guy not to remove any nests if he finds one.
Or perhaps the two events are unrelated and the bird just hit his head and now he’s ok…. I hate to think I inadvertently caused it.
Sorry to ramble. Best wishes Lucinda
Ps I really appreciate the work you do to help people help birds around the world. It’s nice to know there are people who care about these things.
Hello again, Lucinda. It may be that the pigeon had stunned itself, as you said, and recovered and flew away. I hope that was the case. You did what you could to help. Not many people care about pigeons. I’m glad you do. I wouldn’t worry too much about the nest since there were no eggs in it – no harm done. Pigeons nest in a variety of places (often ledges) and don’t usually make elaborate nests, and you’d definitely know if that was a pigeon nest by the loud cooing noises the males make. Thanks again for caring.
Hi Revati, Thanks for the reassurance – I feel better now!
Best wishes, Lucinda
Hi im hoping someone could advise me a little please, ive found two baby pigeons in my storage space (beneath the loft, above my ceiling), i havent heard any adults up there for a few days and one of the babies has fallen down the slope that is above my stairs, they look almost fully grown just have some fuzzy yellow feathers on their heads and almost no tails, im hoping to hear that the parents usually leave them alone for days cause im becoming concerned about them but i dont want to disturb them incase the parents return? Thanks for any help
Hello Sophie, thanks for contacting us. Pigeons stay with their parents for about 2 months before they leave the nest – and they only leave the nest when they can fly – so if the pigeons you have found are unable to fly then they are too young to be on their own. Both the parents should be feeding them, the babies are never left alone for long. You may want to check to see if anyone has blocked off the area in case the parents are unable to return to their babies. If at all possible, please return the babies to where they came from and watch to see if the parents return. If they haven’t then the babies need to go to a pigeon-friendly rescue centre or vet for care until they are old enough to be released. Please have a look at the links on my post for contacts near you. I hope all is well with the babies.
If you found an injured bird, there are several things you should and should not do.
Birds can be injured in a variety of ways around our homes and work places.
The most common injuries come from crashing into windows or wire fences, being caught by cats or dogs, getting hit by cars and falling down into chimneys.
If you have found a wild animal and need to know how to help it, please follow the questions below. You’ll have a solution in less than three minutes as you walk through these simple questions and answers.
if the animal has bleeding, broken bones or another obvious injury – you can bring the animal to Ohio Wildlife Center’s Hospital during open hours. See rescue and transport instructions.
2661 Billingsley Rd
Columbus, Ohio 43235
Mon-Fri, 9am – 5pm
Sat-Sun 9am – 3pm
follow below to Question 2.
Sounds like you need professional help. SCRAM! Wildlife Control is our fee-based service offering humane eviction and exclusion services. Our qualified technicians are here to help!
If you are outside of Central Ohio, please call your nearest humane society and ask if there is a humane, non-lethal company in your area that can help with your uninvited guests.
find your animal or situation below and see common solutions.
Ohio Wildlife Center is here to help. Please read below for the most common solutions and safety suggestions for your situation. Use Always use caution when approaching a wild animal. Keep children and pets away from these situations.
Outside of Central Ohio? Locate an expert in your area.
Please do not approach this animal, but instead monitor it at a safe distance. This is a dangerous animal and very difficult to help, even when injured. Please call your county’s wildlife officer to report the situation. If there is immediate public harm, please call your location’s non-emergency police or sheriff.
This animal needs immediate attention. However, do not put yourself in direct harm to help this animal. Do not attempt to get an animal off a highway or busy street without assistance. You can either safely contain the animal and bring to our Wildlife Hospital if it is safe to do so, or call the non-emergency police number for your location.
Bats should be approached with extreme caution. They are a high-risk mammal species for transmitting rabies to other mammals, including humans. It is highly advisable to seek professional assistance with bats. You can hire our certified wildlife professionals at SCRAM! Wildlife Control to assist in the collection of a bat in your home or yard.
Safely contain the animal and bring to the hospital.
Bats should be approached with extreme caution. They are a high-risk mammal species for transmitting rabies to other mammals, including humans. It is highly advisable to seek professional assistance with bats. You can hire our certified wildlife professionals at SCRAM! Wildlife Control to assist in the collection of a bat in your home or yard.
Safely relocate the bat to a surface such as a nearby tree or building, at least three to four feet off the ground. Bats usually cannot take flight from the ground and need at least a three- to four-foot drop in order to fly.
Check the next morning, and if the bat is still in the same place, bring it to the hospital.
