If you have found an injured bird:
• First observe it and determine if it is truly injured, a baby bird, or a fledgling.
• Birds are often injured by collision with objects like windows or cars.
• Nests can fall from trees or baby birds fall from the nest before they are ready to fly. In some species, the chicks leave the nest after hatching and their parents are always close by and will often signal the chicks to hide from predators. Just as we have to learn to walk, birds have to learn to fly and before birds learn to fly they, spend a lot of time on the ground.
If you find a fledgling (young feathered bird making awkward attempts at flight) it is best to leave it where it is.
• Its parents are likely keeping a watchful eye close by and will come down to feed it.
• Fledglings are especially vulnerable to predators, so keep your pets indoors.
• If you find a nestling (unfeathered or partially feathered baby bird) and can see the nest, you can return the bird to the nest.
• Most birds do not have a strong sense of smell and will not reject young that have been handled by humans.
• If a nest has been knocked out of a tree you can replace it or put it up high near the original nest location so long as it is safe from predators.
If you find an injured bird, carefully place it in a cardboard box and cover the top with a lid or towel.
• Put the box in a dark, quite area where it won’t be disturbed.
• Limit your interaction with the bird.
• If a bird has just been “stunned” by a collision it may be able to regain its senses after a short time and fly off on its own.
• It is important to keep the bird safe from domestic and natural predators.
• DO NOT try to feed or give the bird water.
It is illegal to care for wild birds in your home without a rehabilitation license and special permits. Many species require specific diets and care in order
to thrive and be released back into the wild. We are fortunate to have local organizations that provide care for sick, injured or young birds and wildlife. Many of these are non-profit volunteer-run organizations with monitored hotlines. When you call you may have to leave a message and wait for someone to call you back.
The Ojai Raptor Center is a rescue and rehabilitation center specializing in birds of prey.
Their rescue hotline is 805-649-6884 or visit their website http://www.ojairaptorcenter.org
Wildlife Care of SoCal (formerly Wildlife Care of Ventura County) is a wildlife rescue organization based in Simi Valley. Their animal emergency hotline is (805) 428-7105 or visit their website for species specific contact information http://wildlifecareofventura.org/
Camarillo Wildlife Rehabilitation is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organization. Their rescue hotline is 805-482-7617
Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute (CIMWI) is a rescue and rehabilitation center specializing in marine mammals. Their rescue hotline is 805 567-1505 or visit their website http://cimwi.org/
Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation organization in the Santa Barbara area. Their rescue hotline is (805) 681-1080 or visit their website http://www.sbwcn.org/
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife maintains a list of certified wildlife rehabilitators by region. Ventura County is in Region 5. https://www.dfg.ca.gov/wildlife/WIL/rehab/facilities.html
Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) is a statewide collective of trained wildlife care providers, regulatory agencies, academic institutions and wildlife organizations working to rescue and rehabilitate oiled wildlife in California. To report oiled wildlife call (877) 823-6926 or visit their website for more information http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/owcn/oiled_wildlife/report_an_oiled_animal.cfm
PHOTO: ALECIA SMITH
REPORTING BANDED BIRDS
If you have found or harvested a banded bird, you can report it at the link below.
You'll need the band number, or numbers, if the bird has more than one band. You'll also need to know where, when and how you recovered the bird. Your contact information will be requested in case there are any questions.
The U.S. Geological Survey’s Patuxent Bird Banding Lab will send you a certificate of appreciation that includes information about the sex, age and species of the bird, and where and when it was banded. You can keep the band.
Please note: even if the band you recover is inscribed with a 1-800 telephone number, as of July 2, 2017, you can only report it at the link above.
If some or all of the numbers have worn off, making the band unreadable, please email the BBL at firstname.lastname@example.org on how to send the band for chemical etching. Most bands can be chemically etched so that the numbers can be read. The process does not destroy the band, and it will be returned to you. Thank you for helping manage migratory birds!