How to Care for an Injured Bird That Cannot Fly

Many times we see injured or sick birds lying on our roof or outside the home. Being human, it’s our duty to help this feathered creature. But then the question arises how to care for an injured bird at home?

how to care for an injured bird

Today, we will discuss primary treatment and first-aid that we can offer the bird and help them survive. So let’s get started.

How to Care for an Injured Bird at Home?

Offering primary treatment to an injured domestic sparrow or other birds that can’t fly is not as easy as in other animals. Birds have more chance to go in shock when get injured. Even a small injury can kill them and they will die of shock. So when you see an injured bird, your priority is to prevent the bird from shock. 

First Aid Priorities

Stop Bleeding

Injury can cause the bird to bleed. So in order to save this feathered creature, stop the bleeding. You can stop it by placing a clean cloth over the injured area. Apply firm pressure for around 5 minutes and then check if the bleeding is stopped. Make sure that you are not choking the breathing process of the bird while applying pressure. Never try to remove the blood clot. 

Shock Treatment

In the case when your injured bird goes in shock, then try to recover the a bird can from the shock. But how to check if the bird is in shock? But what to do with an injured bird? What is the bird in shock symptoms? The bird in shock will appear unresponsive, fluffed up, weak, and will breathe in slowly but out quickly.

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Keep the shocked bird in a warm place. The environment around the bird should be quiet, semi-dark, and humid. It is essential to provide warmth to the bird in order to get it recovered. You can provide warmth by placing a bottle filled with hot water near the bird. 

Generally, the bird will recover from the shock in around 4 to 6 hours. But in the case when you notice no recovery in the bird, we recommend you consult the vet or a bird can expert as soon as possible. 

Don’t force the bird to eat or drink in shock conditions as it might kill the bird. 

How to Care for an Injured Bird After Recovery From the Shock Condition?

As soon as the bird recovers from the shock, you should examine the a bird can visually from a short distance. Check for any unusual posture, deformity, or lameness. Here are the steps to be followed if you are still unsure on how to care for an injured bird:

How to Treat Injured Bird Eyes

After recovery from the shock condition, the eyes of this avian creature should be open and bright. The size of the pupil should be equal. In the case when the pupil sizes are not equal, it may indicate injury in the head. 

how to care for an injured bird

The unwell bird will not be able to open its complete eyes. When one eye is closed, it indicated injury or infection in the closed eyes. Also, check if the bird is responding to your hand movement. 

How Injured Birds Get New Feathers

Injury and absence of feathers can be easily diagnosed. When you notice that the feather of this creature is fluffed up, it means the bird is trying to get warm and is feeling unwell.  


Tilting heads, nodding heads, or closing the eyes for a period in birds that can’t fly indicate severe head trauma. 


Check for the injury in wings, broken wings, fractured wings, leg paralysis, broken legs, missing foot, etc. A dropped wing indicates a broken or fractured wing. In any such condition, seek your nearest vet or bird, expert. 


In a healthy bird, breathing is difficult to detect. But when the bird is having any respiratory infection, it will show labored and difficult breathing that can be detected easily.     

Physical Examination of the Bird

Now check the complete body of the bird for some injury, cuts, abrasion, beak injury, etc. Check the wings, hold them away from the body to feel any fracture, examine for fracture in legs, and other injuries. 

Primary Treatment and First Aid

When you notice only small injuries, the bird is not in shock condition, and there is no fracture. Also, the bird is able to move its wings and go for a smaller flight, and is eating well. Then you can handle the bird and offer them primary treatment at home. Here is the tutorial to provide first –aid to this feathered creature: 

Read also: What to Feed a Baby Bird Without Feathers?

Clean all the cuts and wound gently using a dilute antiseptic solution like Dettol, savlon, or hydrogen peroxide 1%. In case when none of these are available, warm saline water is also a great alternate. 

In the case when the bird gets injured due to an attack from a dog or cat, then visit your vet for some antibiotics and vaccination.          

Do not remove any blood clots as it may cause the bird to bleed again. 

Note: Avoid using antiseptic ointments in birds.

How to Care for an Injured Bird When the Injury Is Severe?

When the injury is severe, injury due to cat or dog attack, the bird is not recovering from shock condition, or any fracture, visit your vet or bird expert. Below is the tutorial to take the bird in shock to the nearest vet:

Read also: How to Keep Squirrels Out of Bird Feeders

  • Wear a glove for your safety. 
  • Prepare a shoebox or any other similar box with holes for air passage in the lid. Place a soft cloth at the bottom of the box.
  • Now cover the bird gently using a light cloth and place it in the box. 
  • Offer some warmth to the bird using either a heating pad or a hot water bottle. 
  • Now transport the bird to the vet clinic or bird expert. 

Bottom Line

So this was the complete guide on how to care for an injured bird. This way you can prevent your bird from going in shock and thus save its life.  

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