Bats should be approached with extreme caution. They are a high-risk mammal species for transmitting rabies to other mammals, including humans. It is highly advisable to seek professional assistance with bats. Call your local non-emergency police or sheriff to see if your city or township has animal control staff. You can hire our certified wildlife professionals at SCRAM! Wildlife Control to assist in the collection of a bat in your home or yard.
Bats in Ohio are very important ecologically and are a protected species. It is illegal to kill or willfully harm any bat. Please seek professional expertise due to human health concerns and exclusion success. Contact SCRAM! Wildlife Control, a unit of Ohio Wildlife Center, to discuss professional and permanent approaches to bat exclusions. Our certified technicians will inspect the attic, document openings, and work with you to create a plan to benefit the humans and the bats.
Many people find birds that look like they need help. Some fall out of the nest too soon and do need help, but many are meant to be on the ground as young birds called fledglings and they should be left alone.
It is common for baby birds to fall out of the nest. Fortunately, their bones are still developing at this time, so the bird has less of a chance of serious injury from the fall. Birds usually fall straight down unless there have been severe winds.
After placing the bird in the determined spot, watch from a respectable distance for 30-60 minutes to ensure the parents are returning to feed the bird. If the adults haven’t returned by this time, the bird(s) is likely orphaned and should be admitted to the hospital. Human scent will not cause the parent birds to abandon their young (most songbirds have a poorly developed sense of smell).
If there is no sign of injury – broken limb, head tilt, visible blood – accompany the child and retrace the path to the area where the bird was collected, then locate the nest site and replace the bird as described in “A baby bird fell out of a nest” above. Remember to confirm the presence of the bird parents.
If the original site cannot be located, the bird should be brought to the Wildlife Hospital for care.
You are probably seeing fledglings. The young fledgling birds are typically clumsy flyers when they are fresh out of the nest. They have not fully developed their flight muscles or skills and are somewhat uncoordinated.
Parent birds will continue to feed a fledgling on the ground for a couple weeks as it learns to fly, allowing it to gain more strength. Often, when people or animals try to approach grounded fledglings, the adults will mob (fly in a threatening manner) the intruder – this is normal and a good sign that the bird is being cared for. These grounded young birds are usually able to fly within a few days.
Although birds are vulnerable to predators, pets (especially outdoor cats) and children at this stage of development, this is a normal process, and it is crucial for the bird to learn to recognize these threats. Keep pets indoors or take them out on a leash when necessary to prevent pet attacks, and watch the fledgling to make sure the parents are still feeding the bird.
This is a very common occurrence. Please wait 15 minutes before taking any action. Often, the bird will have regained its composure and it will fly off. (During this time, the bird is vulnerable to attack by domestic pets, so keep pets restrained.) If it has been at least 15 minutes, try to approach the bird. If it does not fly away, it is likely injured and should be brought into the Wildlife Hospital.
Litters of three to five Eastern gray squirrels are born in two seasons throughout the year: February/March and July/September. Squirrels are born hairless and with eyes and ears sealed shut. Their eyes open at 28 days, and babies are weaned around three to four months.
Mother squirrels are very loyal to their infants and will usually retrieve young that have fallen from their nest site. The mother will pick the infant up in her mouth and carry it back to the nest.
General Guidelines for Reuniting Infant Squirrels
The mother squirrel’s home range may be as large as eight acres. She will have multiple nest sites available, either in tree cavities or leaf nests. A typical leaf nest is a ball of leaves and twigs one to two feet in diameter, usually placed about 20 feet high in the tree.
If a nest becomes infested with fleas or mites, soiled with feces, or destroyed by a storm, the mother will carry her infants (one at a time) to a fresh nest within her territory. This can take time, especially if the alternate nest is on the opposite end of the mother’s territory.
If a young squirrel (eyes open, fully furred and mobile) approaches, follows or solicits human (or pet) contact, bring it into our hospital as soon as possible. Young squirrels, having been orphaned for nearly 72 hours, will begin to seek non-traditional food sources, including the unsuspecting human. It is considered a critical behavior when they begin to approach or follow people. In these situations, a few large pieces of fruit or vegetables (apples, melons, carrots, and a few shelled and unsalted nuts), if convenient, can be added to the container until the squirrel can be transported to our hospital.
The most common reasons for adult squirrel admission to the hospital are being hit by a car, electrocution and dog attacks.
Trapping a healthy animal is almost never a good idea. Please consider releasing the animal back at the site where it was trapped. The better approach is to address the reason the animal is bothering you. The problem doesn’t end when you trap one animal. Another will come. We recommend you contact our certified, professional technicians at SCRAM! Wildlife Control, who will work with you to identify points of entry, ensure no babies are left behind and permanently exclude future animals. All proceeds from SCRAM! support our hospital.
