What to do…..

when you find an injured bird. First, if you are a child, find an adult and do not touch the bird. If you are an adult you need to assess the situation. Is the bird dangerous or in a dangerous situation? If you are not experienced in dealing with sick or injured wildlife please call the nearest agency that works with injured wildlife in your area. We are fortunate here on the Cape to have two excellent places, the Cape Wildlife Center in Cummaquid and Wild Care on the lower Cape (which may not be open this winter.) Do not call your local Audubon or other nature center as they are not equipped to deal with injured animals. They will refer you to the above named places.If you are experienced enough to feel comfortable picking up an injured bird use gloves or a soft towel to gently pick it up. This little downy woodpecker was found by my neighbor. She had apparently collided with the window and spent much of the day under the window on the ground, according to my neighbor. The bird could not fly and was getting weaker and weaker. By the time I arrived it was almost dead. I put it in a soft towel and brought it indoors. Once inside I warmed it up by holding it close to my chest and after about 20 minutes I heard it peep and it started to wiggle. I gave it a bit of water off the end of a towel which it drank greedily.
After another 20 minutes or so I mixed a little peanut butter and suet and put it on the back of a spoon and the little bird pecked away at it, eating a fair amount.
I took it back outside as it seemed to be pretty perky but it couldn’t fly. I put it up on a branch but it just sat there. Night was falling and it was quite cold outside. I am not a trained bird rehabilitator and I knew if the bird was going to survive the night I needed to take it to the wildlife hospital. The people there are wonderful and they are going to call me later today to tell me how she is doing…by the time they got her she was pretty perky but hopefully they can either set a broken wing or figure out what else was going on there. I will keep you up to date as I learn more.

Follow up. Unfortunately the story has a sad end and the little bird didn’t make it. A necropsy showed she had severe brain trauma and bleeding and at least she died safe and warm and cared for and not alone in the dark and cold….

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