Injured cardinal

SpazzWhoElse

Chirping
Apr 28, 2019
46
121
76
Pa
Hi everyone, off subject but hopefully maybe someone can help. Found a young injured cardinal, hurt his neck somehow so he keeps it downward. He's cracking away at the sunflower seeds when he can find them, hasn't found the water yet and was eating the wild bird food placed. Noone called back from the wildlife place. Guidance greatly appreciated here, thanks!
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,257
99,059
1,331
Iowa
Do you have a picture of the cardinal? Besides the neck problem, have you inspected the rest of its body, for injuries, discoloration, or any abnormalities? Where are you located in the world?
 

SpazzWhoElse

Chirping
Apr 28, 2019
46
121
76
Pa
Could you take a picture? Any wounds on the bird?
16092878115023473614196377377380.jpg
 

Isaac 0

Enabler
5 Years
Jul 19, 2016
24,257
99,059
1,331
Iowa
A very common problem with Passerines is head trauma due to flying into windows or getting hit by cars. It sounds most probable the bird collided with some sort of object and injured its cephalic region. Males are particularly vulnerable since they often attack their own reflection.

Determining whether the neck is just injured, or if it's actually fractured would be best performed by someone experienced with birds; handling passerines is difficult, and takes experience not to further injure the bird. If he is able to move the neck around on his own, it may just be injured slightly and all that's need will be a little time to strengthen the muscles back. If his neck is injured more severely, a neck brace may be indicated.

https://www.humanesociety.org/resources/how-find-wildlife-rehabilitator

Continue working on finding a wildlife rehabilitation in your area. In the meantime, keep him in a fairly warm, quiet, stress-free area with feed, and water. A hands-off approach is best with wild passerines; they are not used to be touched, or handled, and get stressed easily by human contact and presence. A vitamin mix can be put in his water/ just as long as another clean water source is provided as well. In addition to the seeds, you may offer some fruits safe for cardinals such as blueberries, or grapes.
 
Last edited:

RosemaryDuck

Crowing
Dec 15, 2020
1,111
2,453
271
Please contact your local wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife rescue. Cardinals are protected under the migratory bird act (if you're in the US or Canada). You can receive a really hefty fine or jail time if caught in possession of one (even if you are trying to help!).
 

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