Did you know Ohio state law regulations deem it illegal to relocate any animal with a high potential risk for rabies (skunk, raccoon, coyote, fox, bat), and also beavers and opossums? All healthy trapped animals of these species must be released where they were captured within 24 hours, or they must be euthanized, according to the law.
Did you also know it is illegal to “relocate” any animal, regardless of species, by dumping it in a Metro Park, State Park or any other public land without permission? Relocation is also very BAD for the animal:
Unfortunately, these babies are now considered “nuisance” progeny and by state law in Ohio and they cannot be brought to our hospital. They must be euthanized. Specifically, young animals that have been orphaned or abandoned due to a purposeful action by a Commercial Nuisance Wild Animal Control Operator or a property owner cannot be rehabilitated. Call 1-800-WILDLIFE with any questions.
Deer can live in the wild with three legs. Even if it appears injured and hobbling, it has a good chance to heal, and leaving it alone is its best chance for survival. Keep an eye on it if you see its condition worsening, call your county’s wildlife officer to report the situation.
Unless there is an adult deer (no spots) dead next to the fawn, it is likely not an orphan.
Leave it alone. Female opossums can have up to 13 offspring. As the babies develop and become too large for the pouch, they will begin to ride around on the mother’s back. It is very likely that one or more may fall off at any given time. As you can imagine, the mother would probably not miss one or two bodies riding around on her back. The mothers do not come back for lost babies.
If it is smaller than an average adult palm and is found alone, it should be brought to our hospital.
This species is a common victim of vehicle collisions. In spring and summer, most female opossums have young in their pouches. Sometimes the adult is killed or severely injured by the automobile, but the babies remain uninjured. If young are present and still alive, transport the entire (deceased) adult animal with babies to the Wildlife Hospital. We do not recommend you remove the babies from the pouch. Young bodies can be missed, and it also helps the hospital team to see the condition of the mother in order to provide the best medical care for the infants.
No. Moving the nest is extremely risky to the life of the bunnies. Since the mother feeds at dawn or dusk, or basically when the yard is not in use, the nest can be protected (rather than moved) while the yard is “in use” by people, pets or lawn mowers, as long as the mother has access to her young between sundown and sunup. Once you estimate the age of the babies, you can determine how long you will need to protect the nest (it will be no more than three weeks).
Guidelines for Protecting a Cottontail Nest
How long will I have to do this? The longest anyone needs to protect a nest is three weeks. If the babies in the nest already have their eyes open, they are at least a week old.
First, be sure it’s truly abandoned. A wild animal will rarely abandon her young.
Young rabbits leaving the nest will be about the size of a lemon, but are totally independent. They are bright, with open eyes, and able to hop and evade capture. These young rabbits may hang around the nest for a few days before dispersing, but the mother rabbit has already left to make a new nest and produce another litter.
If a group of babies is in a nest and not mobile, check for nest abandonment by putting string in a hash pattern across the nest or lining it with flour. Only the female raises the young, and visits and feeds mainly at night. By day, she hides under bushes or lies low in tall grass to avoid detection by predators. She is rarely seen near the nest during the day. If the string is disturbed or prints appear in the flour, the mother is tending to the young.
If the rabbits do not have ears up and are hopping around, and you follow them and determine the mother hasn’t returned, the rabbits are considered orphaned and must be admitted to hospital.
Human scent is not known to cause wild animals to abandon their young over short periods of time. If uninjured, the young should be reunited with their parents. Never feed young rabbits liquids of any kind.
Return the rabbits to the original nest location. The rabbit’s nest is usually a shallow depression in the ground, about four or five inches in diameter and lined with soft grasses and the mother’s fur. They are often difficult to spot, as they are usually covered in grass and fur when the mother leaves for the day. Nests may be found anywhere suitable cover and food sources are available together, including fields, back yards, forest edges, etc.
Once the young are returned to their nest, follow the techniques to confirm that the mother is returning at night. If a group of babies is in a nest and not mobile, check for nest abandonment by putting string in a hash pattern across the nest or lining it with flour. Only the female raises the young, and visits and feeds mainly at night. By day, she hides under bushes or lies low in tall grass to avoid detection by predators. She is rarely seen near the nest during the day. If the string is disturbed or prints appear in the flour, the mother is tending to the young. If the mother does not return, the rabbits are considered orphaned and must be admitted to the hospital.
