Handling Wildlife – Catching small and medium birds
April 19th, 2015
REMEMBER you are responsible for your own safety and that of others. Even in following these guidelines you are at risk of harm and should enlist the help of a trained professional. Knoxwood will not be held responsible for any injures to yourself, others or property.
Please remember – you must never handle any wild bird or animal unless you are certain it needs help, and your sole intention is to provide that help.
If you can get close enough to a wild bird to handle it, then it usually needs some kind of assistance, with the exception of juvenile birds learning how to fly.
If you have an injured bird in your garden such as a blackbird, thrush, pigeon, dove, crow or starling follow this procedure:
Get a sturdy cardboard box with a lid. punch at least 20 holes around the sides of the box with a pencil and a dozen in the lid. A cat carrier with small mesh will also be perfect. Line the bottom with an old towel, facecloth, teatowel or t shirt
If the bird is unresponsive and simply lying on the ground, gently cover the entire bird with a duster or light cloth and pick him up cloth and all and place the whole bundle into the box
If the bird is awake and hopping around, you will need a larger piece of cloth such as a hand towel, which you should hold out in front of you like a bull fighter but do not flap it or distress the bird. Walk up to the bird slowly, towel in front, you can get a couple of other people to help you at this stage with towels and gently encourage the bird into a corner or a shed if you are lucky enough to have one.
Once the bird is cornered, move slowly until you are near enough to drop your towel right over the bird and scoop him up into your prepared box.
Wear gardening cloves for crows, rooks, ravens, jays, and jackdaws as they can nip or scratch you.
The procedure for seagulls and seabirds is the same: bullfight, corner, cover and scoop! but you MUST wear gloves and use a heavy blanket or bath towel as they have strong beaks. If you can, pick up the bird with his head pointing away from you.