Many of us may find an injured bird. What can we do in that case? Should we try and help or leave it heal on its own? Handling a wild bird is extremely stressful for the bird and thus we should always consider whether it is absolutely necessary and if the injury is too serious to heal without our intervention. For example, if a bird has a minor injury on its leg then it should be left to heal itself but if it has an injured wing then we should seek help.
What you can do
Quickly find a cardboard box. Place some newspaper or paper towels on the bottom and open small holes to allow ventilation. The ideal cardboard box size is such that the bird can stand upright, but can not make unnecessary moves. Grab the bird with a cloth, avoiding its beak and claws if it's a predator and avoiding its nose if a heron or a gull. You should never hold a bird too tightly but be firm and gentle. The right way to hold a bird is to place your hand over the bird so the birds’ head is between your index finger and your middle finger while the rest of the hand is around the bird’s body. If it is a larger bird that will not fit in your hand, then you should place each hand over the bird’s wings. Always be on guard when dealing with a bird with big claws and beak. Place it inside the box after you carefully give it some water. The box should be left in a quiet place (somewhere warm if it's winter, and somewhere cool if it's summer) so that the bird can relax and recover from the stressful situation it is in. For your own and the bird’s safety you should cover its head with a cloth which helps reduce the stress on the bird.
Please note that, while BirdLife Cyprus is able to offer some first aid to injured birds, as a conservation organisation we do not deal with animal welfare matters, we are not a rehabilitation centre and have no facilities for keeping birds in captivity, regardless of species or reason. For this reason, we are not able to assist with a bird that needs veterinary or captive care.
The Game and Fauna Service has a rehabilitation centre
where it treats injured birds and the wardens there are the most appropriate people to treat such wild birds. Please contact the Game and Fauna Service on +357 22 867786 and wait for them to collect the bird.
You should never try and feed or give any type of medication to the bird as it is possible that you could cause further damage.
If you are in any doubt of what to do, please give us a call immediately on +357-22-455072 to give you further instructions.