Stop feeding the rabbits and take them to our Wildlife Hospital immediately. You must let the staff know what you’ve been feeding them for their best chance of survival. Rabbits have very sensitive gastrointestinal systems. Cow’s milk, evaporated milk, kitten milk replacement and puppy milk replacement are not suitable for wild rabbits. These foods will frequently lead to diarrhea, gastroenteritis and/or death.
If their eyes are open, you may put chemical-free (no pesticides, herbicides, etc.) dandelions, clover or grass from your yard in the box with the rabbits. Store-bought dark lettuce greens will also work.
Rabbits are prey animals and therefore very easily stressed in captivity. They should not be handled except to place them in a container for transportation. Over-handling is often fatal in this species.
Please leave it alone. Raccoons or skunks should be approached with extreme caution. They are high-risk species for transmitting rabies to other mammals, including humans. It is highly advisable to seek professional assistance. Our professional technicians at SCRAM! Wildlife Control will come capture and transport the animal for a fee. Proceeds directly support our Wildlife Hospital. Skunks will also lift their tail and spray for protection when threatened. Please keep pets and children away from these situations.
Consider using a professional service that will not just trap and kill the animal. We recommend you seek professional services for difficult areas such as under decks or sheds. Contact our SCRAM! Wildlife Control certified technicians to inspect the problem area and work with you to find the best solution.
Raccoons or skunks should be approached with extreme caution. Although not likely in Central Ohio, they are high-risk species for transmitting rabies to other mammals, including humans. It is highly advisable to seek professional assistance. Skunks will also lift their tail and spray for protection when threatened. Please keep pets and children away from these situations.
Did you know raccoons and skunks usually have more than one nesting site? You can also try making the unwanted nest site less desirable to the mother in hopes that she may relocate her family on her own. It is best to use these techniques when the young are eyes open and mobile enough to follow their mother. If the mother must physically carry her young, this process may take some time and considerable energy on her part, but is the best option for allowing her to move at her own pace.
Humane techniques to make nest sites undesirable include:
Please don’t bring them in right away. It is unlikely that multiple young should be wandering around without an adult present. Adults rarely leave their offspring vulnerable to predators. It is likely that the young are orphans. However,
Yes. For a fee, we have certified technicians with our SCRAM! Wildlife Control team who will come and contain the snake.
Want to do it yourself? YES:
Use a broom or a long-handled object to coax the snake into a container and bring it to our hospital. Secure the lid and be sure there is ventilation. Snakes are cold-blooded reptiles and can’t be released outdoors in winter.
Use a broom or a long-handled object to coax the snake into a container and release it back outdoors. Snakes do not strike unless provoked and are great to have in your yard to control pests.
Please enjoy the sighting and leave it alone. There is a very slim chance of any snake found around Columbus to be venomous (correct term, not poisonous) unless a pet got loose. No snakes native to this area are venomous. General rule of thumb is that venomous snakes native to the United States have triangular-shaped heads and elliptical pupils. Snakes are beneficial for pest control of rodents and insects and do not strike unless provoked.
Place the turtle on the other side of the road in the direction it was headed. If someone already brought the turtle home, instruct them to take it back to the exact same location and put it in the direction it was headed.
CAUTION: If you have found a snapping turtle, only handle the turtle in the back third of its body by placing one hand at the base of the tail and the other hand on the plastron (bottom of the turtle). These are very powerful turtles that can inflict serious injury with their mouths.
Turtles must not be relocated. They must be released at the same site where they are found due to site fidelity and disease transmission possibilities.
Leave it alone! Bring all pets and children inside and allow the turtle to find its own path. We cannot protect every hatchling turtle from predation they must make their own path. Turtles (even aquatic ones) don’t usually lay their eggs near water. When the turtles hatch, they must find their own way to water (if aquatic, they have a built-in GPS, so they will be able to find water if necessary) and they are perfectly capable of surviving on their own when very small.
Exception: If you find a turtle during the cold/winter months when turtles should be hibernating, you will need to pick it up carefully and put it in a secure box or container with ventilation and bring it to our hospital for evaluation. Do not feed it.
Ohio Wildlife Center never recommends that healthy wildlife be taken from the wild. See Laws Regarding Wildlife Possession.
If you have already made the choice to keep a healthy wild reptile or amphibian as a pet, there is a limit on how long it can be held in captivity before the animal is no longer considered to be a candidate for release.
If you have had the animal for under one month, it could come in for an evaluation to make sure it’s healthy and in good condition, but we recommend these animals be released where they were found. It must be returned to its original territory.
