Injured finch--help?

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by iamcuriositycat, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Disclaimer: I know it is illegal to handle wild birds. I know a licensed rehabber is the best and only legal choice for helping injured wildlife, especially songbirds. However, I am having to choose between letting a gorgeous little songbird die or handling it, and I need help if anyone can provide it.

    The story: I found an American goldfinch (male) fluttering around the road near my house. It was not flying, and I assumed it had been stunned by passing traffic. I've helped birds in the past by giving them a safe place to recover after being stunned, so I brought it home and put it in a box with a blanket, a small dish of water, and placed it in a warm dark location.

    Several hours later, the bird was much more active and had pooped a couple times, but on closer examination one eye is shut and one wing sticks up at a very slightly odd angle. The bird is very calm and wanted to sit on my hand while I gave it a closer look. However, it did not want me handling the wing and would flinch and move away whenever I touched it, so I'm assuming it's sore. It definitely can't fly--the few times it fluttered away from me, it went straight... down (but not far--I made sure to handle it only from a seated position on a carpeted surface).

    I got online, of course, and looked for local wildlife rehabbers. There is exactly ONE in my area that handles wild songbirds (plenty for mammals, and an entire center devoted to raptors, but ONE for songbirds). And she is currently not accepting new birds due to a family health emergency. I reached her voice mail and that's as far as I got.

    What would you do? I can't take the bird to a vet, because it's not legal for me (or the vet) to handle it, so most vets would simply have it put down. Animal control would just put it down. And if I release it, something--a cat, most likely, or a raccoon, or hawk--something would "put it down" the painful way.

    Is there anyone here that can help somehow? What is my best course of action? Is there any chance it will recover on its own with rest and food? My husband is out right now getting wild bird seed and Niger thistle. I'm going to put my ducks to bed and feed the quail, and then I'm going to see what kind of enclosure I can provide that is restful and provides low, soft perches he can flutter onto from the ground. What else can I do? What else SHOULD I do?

    Thanks SO much for any help.
     
  2. percyj

    percyj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks like you've got it covered. Maybe a little warm sugar water if it's in shock? And keep him in a calm quiet room.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  3. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    They sell food for those guys at any pet store- or wild bird mix...

    If you can find/ build an enclosure that can be closed at night exclude predators (during the day) but be opened during the day (thus not confining the bird and not being AS illegal) that would be a good option... then you can provide food and shelter but not fully 'cage' the bird so it 'could' leave (now if you have the escape area too high for him to use until he heals too bad)...

    I've seen these release cages before... they are large and have food and water access at the bottom, a bird house inside and and escape door that is open during the day just larger then the bird (so no other birds move in)... the door at the top is closed at night to discourage coons or cats from even trying and the bird house provides cover and temp control.
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Thanks guys--I knew someone here would have answers! I really appreciate it.

    I did find a place that would take him--it's HARD to find songbird rehabbers. But, sadly, he passed some time during the day today. I took the kids out for the day and when I arrived home and checked on him, he was dead and stiff. So weird because he was doing so much better, I thought.

    Anyway--thanks again for the feedback. I love the sound of the release cages--that would be perfect when helping a stunned bird recover. I've several times brought one in the house and kept it warm and dark for a few hours and then let it fly away when it was ready. A release cage would let it choose when it was ready. Cool.
     
  5. FireTigeris

    FireTigeris Tyger! Tyger! burning bright

    Check squirrel release cages for picts or ask squirrel rescuers for pictures...

    didn't find any online yet- will look more...

    think of a ferret nation or critter nation 2 level cage with the top door open but a piece of hardware cloth or wood narrowing the opening and a finch or dove house inside and cups of food or water.

    Then you could let any injured bird rest (away from all your other birds just in-case its sick) and they can leave when they are ready.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2010
  6. Rivertowne

    Rivertowne New Egg

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    What did you ever end up doing with the finch? I just found a young male in the middle of the road. He never even moved when my car became close to him. His one wing is bent at an odd angle and although he flutters, he cannot fly. I bought a bird cage along with finch seed and for now he is sitting on a perch. What do you recommend I do next?
     

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