ATTENTION: DUE TO THE COVID-19 SHUTDOWN AND ITS CONTINUING ECONOMIC EFFECTS, OUR STAFF HAS BEEN REDUCED AND OUR SERVICES ARE LIMITED. WE HAVE THUS ADDED MORE INFORMATION BELOW TO ASSIST YOU WITH BIRD RESCUES.
Nevada Bird Rescue is an all-volunteer, bird paramedic/ambulance service for Southern Nevada. However, you are the first responder. Our goal is to keep birds out of captivity whenever possible. In their own familiar world is where they stress least and heal fastest. We can help them best by slightly and quietly affecting their situation to help their chances of success. The best rescues are when the birds never know we have helped them.
We are available to help advise you, the first-responder, on all wild bird rescues. We can also advise pet bird owners on re-homing, loose bird re-capture, and lost bird recovery. There is no funding for our work, we operate with our own volunteered time and money and always hope for donations. No legitimate rescue charges you for bringing in a bird patient. Such could be considered providing veterinary services which is a completely different world of licenses.
If you are requesting our advice about a found bird, BEFORE you take the bird into your care we ask that you send a photo of the bird in question or your situation and general location so we can quickly help to identify the species and the best approach for helping them. Taking birds in is always the LAST resort. Please email us at NVBirdRescue@aol.com or through our Nevada Bird Rescue facebook page. Emailed requests for advice which include a photo and location of the found bird will be answered first.
To protect the safety and security of our bird collection, we cannot provide a drop off service at this time.
The following basic response information can help you with the initial bird rescue steps:
INJURED WILD BIRDS
If you find a wild bird in trouble, YOU are the first responder. For injured, sick, or dehydrated birds, time is of the essence, and many birds are in critical danger by the time we discover them. Often times uninjured birds simply need to be moved to a safer spot, and a quick and short assistance can be all that is required to save their life.
If you see a young or injured bird inside your yard, please keep dogs and cats inside or away from it until it can move on or we can help you determine if it needs human intervention. Most of the time,they do not need human help. We have shared some of the most common ways to respond to found wild birds below.
Scroll down to the type of bird you are concerned with to see the most common response information.
The most important thing is to avoid taking in a wild bird.
Only take a bird into humans hands if it is ABSOLUTELY necessary. Their chances of survival decrease as soon as they are in human care and continue to decrease the longer they are in captivity. If the last option was to take in an obviously injured bird. some Veterinary Clinics that will kindly take in injured wild birds including North Las Vegas Animal (NLV) Hospital, Park Animal Hospital, (Central LV) and VCA Black Mountain Animal Hospital (Henderson). Though this participating veterinary information is subject to change without notice.
If you need our assistance, please start by sending us a photo of the bird, location, and a short description to help us assess the situation. Since we don’t always have volunteers available for field work, we can help more birds in this manner. Our volunteers are also working with very limited funding. Therefore due to the volume of calls, please do not call and leave a message with an address demanding immediate pickup for a bird or asking us to call you back to simply obtain the necessary information about the situation. Let’s work together to help as many birds as possible and thank you for responding for them.
SPRING BABY BIRD SEASON:
Before beginning, please make sure you are not merely kidnapping a young fledgling who is on the ground and learning to fly. It is crucial in this final stage of development that the young birds learn from their parents and learn to fear humans for their own safety. A wild bird who has been fed by humans often then flies to humans and/or their homes when hungry and this can lead to their demise. Use the following chart to help you determine the amount of help to give to a wild bird:
BABY SONGBIRDS (without feathering):
Try to safely replace babies back into their nests asap. You can also construct a secure cardboard nest lower in the same tree, or adhered high up to the truck in the shade, but try to place it where humans, cats, sun, winds, and hawks won’t hurt them. The most important thing is to keep the baby birds connected to their parents. Human care cannot come close to the role modeling they need from their real parents. Even if baby birds survive hand-feeding in captivity, they often perish soon after release.
To locate the nest, calmly sit in a single spot where you can view the area where you found the baby. It can take awhile before you see activity because the parents don’t want a human to see them going to their nest. When you see a bird or two coming and going into a tree, stand under than tree and look for the nest in the branches near the leaves.
Example of artificial nests:
FLEDGLINGS (mostly feathered but on ground walking, running, or hopping trying to fly):
Most bird “rescue” calls are from people who find fledglings on the ground. Ironically these are birds who least need human intervention. For millions of years birds have grown their body size first, and their feathers last. Their large size often causes them to fall from the nest before their wings have finished developing. They still rely heavily on their parents for food and the training to learn how to find their own food and then to fly. Their instincts tell them to hide from predators. At their age they already know they are a bird and being captured, even by a kind-hearted human, feels to them to lead to certain death. Captured fledglings will often stress to death before their injuries can heal in human care. Over the decades we have learned that the longer a wild bird is in human hands the less chance it has of ever being successfully returned to the wild. It is also to illegal to collect and keep wild birds as pets. Therefore, make every effort NOT to take these birds into human hands. Do not capture them. Instead, guide them to nearby brush where they can hide from humans, dogs, cats, hot sun, and other dangers. If you are worried about dogs or cats getting to them, you can use the artificial nest in the tree method, however they often are on the ground again the next day because that is their natural process of learning how to live independently. They have survived coyotes and bobcats and their survival instincts are strong. It is best to simply place out some water and give them room to learn to fly and very soon they will disappear into the wild.
