Found an Injured Songbird?

If you have found an injured songbird, the AWC will try to help you get the bird to our rehabilitation clinic at Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, AL.

Bird Intake Hours

11:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Wildlife Helpline

(205) 663-7930 | ext. 1

Once the bird is confined, or is already confined, please keep it in a warm (not hot) quiet place, and call our Wildlife Helpline immediately for further instructions.

Capturing & Handling a Songbird

  • Capturing: It is recommended to utilize a soft, non-fraying fabric, such as fleece, a pillow case, or a t-shirt. This approach not only safeguards the bird’s wings but also contributes to maintaining its calmness.
  • Handling: Once captured, gently cradle the bird in your hands and carefully place it into suitable housing. It is important to resist the urge to pet the bird in an attempt to comfort it; wild birds find excessive handling highly stressful.
  • Feeding and Water: It is crucial to not provide the bird with any food or water.

Suitable Housing

  • Suitable Housing: The optimal environment for temporarily housing a wild bird is within a sealed cardboard box – one equipped with closable flaps and devoid of holes.
  • Bedding: Ensure the box is lined with a soft fabric or pine straw, and place it in an area that is secure, warm, and tranquil.

Suggested Box Sizes

Small Birds (e.g., Wren, Sparrow)

Minimum Size: 18″ x 18″ x 18″

Medium Birds (e.g., Blue Jay, Robin)

Minimum Size: 24″ x 24″ x 24″

Large Birds (e.g., Woodpecker, Crow)

Minimum Size: 36″ x 36″ x 36″

  • Wire Cage: It is imperative to avoid placing a wild bird in a wire cage. Such enclosures can significantly increase the bird’s stress and potentially cause further harm.

Overnight Care

Should you find yourself caring for the bird outside of the AWC’s admission hours:

  • Containment: It is advisable to keep the bird in the sealed carboard box overnight.
  • Box Location: The location should be comfortably warm (avoiding excessive heat) and quiet, well away from household pets and inquisitive children.
  • Feeding and Water: It is crucial to not provide the bird with any food or water unless instructed to do so by an AWC staff member.
  • Making Changes to Box: Refrain from making holes in the box as it contains ample air for the bird, and the openings could lead to the bird’s head, wings, or feet getting trapped.
  • Next Day: Promptly transporting the bird to the AWC without unnecessary delays is essential. Delays in receiving medical care and suitable nourishment can cause permanent harm to the bird.