Please follow the instructions below. We cannot take any birds in at the store, but will gladly direct you to a local licensed rehabber. Federal law imposes huge fines on unlicensed rehabbers keeping and/or attempting to rehab wild birds.
For Wild Bird Rescue Within San Diego County, Call:
887 1/2 Sherman Street, San Diego CA 92110
Hotline: (619) 225-WILD
Hours: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm 7 days a week
Front Porch open 24/7 to accept injured animals
Leave a brief message with your name, telephone number, the type of bird, if known, and the nature of the injury. Be brief. The organizations are staffed mostly by volunteers, so be patient until you are called. All calls are triaged, so it may take a while for them to get back to you. Please leave a donation to help cover the cost of treating the bird – or a wish list of needed items can be found at Amazon by clicking HERE.
Fund For Animals Wildlife Center, Ramona
18740 Highland Valley Road
Ramona, CA 92065
Hours: 8am to 5pm 7 days a week
For Wild Bird Rescue Outside San Diego County, Click HERE
What to do if you find:
Safety Issues and Handling
Always wear gloves when rescuing a wild animal. Never feed a wildlife baby, as this can often do more harm than good.
A Baby Bird.
- Little to No Feathers (Nestling)? If unable to locate the nest, create a makeshift nest using a berry basket, margarine cup, or small box. Line it with tissue (not cloth) and place securely in a nearby tree with the baby inside. As scent is not their strongest sense, the parents won't reject the baby as some people believe. Watch from afar to see if the parents return; if parents don't return within a couple hours, keep the baby warm and take it to Project Wildlife.
- Mostly Feathered (Fledgling)? This bird is a young fledgling that is learning to fly and it's normal for it to be on the ground. If left alone, the parents will continue to feed the bird and it will graduate to flying within days. You may also see the parents "attacking" the baby, but don't worry, this is normal and how the parents teach the baby to hide from predators.
- Injured or in danger? If visibly injured or in danger from a predator or neighborhood cat or dog (or brought in by a child from an unknown place) take the baby to Project Wildlife. If the bird is injured, or has no feathers, it is very important to keep it warm. This can be accomplished by using a goose-neck lamp or a heating pad set on low.
a bird strikes a window.
An Injured Bird From A Window Strike.
If a bird hits your window and is unable to fly away:
- Place it in a box or paper bag lined with Kleenex.
- Poke a couple small air holes in the bag/box and put it in a warm, dark, quiet place for one to two hours. If it is unable to fly away within two hours, take it to the nearest wildlife rehabilitator.
A sick or injured bird.
- Place it in a small box lined with Kleenex or paper towels.
- Cover the box and place it where the bird will be warm, dark and quiet, like a closet.
- If you have a heating pad, turn it on to low and set the box on top of it. Two other ways to provide warmth are to fill a ziploc bag with warm water (warm to the touch of your wrist) and place it in the box with the bird, or, fill a sock with salt, heat it in the microwave and place it in the box.
- Do not feed or give water to the bird!
Sea & Shore Birds Rescue
What to do if you find:
Safety Issues and Handling
Cormorants, herons, egrets, loon, grebes and gulls can inflict serious injuries with their beaks. These species defend themselves by stabbing or biting with their beaks and aim at your face and eyes.
Always use gloves or a thick towel or blanket when attempting to capture or handle an injured or sick water bird. Even small egrets and herons have stiletto-like beaks.
- Throw the towel or blanket over the bird’s head and body and hold the bird across the shoulders and body restraining the wings with your hands.
- ALWAYS hold the bird so the head is facing away from you.
- Enlist help from a rescue organization if the bird is aggressive and strong.
Seabirds or Wading Birds with No Obvious Sign of Injury.
Birds come ashore more frequently after storms, bad weather or big surf. They may have internal injuries or hidden fractures.
- Do not return them to the water
- Do not put them in a tub of water
They have come out of the water because they do not feel well. Birds can get caught in high surf and have sand and water forced into their mouths, nostrils and feathers. They may be sick and thin from a long migration. Birds may also be found in urban areas after collisions with buildings or traffic. Ducks at local lakes and ponds as well as sea ducks such as scoters and mergansers may have swallowed lead shot or sinkers and be suffering from lead poisoning.
- Place them in a cardboard box with newspaper on the bottom covered with a thick towel.
- Birds that cannot stand should have a foam pad, pillow or crumpled newspaper under the towel to provide a cushioning effect
- Keep warm (70-80 degrees F), dark (cover box with thin sheet or loosely closed flaps) and as quiet as possible.
If the bird starts open-mouthed breathing it may be too hot. Reduce heat if this occurs.
Fish Line or Fish Hook Injuries.
- Birds with fish line or fishhook damage should be checked by a rehabilitator, even if the hook or line has been removed by someone at the scene.
- If the line goes down the throat, don’t cut it all off, it may be the only clue to the rehabilitator that a hook is further down. Leave a minimum of 12 inches of line attached to any hook, or trailing from the bird’s mouth.
- Do not tug on the line. Use tape to attach the line to the bird so that line is not swallowed and further entanglement does not occur. Hooks are rarely life threatening, but the line can be very damaging by its tourniquet effect on limbs and body
- Line tangled around legs, wings or neck should be untangled and removed or cut through and removed. If the line is embedded, leave it alone for a vet or rehabber to remove.
Sick or Dying Birds
If you see numerous sick, dying or dead seabirds or other wild birds in one location such as on a beach or in a park, contact a wildlife rehabilitator or your local department of Fish and Game or US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Food & Water
Do not try to give water to sea or shore birds with the exception of gulls and mallard ducks. Gulls and mallard ducks may have a sturdy bowl of water if they are standing and can hold their head up.
Do not try to feed sick or injured birds.