Being handled and treated is a very stressful experience for an injured bird, and before you attempt to catch it, you should consider the benefits of treatment weighed against this.For instance, a bird with an injured leg is probably best left, but a wing injury is serious enough to merit capture and treatment.Please remember that the RSPB is a wild bird conservation charity, and as such we do not have the facilities or expertise for treating sick, injured or orphaned birds.'It is usually difficult to catch an injured bird and careless handling may cause further injury. Handling must be firm but gentle.
Small birds up to blackbird size can be held in one hand.
General Advice for injured Birds
Place your hand over the bird so that its head fits between your forefinger and middle finger. The rest of your fingers will naturally wrap around each wing, holding the bird firmly.Medium-sized birds are best held with two hands, one over each wing. Handling large birds requires great care because of risk of injury to the handler. Unless you are used to handling large birds, it is best to call an expert rescuer to the bird rather than try to capture it yourself.Once the bird is caught, examine it quickly and place it in a well ventilated covered box to wait for treatment. Darkness reduces stress, and is likely to be the best first aid you can give the bird. It is also the best treatment for shock.
An injured bird should always be passed onto a local vet, RSPCA in England and Wales, SSPCA in Scotland, USPCA in Northern Ireland or an independent rescue centre, so it can receive appropriate treatment without undue delay. Birds that have been caught by a cat should almost always be taken to a vet as a matter of urgency because of the high risk of septicaemia. Please remember that the RSPB is a wild bird conservation charity, and as such we do not have the facilities or expertise for treating sick, injured or orphaned birdThe RSPB does not run bird hospitals or a rescue service. The RSPCA (England and Wales), SSPCA (Scotland) and USPCA (Northern Ireland) are the national charities that help and advise on sick and injured birds and animals. Tiggywinkles and The Swan Sanctuary also take in wild birds in need of care.