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Birds

Q: A bird keeps attacking my window! What’s going on?

A: Male birds commonly attack windows during mating season. The bird wrongly assumes that his own reflection is a rival in his territory! You can prevent this by hanging squares of aluminum foil outside the window to break up the reflection or post-it notes all over the outside of the windows.

Q.  Birds are roosting on my building.  How do I get them to leave?

A.  Roosting birds’ droppings can be annoying to people. Poisoning is extremely cruel (the intent of some common poisons is to cause extended seizures in birds and supposedly frighten other birds away) and does not solve the problem because other birds will soon move in to fill that vacancy. A better solution is to modify the habitat which encourages them to go elsewhere. While a flat ledge is attractive to pigeons, a false ledge can be made by placing a board at an angle of at least 45 degrees so that birds will slide off when they land.

How to Rescue a Baby Bird

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

1.  Prepare a container.  Place a clean, soft cloth with no strings or loops on the bottom of a cardboard box or cat/dog carrier with a lid.  If it doesn’t have air holes, make some.  For smaller birds, you can use a paper sack with air holes.

2.  Protect yourself.  Wear gloves, if possible.  Some birds may stab with their beaks, slice with their talons (claws) or slap with their wings, to protect themselves, even if sick; birds commonly have parasites (fleas, lice, tickcs) and carry diseases.

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

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

5.  Warm the animal if it’s cold out or if the animal 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 container with a screw lid, or a rubber glove with hot water; wrap warm container with cloth, and put it next to the animal.  Make sure the container doesn’t leak, or the animal will get wet and chilled.

6.  Tape the box shut or roll the top of the paper bag closed.

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.  Don’t give it food or water.  Leave the bird alone; don’t handle or bother it.

Keep children and pets away.

9.   Contact a wildlife rehabilitator, state wildlife agency, or wildlife veterinarian as soon as possible.  Don’t keep the bird at your home longer than necessary.   Keep the bird in a container; don’t 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 – towel, jacket, blanket, pet carrier – 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.

NOTE:  It’s against the law in most states to keep wild animals if you don’t have permits, even if you plan to release them.