Animal Welfare

Bird Welfare

Injured Birds – what to do

  • Do not endanger yourself or the bird
  • Take care when handling large birds – watch for beaks and claws
  • Don’t ‘bird-nap’ – make sure that the bird really needs help.
Rescue a bird if:

It has blood on it.
It has an open wound.
It has a broken bone.
It cannot stand on its own.
One of its legs is hanging uselessly.
It cannot fly (but it is not a nestling or fledgling being coached by nearby parents).
Its beak is damaged.
It has oil on its feathers.
It is caught in a trap, fishing line, or string.
It has been caught by a cat even if it seems fine.
It is unconscious.
It is having difficulty breathing.

Bird rescue method:

Once you have assessed the situation and you have decided that there is a need to rescue the bird, do so quickly and quietly.

Throw a towel or lightweight blanket over the bird. Place the bird in a box and cover the top. The darkness will calm it.

Keep it warm. Fill a hot water bottle or other container with warm water, wrap it in a towel, and place it under the bird.

Contact SPCA Nelson on (03) 547 7171

Fledglings – what to do

In the late Spring and early Summer many baby birds, known as fledglings, make early attempts to fly that may result in them being separated from their nest and their mother. Here are three simple methods of helping these vulnerable young birds:

Fledgling rescue method 1:

Try to locate the nest and place the youngster back in. If the nest has fallen out of the tree, wedge it securely back into place.

Fledgling rescue method 2:

Place the young bird on top of a thick hedge. This will be hard for cats to climb up onto and also gives a good platform from which to eventually take off.

The youngster will call out for its parents and should be fed by them until it’s time to take that first major flight, hopefully within a week or so.

Fledgling rescue method 3:

Cut an ice cream or milk container in half and discard the top part. Punch small holes in the bottom (for drainage) and holes in the side (small enough to feed string, thread, or wire through) and hang it from either a tree branch or clothesline. (The clothesline is preferable, as cats have difficulty climbing up clothesline poles.)

Put bark shavings, leaves, etc, in the bottom of the container. The bird should call out and be fed by the parents until it gets its full flying wings and is ready to leave.

Ensure that there is as little human handling of the fledgling as possible. It is always better for the young to be raised by their natural parents rather than by a human carer. Whatever action you take remember to keep a watchful eye open from a distance in the hope that the mother or father will return to be reunited with their young.

If you find a bird in need of care, please contact SPCA Nelson on (03) 547 7171