DO NOT rescue wildlife and then keep (kidnap) the animal for a possible pet. State and federal laws protect nearly all wild mammals and birds. It is against the law to possess wildlife or the nests, feathers, or eggs of a bird without special permits. The animal must be turned over to For The Birds of Acadiana, or a licensed rehabilitator as soon as possible.
What should I feed it until I can get it to a rehabilitator?
Please do not feed the bird or give it fluids before contacting a licensed rehabber. Giving water or other fluids improperly can aspirate and even kill the bird. The dietary needs of each species of wildlife are different, and it is almost impossible to duplicate their needs in captivity without special training. We receive many irreparably damaged birds because the rescuer used the incorrect feeding technique and/or diet.
Temporary Care Instructions for Birds:
We recommend that you wear gloves or use a cloth barrier when handling wildlife. Place baby birds in a box lined with a soft cloth such as a t-shirt. For injured adults use a rolled up newspaper to gently push the animal into an appropriately-sized, secure box with a soft cloth on the bottom. Make sure the box has holes in it for ventilation. DO NOT put the bird into a plastic bag.
Do not give the animal any food or liquids. Feeding a bird an incorrect diet can result in injury or death. Also, a captured bird may get food and water stuck on its feathers potentially leading to hypothermia and feather damage.
If an animal or bird has been caught by a cat or dog, please call us immediately at 337-501-4523.
Even if wounds are not visible, the bird needs medical intervention as soon as possible.
Keep the bird in a warm, dark, quiet place. Darkness makes the bird feel more secure. If the bird is a baby, the box can be placed half on and half off a heating pad set on low. If the bird gets too warm it can move to the other end of the box. Please do not put adult birds on a heating pad.
Leave the bird alone. Human noise, touch and eye contact are very stressful to birds and can result in shock or even death.
Keep children and pets away. BE CAREFUL! A bird that is hurt or frightened may bite.
Call us at 337-501-4523 as soon as possible!
FLEDGLINGS: If the bird is mostly or fully feathered but has short or seemingly no tail feathers, its a fledgling who left the nest before it could fly. This is normal. The bird will spend a few days on the ground being fed by parents. Monitor continuously from a distance for 30 min to 1 hour and if the parents return, no intervention is needed. If the parents do not return, put the baby in a box (see Temporary Care Instructions for Birds above) and call us at 337-501-4523
NESTLINGS: If the baby bird is not feathered or has minimal feathering, put the baby bird back in the nest if you can—it’s a myth that parent birds will abandon babies if they’ve been touched. Watch continuously for at least an hour to make sure that the parents return to feed their chicks. If you cannot reach the nest or if parent birds do not return, please call 337-501-4523 as soon as possible. Refer to the Temporary Care Instructions for Birds above for proper care.