If you spot a bird hopping around with one wing lower than the other, its wing may be broken. If you can easily catch the bird, it is in need of rehabilitation because it might fall victim to predators. Be very gentle so you don't cause further or permanent damage. If the bird appears to be sick or infected, call a veterinarian.
Catch the bird. Wear gloves to protect your hands and arms. Use a net or box to capture the injured animal. Move slow and remain calm to keep the bird's stress levels down and avoid causing further damage to the wing.
Place the bird in a cage or box large enough for the bird. Keep the box away from extreme heat or cold, other animals and noise.
Immobilise the broken wing. Cut about a foot of gauze tape. Gauze tape is gauze that sticks to itself. Wrap the gauze tape around the bird, keeping the wing along the bird's body. It should go over the broken wing to keep it from moving and allow it to heal.
Place the bird back in the box or container. Give it water in a shallow dish to keep it hydrated. If the bird can fall into the water container and drown, it is too big and deep. Give it wet cat food (for worm eating birds) or birdseed to eat depending on the bird type.
Replace the gauze tape weekly or when it gets too dirty. After two weeks, take the bird to a safe place to see if it can fly yet. After having its wing taped for so long it may need to practice for a while. If the wing is still injured, try again each week or two until it is fully healed.
Do not wrap the gauze tape too tight. It can obstruct the bird's breathing. If the injured bird is a hawk, eagle or other strong predatory bird, call for professional aviary help to avoid injury.
Tips and warnings
- Do not wrap the gauze tape too tight. It can obstruct the bird's breathing.
- If the injured bird is a hawk, eagle or other strong predatory bird, call for professional aviary help to avoid injury.