FreeMe How to Rescue Baby Birds

(Only adults should rescue baby birds. Before rescuing adult birds, seek guidance from a wildlife rehabilitator.)

1. Prepare the container. Place a clean, soft cloth with no strings or loops on the bottom of a cardboard box or cat/dog carrier with lid. If it doesnít have air holes, make some.

2. Protect yourself. Wear gloves, if possible. Some birds may stab with their beaks; slice with their talons (claws) and slap with their wings to protect themselves, even if sick.

3. Cover the bird with a light sheet or towel.

4. Gently pick up the bird and put it into the prepared container.

5. Warm the bird if the weather is cold or if the bird is chilled.

Put one end of the container on a heating pad set on low. Or fill a zip-top plastic bag, plastic soft drink bottle with a screw lid, hot water bottle or rubber glove with hot water. Wrap warm container with a cloth and put next to bird. Make sure the container doesnít leak, or the bird will get wet and chilled.

6. Tape the box shut.

7. Note exactly where you found the bird.


This will be very important for release.

8. Keep the bird in a warm, dark, quiet place.

Donít give it food or water

Leave the bird alone, donít bother or handle it

Keep children and pets away

9. Contact a wildlife rehabilitator soon as possible.

Donít keep the bird at your home longer than is necessary.

Keep the bird in a container; donít let it loose in your house or car.

10. Wash your hands after contact with the bird.
Wash anything the bird was in contact with Ė towel, jacket, blanket, pet carrier Ė to prevent the spread of diseases and/or parasites to you or your pets.

11.Get the bird to a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible

If you are unable to get it help after a few hours, offer water in a small container. You do not need to feed it for a short period if it has access to water.

It is against the law to keep wild animals/birds if you donít have permits, even if you plan to release them.

It is against the law to keep wild animals/birds if you donít have permits, even if you plan to release them.



FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre
Open 7 days a week 8am Ė 5pm
Office: 011 807 6993 Cell: 083 558 5658

South Africa BIRD CLUBS, ORGANISATIONS AND ASSOCIATIONS