Conservation

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What to Do


If you do not feel comfortable rescuing an injured bird, please call our local U.S. Fish and Wildlife office at 361.994.9005. We regret that we are unable to pick up any bird.

What to Do If You Find an Injured Shorebird


Most birds can be difficult to catch safely. The easiest method is to use a large towel or sheet and throw over the bird. Once covered and unable to see, most birds will immediately calm down long enough to pick them up and put them in a secure area, such as a pet crate or box.

When rescuing shorebirds with sharp beaks, be sure to avoid close contact and wear eye protection. The defense mechanism for these birds is often to lunge at the face and eyes.

Once you have secured the bird, keep it in a dark, quiet area until you can bring it to the SeaLabs Second Chances Wildlife Hospital. Please bring the bird to the Second Chances Wildlife Hospital as quickly as possible so treatment can begin. 

Please do not try to feed any bird you rescue.

 

What to Do If You Find an Injured Raptor


Rescuing a raptor can be a daunting task. Keep in mind that they have large beaks and powerful talons. It is recommended that you use thick, leather gloves and eye protection. The easiest method is to use a large towel or sheet and throw over the bird. Once covered and unable to see, most birds will immediately calm down long enough to pick them up and put them in a secure area, such as a pet crate or box.

When rescuing raptors with sharp beaks, be sure to avoid close contact and wear eye protection. The defense mechanism for these birds is often to lunge at the face and eyes.

Once you have secured the bird, keep it in a dark, quiet area until you can bring it to the Aquarium. Please bring the bird to the Aquarium as quickly as possible so treatment can begin. 

Please do not try to feed any bird you rescue.

 

What to Do If You Find a Baby Bird


The most important thing to clear up about baby birds is the myth that the parents will reject their babies if they smell your scent on them. This is FALSE. Most birds have a terrible sense of smell and will be none the wiser if you place a fallen baby bird back in its nest.  

Fledging
If you find a baby bird on the ground, chances are it was attempting that first flight out of the nest and realized too late that it wasn’t ready.

Falling out of the nest
Usually a nest will contain anywhere from 1-4 growing babies, which can create a cramped living area, and sometimes, for lack of space, a baby may fall out of the nest. 

Acts of nature
High speed winds and storms can cause nests to fall out of trees, especially here in South Texas.

In any case, when you find a baby, the best course of action is to place it back in the nest. Remember: the parents must leave to find food and will return to their babies to feed and care for them. 

If you can’t find the nest or can’t reach it:
You can leave the baby on the ground near where you originally found it, if you feel it will be safe from cats, dogs, or other dangers.
An empty shoebox without a lid makes a great temporary shelter for the baby, and still allows the parent to find the bird.

If you feel the nest has been destroyed and/or the parents are no longer in the area:
Put the baby in a shoebox or other small container and call a wildlife rehabilitator right away.
Remember to keep the baby in a warm, quiet, dark room.
Do NOT attempt to feed or give water to a baby bird.



The Aquariums Second Chances Wildlife Hospital will gladly take raptor, shorebird or waterfowl babies, but will not be able to take in other baby birds. If you are unsure of what kind of bird you have, call 361.881.1210.


IMPORTANT: Because birds are protected, it is not legal to keep a bird unless you have the necessary permits to do so. It is very important that you turn over any bird as soon as possible, not only because it’s the law, but for the bird’s safety and well-being.






Brown Pelican released on the beach
Rehabilitated barn owl Cecil has a home at Aquarium