If you have had it for longer (months or years) and did not follow through with appropriate permitting, you have acted outside the law. There is no legal path for private ownership of wild caught native box turtles. There are some paths for private ownership of other reptiles and amphibians, but there are many additional steps to take. Call 1-800-WILDLIFE to discuss options.
No, our Wildlife Hospital cannot admit a non-native animal. Please reach out to the local humane societies, reptile rescues or exotic vets who may have a list of references to rehome the turtle.
NOTE: Red-eared sliders and yellow-bellied sliders found in the wild may not be rehabilitated in the state of Ohio per state regulations. These individuals must be euthanized upon arrival regardless of severity of injury.
Most waterfowl lay their eggs away from water. They are capable of laying large numbers of eggs (12-14), which they incubate for about 28 days. After hatching, the mother leads the chicks to water on foot, which may be up to a mile away. Because they often have such a long hike to reach water, it is possible for healthy individuals to get separated from the rest of the group.
If reuniting is not possible, you can bring the animal(s) to our hospital. Please remember, humans are not a wild animal’s best chance for survival. It is always better to take extra time to search for parents before bringing them to us.
Call the non-emergency number for the local fire department for assistance. Drain covers may not be removed by members of the public.
If no one from the municipality is available to remove the cover, find a long-handled net such as a pool skimmer. Makeshift nets can also be made from hangers — you can unravel a wire hanger and thread it through the edge of a pillowcase, then continue to attach to a broom or another long pole with Duct Tape.
Birds and their nests (except starlings, house sparrows, and pigeons) are protected under federal law. You may not move nests or destroy eggs without first receiving permission from the Ohio Division of Natural Resources 1-800-WILDLIFE.
Most local waterfowl sit on the eggs for about one month.
Ohio Wildlife Center does not accept domestic ducks or geese. If you determine you do have a domestic species, you must call your local domestic pet shelter. Any duck, goose or swan that is banded (with a metal leg band or plastic neck band) is a wild species.
Woodchucks should be approached with extreme caution. It is highly unlikely that a rodent like a woodchuck has rabies, but woodchucks sitting in vulnerable, visible locations for long periods of time, stumbling, circling or otherwise having difficulty moving may be ill or injured and should be brought to our hospital. If you are not comfortable safely containing the animal, our professional technicians at SCRAM! Wildlife Control will come capture and transport the animal for a fee. Proceeds directly support our Wildlife Hospital.
There is a chance the animal may have contracted Baylisascariasis, an internal parasite. It is not contagious, but the condition is not curable and the prognosis is poor. The disease progression leads to an inability to eat and a poor quality of life over a long period of time. Animals with this illness are also at a significant risk of walking into traffic. Capturing the animal to prevent further suffering may be a humane option.
It is unlikely that multiple young should be wandering around without an adult present. Adults rarely leave their offspring vulnerable to predators. It is likely that the young are orphans. Monitor the young for a four-hour period. If no adults are seen after that period, collect and bring them to our hospital.
A stunned bird should be picked up carefully, upright to help it breathe, your hands firmly but not squeezing around the wings close to the body.
Put the bird in a box lined with a soft cotton cloth or paper towel, close the lid and place the box in a dark, quiet, safe place for an hour or two.
The bird likely has a concussion, a build-up of blood under the skull, pressing on the brain.
If the bird remains quiet (birds tend to sit still in absolute darkness, in the absence of stimuli) the blood will probably drain safely away, without causing debilitating or fatal clots.
After an hour or two, take the box safely away from windows, but in an open area, facing woods, brush or other suitable habitat, and open the lid. If the bird flies away, fine.
However, if the bird can't fly, it will be absolutely necessary to take it to a qualified wildlife rehabilitation center. Locate one close to you by using the Wildlife Rehabilitator Directory
Small birds have rapid body metabolisms and high energy demands, but their diets are difficult to replicate. Also, many are fearful and will damage themselves in cages or other confinements.
Their anatomy is delicate and complex and even highly specialized veterinarian care too frequently fails to restore seriously hurt birds to levels of health essential for survival back in the wild.
Additionally, the bird may be one of many dozens of species, each with its own peculiarities and specific needs that are essential to its humane care.
Keep in mind federal, state and provincial legislation makes it illegal for unlicensed individuals to care for virtually any native bird species.
And finally, always seek the most qualified care that is available in your area for injured birds.
As stated before, use this directory for locating Rehabilitator's. Or call your local veterinarian for help locating a wildlife rehabilitator if you can't find one online.