What to do when you find a baby bird

Rescuing Baby Birds

If you’ve gone through our flow chart below and determined you need to rescue a baby bird, follow these steps to ensure the bird’s health and safety.

  1. Prepare a transport container. Line a small cardboard box or paper bag with a soft, clean cloth with no strings or loops. Make air holes for ventilation.
  2. Protect yourself. Wear gloves to prevent the bird from pecking or scratching you. Gloves can also help protect you from any fleas, lice, ticks, or diseases the bird may be carrying.
  3. Place the bird in the transport container. Cover the bird with a light sheet or towel and gently put it in the prepared container. Tape the box shut or roll the top of the paper bag closed. Keep the container in a warm, dark, quiet place away from kids and pets. Do not attempt to feed the bird unless you have sought professional advice.
  4. Warm the bird if it feels cold to the touch. Put one end of the container on a heating pad set on low or fill an empty bottle with warm water, wrap it in cloth and put it next to the bird. Screw the cap on tightly to prevent the container from leaking.
  5. Contact PHS or a local wildlife center as soon as possible. You can reach our 24-hour emergency hotline at 626.792.7151. Don’t keep an injured or sick bird at your home longer than necessary.
  6. Wash your hands after handling the bird. Additionally, wash anything the bird was in contact with to prevent the spread of disease and parasites to you and your pets.