• What to Do If You Find an Injured Adult or Baby Bird

    Injured Bird

If you have found an adult bird, follow these steps and contact your local wildlife rehabilitation facility

If you find an injured bird on the ground that seems unable to fly, and don’t know what to do, please call our hotline (416-366-3527) or use our social channels for the most expedient response. For assistance, we may need to know what kind of bird it is. If you can safely take a photo, please be prepared to share that as directed.

  1. Gently cup the injured bird in your hand and place it inside an unwaxed paper bag or a small cardboard box. After containing the bird, handle it as little as possible. Make sure that the bag or box is securely closed. If using a cardboard box, fold the lids shut and poke a few small holes in it.
  2. Scrunch clean tissues or a paper towel into a ball to serve as a perch for the bird to sit upright.
  3. Never give a bird food or water.
  4. If the bird recovers after one hour, you should hear it fluttering inside the bag or box. Take the bird to a wooded area far away from buildings. Point the bag/box in the direction of trees and slowly open the top and let the bird fly out.
  5. If the bird refuses to fly out of the bag or box, or shows visible signs of injury such as bleeding, swollen eyes, a damaged beak or broken bones, take it to your local wildlife rehabilitation facility
  6. If you feel the bird collided with a window, we encourage you to enter the report in the Global Bird Collision Mapper: birdmapper.org/app

Need help identifying the injured bird?

Not sure about the bird? The Cornell Lab All About Birds site has everything you need to know about to identifying North American bird species.

Eurasian Wren on a branch

If you have found a baby bird, go to helpbabybirds.ca or use the following tips, and contact your local wildlife rehabilitation facility:

If you find an injured bird on the ground that seems unable to fly, and don’t know what to do, please call our hotline (416-366-3527) or use our social channels for the most expedient response. For assistance, we may need to know what kind of bird it is. If you can safely take a photo, please be prepared to share that as directed.

  1. If you find a featherless baby bird and you know where the nest is, place the baby bird back in the nest. The parent birds will not smell your scent and reject the bird.
  2. If you cannot find the nest, make one out of a small container or flowerpot lined with leaves or dry grass.
  3. Place the substitute nest close to the area where you found the baby bird, and watch for parents to come back to feed their baby.
  4. If the baby bird is fully feathered and has just left the nest, it may be a fledgling on the ground waiting for its parents. The best thing to do is leave the bird for the parents to care for and feed.
  5. If you believe the bird is in danger from roaming cats or other predators, place it in a tree or bush where it will be safe.
  6. If you are still concerned (perhaps the parents have not returned for a long time) contact your local wildlife rehabilitation facility for advice.
Baby Birds in a Nest

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation Centres

If you have found an injured bird and want advice, or a referral to a wildlife rehabilitation facility, please Contact Us.

Toronto, Ontario torontowildlifecentre.com
Ontario listings of wildlife centres authorized by Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources ontariowildliferescue.ca/wildlifecentres
Canada listings of wildlife rescue & rehabilitation centres humanesociety.com/animalsandtheearth/wildliferescuerehabilitationcenters
United States listings of wildlife rehabilitators owra.org/find-a-wildlife-rehabilitator

Please note, FLAP Canada in not a wildlife rehabilitation centre.