The World Bird Sanctuary’s Kathryn G. Favre Wildlife Hospital admits 300-400 birds per year. We are unable to do pick-ups or rescues due to staffing. We are open to accept birds from 8am to 5pm every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas Days. We accept all birds of prey (hawks, owls, eagles, vultures, falcons etc.) as well as herons, pelicans and swans.
Under Federal and State law it is illegal for any person to injure or possess a bird of prey or any related items such as feathers, eggs or a nest. World Bird Sanctuary is fully licensed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of Missouri to rehabilitate, care for, house and maintain injured raptors.
We do not accept songbirds. If you find a songbird (like a Cardinal, Bluebird, or Bluejay) contact
Wild Bird Rehabilitation at (314) 426-6400.
If you find an ill or injured bird of prey, please read the information below
or call World Bird Sanctuary’s Wildlife Hospital at (636) 861-1392.
During the Spring we receive many calls regarding young birds that have fallen from the nest. Some are in genuine need of our help, like the baby green herons whose nest was destroyed when a tree was felled and parents failed to find the makeshift nest. Others are baby birds that you may think need help, but don’t always need our well-meaning ‘help’ – like the baby Barred Owl that was admitted. It was a fledgling and was spending time on the ground learning how to fly, while his parents still cared for him. Instead he had to learn how in a rehab. Follow the guidelines below to determine whether or not a young birds needs our help or download them here.
If you find a baby bird that has feathers, it’s eyes are open and it is able to move away from you:
– The best thing to do is leave it alone! The parents will find it and continue to take care of it wherever it is. Baby birds do not leave the nest knowing how to fly. They initially fall out of the nest, and start clinging to branches or brush. The stay close to the ground for about 1-2 weeks, and start flying with short hops from branch to branch. The hops gradually get longer, until the bird eventually flies.
If the bird is in immediate danger of being attacked by a cat or dog:
– When possible, remove the cat or dog from the area until the bird is able to fly (1-2 weeks).
– Put the bird in a nearby bush, shrub or tree limb, out of harm’s way. Most birds have a poor sense of smell, and the parents will not abandon a baby bird touched by humans.
– Don’t stay in the immediate vicinity of the bird – the parents are probably watching and will not approach if you stay around.
If you find a baby bird with little or no feathers and you know where the nest is:
– Return the bird to its nest.
If the nest is destroyed, cannot be found, or cannot be reached:
– You can make one using a small basket or margarine container. Punch holes in the bottom and line the container with paper towel (not with grass, as moisture in the grass can cause birds to become too cold). Secure the ‘nest’ with duct tape in a branch fork near the old nest. The parents will find it. Check out our blog about a makeshift basketball net nest for a family of Cooper’s Hawks last year.
If you are certain the bird is an orphan:
– When you are certain the parents have been killed, prepare to transport the bird to a rehabilitation facility. Carefully place the baby bird in a small open container lined with paper towel, and place both in a cardboard box
– Do not attempt to feed or water an orphaned bird. A bird’s diet is very particular and they have a feeding schedule that must be followed.
If you are tempted to keep the baby bird:
– DON’T. Migratory birds, birds of prey and songbirds, are protected under federal law. Possession of a bird, its nest or eggs without a permit is illegal.
If you find an injured bird of prey, follow these directions to safely capture it for delivery to World Bird Sanctuary or download them here.
- Before attempting to aid an injured bird of prey, be aware that a raptor’s feet and talons are its primary means of defense. It is also capable of biting with its beak.
- Get a towel, blanket, jacket or any other lightweight item large enough to cover the entire bird.
- If possible, wear a pair of gardening or welding gloves to protect your hands and arms.
- Approach the bird from the rear if possible. If the bird is alert and can follow your movements it may turn to face you, or flip onto its back with its feet in the air. Anticipate that it will struggle when first covered.
- When close enough, carefully place the cover (jacket, towel, blanket) over the bird, making sure it is completely covered.
- Quickly restrain the bird by tightening the covering around the bird. Scoop the bird and covering up together, and place into a cardboard box, animal carrier or other secure container.
Keep the gloves on and securely hold the bird and covering away from your body to prevent accidental contact with the bird’s feet and talons.
- Do not remove the covering from the bird unless you are satisfied that you can get the covering off the bird without harming yourself. The bird may have grasped the covering in its feet – if so, leave the covering in the box with the bird, although not covering the bird.
- If it is warm place the box or container in a cool place, as birds can overheat quickly.
- Do not attempt to give the bird water or food, as both may complicate the injury, especially an internal one.
- Transport the bird to World Bird Sanctuary. The Wildlife Hospital at World Bird Sanctuary is open for admissions every day from 8am to 5pm. If you find the bird outside of the hours, keep it in a dark, dry safe place until you are able to bring it to World Bird Sanctuary. Do not give the bird water or food.