I found an injured bird! Now what?
Injured and sick birds need specialized diets and fluids. Do not attempt to do this yourself. It is illegal to hunt, harm, or harass — or posses any hawk, eagle, owl, falcon, or vulture — without proper US Fish and Wildlife Service and state-issued permits.
First, observe the bird to determine if the bird is actually injured. Look for bleeding, a droopy wing, a broken bone, flies or maggots on the bird, does not have food nearby or doesn’t move if approached, or the bird appears to have no energy.
Next, note the exact location of the bird and survey the area to make sure that no other animal (like a dog or cat), human, or motorized vehicle can get to the bird.
Then call someone with experience handling an injured bird / raptor:
Pick the closest facility to you and call – remember that most facilities are staffed by volunteers. If someone does not answer the phone, please leave your name and phone number and any details you may have about the bird. The facility may direct you to a licensed individual rehabilitator nearer you.
- SW, WC, and Des Moines Area
- SOAR – Saving Our Avian Resources – (712) 830-6116
- NW Iowa / Spirit Lake Area
- Frank’s Wildlife – (712) 832-9509
- NC, NE, EC Iowa
- Black Hawk Wildlife Rehabilitation Project – (319) 277-6511
- Wildthunder WARS – text details and location to (319) 961-3352
- EC, SE Iowa and also NW Illinois and NE Missouri
- The RARE Group – 319-248-9770, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are in the Des Moines area and have concern for a songbird, please contact Iowa Bird Rehabilitation – 415-596-1147
You could also find and call your nearest:
Please know that you can always call us!
- SOAR at (712) 830-6116
- Download this document and put in your vehicle! What to do if you find an injured bird in Iowa. (PDF) **Updated May 2021
If you’re not in Iowa and are looking for a wildlife rehabilitator, visit the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association website for links to help you search!