Quail are a precocial species which start walking shortly after hatching and follow their parents around to learn how to survive. They imprint on the parent and rely on them to point out food and avoid predators. When a human comes upon a family of quail, the parents will quickly hide and call their young to also hide. Some might not be smart enough or fast enough to get hidden, and then a human finds the baby, thinking it’s all alone. Wanting to help, humans will often pickup the quail. The problem is,the baby quail isn’t going to suddenly understand captivity or be comfortable enough to eat and drink.Without the connection to the parents, the life of a baby quail will most likely come to a premature end.
If you see a baby quail, simply give them room to continue on with their own family. Keep dogs and cats out of the area fora day. If the baby must be moved for its safety, move it to the nearest brush and clear the area so the parents can reappear and call them to reunite with the quail family.
NIGHTJARS / NIGHTHAWKS:
These are not “baby owls.” They are flying insect eaters who are only active at night to the point they seem lethargic and sick during the day. This also makes them easy to catch during the day. If one is trying to sleep in a poor location, please relocate him to the nearest outdoor brush. If there is none, you can use a cardboard box to give him a darkened quiet spot until sunset, then leave the open box outside for him to fly away.
DUCKS and GEESE:
Sometimes these birds will choose a quiet nest site, such as a backyard near a swimming pool. The chlorine can quickly kill chicks and they can become trapped in the water unable to get backup on the deck. If you have a nest in your yard, please add a ramp to your pool so ducklings can escape the water. The best course of action is to capture the parents then the offspring and quickly relocate the entire family together to a freshwater pond or lake.
For advice please send us a photo and your location and a description of the situation. A young raptor on the ground does not automatically mean humans need to intervene. These birds often get too big for the nest and come down to the ground early. Unless they are physically injured, we never want to break their important bond to their parents, who are the only ones who can teach the young to properly fly and hunt. Taking them away and hand feeding them can cause raptors to imprint on humans, which most often renders them unable to later be released. The best way to help a family of raptors in this situation is indirectly, by placing a pan of water out for them and giving them safe space to continue their process. Keep humans, dogs, cats, and landscapers away from the area, with signs if need be. If the bird is in eminent danger, an artificial nest can be created to get the bird up off the ground and back into a shaded part of the tree (see baby songbird section). However, since this is a natural process of development the young raptor might be back on the ground the next morning.
If you do spot a young raptor on the ground, take a zoomed photo of him and then back away. In the photo, does he have a bulge at the bast of his neck? If so, that is the crop where food is stored and it means the parents are taking care of him just fine.
A healthy raptor’s crop with food in it.
If we help you decide to transport an injured raptor, coax or using gloves place the bird into a cardboard box which has some air holes in the sides and close the box and place in a protected, dark, and quiet spot inside your home or garage if the garage is room temperature. Do not worry about trying to get the bird to eat or drink as they are stressed and afraid of you and do not realize you are trying to help.
See the charts at the bottom of this section to help identify the species you are concerned about.
Injured adult Red-Tailed Hawk
PIGEONS AND DOVES:
Due to disease risk, we are unable to work with wild pigeons or doves. We always take in found white homing pigeons.
For injured wild pigeons you can also try talking to the kind folks at Las Vegas Pigeon Rescuers on facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/groups/483650681846260
Their higher metabolism makes every minute count. Please offer sugar water asap. The hummingbird expert for Clark County recently retired. After placing the bird into a ventilated and darkened cardboard box (with cool wet towel if during the hot summer), contact the NV Division of Wildlife at 702-486-5128 for assistance with hummingbirds.
UNUSUAL BIRDS INCLUDING LOONS, EAGLES, CRANES, ETC:
If you need specialized information about wild bird assistance, please contact us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/NevadaBirdRescue/ or at NVBirdRescue@aol.com Please send us a photo of the bird, location, and a short description of the situation to help us assess its condition and needs. We can help more birds this way. Due to the volume of calls, please do not call and leave a message asking us to call you to obtain information about the situation.
WILD RAPTOR IDENTIFICATION
You can use these charts to help identify raptors in your area. When you contact Nevada Bird Rescue, one of the first questions will be what species of bird have you encountered.
PLEASE CLICK ON ANY OF THE BIRD ID CHARTS BELOW TO VIEW A LARGER IMAGE
One of Joe's first rescues in 1987, a sick Golden Eagle in N CA.
THE PROBLEM WITH CATS
Please spread the word… house cats kill more song birds than all other causes…combined!
Cats should be kept indoors or in a backyard aviary to prevent obliteration of local wildlife.