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If you are bringing in an injured bird, we ask that you please leave a donation. Any amount helps. We pay for all the bird’s medical expenses, care and food until release. You can’t keep the bird or try to raise/rehab the bird yourself. It’s against federal law unless you are licensed by the Fish & Wildlife Service.
Found an adult injured bird while you’re out and about?
Most injured birds can be easily caught simply by using a towel or blanket. Walk up to the bird quickly and toss the towel completely over it’s body, covering up the head (so they can’t see what’s going on). Pick the bird up firmly with both hands, like you’re picking up a football with two hands. Keep your hands firmly over its wings (one hand on each side of the body) so it can’t flap its wings too much while you are trying to put it into a box or a container. In case of emergency, you can even put the bird on the floor of your car, just keep it covered with the towel over its head and body. Don’t be too timid or soft handed; if you don’t grip firmly enough the bird will most likely escape. If you are worried about hurting the bird, remember it is already hurt and needs your help. If you bring it in, it will get medical attention for all its issues, but if you don’t bring it in, it will die.
Please remember that we are a charity organization – we don’t get paid for picking up injured birds, and with the number of calls we receive it is impossible to pick up every bird about which we’re called. Please bring the bird in yourself if possible. There’s no city organization that will come pick up birds. Animal control does NOT cover wildlife. – Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you our location for immediate drop-off.
Unless you already have it wrapped in a towel or in a box, SkyWatch does not encourage anyone to attempt to catch birds that can cause you harm. This includes Hawks, Owls, Eagles, Herons, Pelicans, Cormorants, Swans, Gannets, etc.. SkyWatch’s director is trained in the proper and safe capture and handling of such birds.
Have an injured bird at your house?
First and foremost keep the bird in a dark and quiet place, like a box with a towel or newspaper in the bottom. Cover the box with a light colored towel and put the box in a room not being used and close the door. Do not let children or pets touch/handle the bird. Remember, although harmless, they can still carry parasites. Create as much visual and audio barrier as possible. The less disturbed the bird is, the less stress it feels, and the higher its chances of survival. Do not open the box frequently to check, or show other people the bird. Remember, the bird is not a toy or an attraction; you are trying to save its life by keeping it alive until it can be brought in for medical treatment.
Please make every effort to bring the bird to us. There is no paid staff and we don’t have a funded bird “pick up service” (unlike the pound which has paid staff). It’s impossible to make special trips all hours of the day to pick up every injured bird reported to SkyWatch. Remember we do this completely out of charitable time and self expense. If you truly cannot deliver the bird, leave a message at (855) 407-3728 and arrangements can be made for pickup; all pickups are based on volunteer availability and we ask that you make a donation. If you cannot leave a financial donation, please visit our Donations page to see a list of household goods you can donate instead.
Reporting a bird that you cannot catch? (adult birds only)
If you are reporting a bird that is in a location where you are unable to catch it, leave a message for the director at (855) 407-3728. Please include as much detail as possible on where exactly the bird is (i.e. an address, intersection or landmark etc.). Keep in mind we can’t go on wild goose chases for birds that are mobile or flighted and most likely won’t be there anymore when we arrive. This wastes our volunteers’ time and precious resources that could be put toward helping other injured birds. If you have a visual confirmation or some proof that the bird is still there (or can wait with the bird until we arrive), we’ll come and attempt to catch the bird. If the bird can fly, we cannot waste precious time and gas. Flighted birds are extremely hard to catch and it often requires many attempts.
Saw an injured bird but you’re not sure? Please call and leave a message anyway. SkyWatch’s director will analyze the situation and may call you to ask a few more questions, then go out to check as needed.