Help! I’ve Found an Injured Bird

To get assistance and/or guidance for safe capture and transport for an injured or orphaned bird, please call us at 207.382.6761. We are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days a year. Holiday hours may vary. Our address is 418 N. Palermo Road, Freedom, ME 04941.

Finding an injured or sick bird can be a little bit distressing. Unfortunately, as more people move into spaces that were once wild, it is becoming more common to find birds that have been hit by cars, have flown into windows, or are suffering from a disease picked up at the local bird feeder. The following guide walks you through the steps to take if you find a bird in need of help, to give it the best chance of survival.

This guide is intended for birds you believe may be sick or injured. For information on what to do if you find a baby bird, please click here. Please see the list of other permitted rehabilitators below.

Capturing and Containing an Injured Bird:

  • Gather your materials!
    • A container for the bird (cardboard box, tote, recycle bin, etc.) with a towel in the bottom of it. Don’t forget to add air holes!
    • A towel/sheet/blanket/jacket
    • Protective gloves
  • Put the gloves on and grab up your towel/sheet/blanket/jacket.
  • Approach the bird slowly, holding your fabric choice out in front of you (like a matador).
  • Gently toss the fabric over the bird, making sure its head is covered.
  • Pick up the bird from behind, making sure its wings are held in place by your hand(s). Keep in mind where the bird’s feet and beak are!
  • Place the bird into the container you have prepped. Gently pull the fabric you used to cover the bird off of it as you remove your hands from the box.
  • Close the container.

DO:

  • Keep the bird someplace quiet and calm.
  • Keep pets and kids away from the bird.
  • Call a wildlife rehabilitator as soon as possible.

DON’T:

  • Give the bird any food or water.
  • Try to treat any issues or wounds yourself.
  • Pet the bird or cuddle with it. Remember, to a bird you are a predator.

Please keep in mind YOUR safety when containing a sick or injured bird. Rescuers’ and finders’ safety ALWAYS takes priority over injured wildlife. If at any point you feel uncomfortable, please stop and give us a call at 207-382-6761. We are always happy to help and answer questions!

Find Injured Wildlife that Isn’t a Bird?

Avian Haven will not be admitting turtles (and other reptiles and amphibians) for the 2024 season. Maine is fortunate to have wildlife rehabilitators across the state that can help with all kinds of animals! Here is the contact information for some of the other rehabilitators who could help:

LocationName / FacilityPhoneTypes of Wildlife
AuburnJen Marchigiani,
Misfits Rehab
207-212-1039All mammals, including Rabies Vector Species*. Specializes in bats.
Bar HarborAnn Rivers,
Acadia Wildlife Center
207-288-4960All birds, reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, including Rabies Vector Species*.
BoothbayBetsy Pratt207-380-3617Small and medium mammals.
BowdoinKathi McCue,
Wilderness Miracles
207-720-0074Mammals including Rabies Vector Species*. Bear cubs, but no adult bears or moose.
BowdoinDeborah Bryan,
Lil’ Rascals Wildlife Rehabilitation
207-607-0110Small and medium mammals.
BridgtonKappy Sprenger207-647-5593Shorebirds, ducklings (especially Mallards, Wood Ducks, and Mergansers), and loon chicks. Baby opossums.
BridgtonKaren Hawkins207-647-3734Small and medium mammals.
BrooklinSusan Wotton,
Critterville Wildlife Rehabilitation
845-549-2407All mammals, including Rabies Vector Species*. Reptiles, amphibians. Specializes in raccoons.
Cape NeddickCenter for Wildlife207-361-1400All birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals. No Rabies Vector Species* species other than bats.
CascoJessica Jackson,
Safe and Sound Wildlife Rehabilitation
207-807-2585Small and medium mammals.
E. BaldwinWendy Clark,
Whip Poor Will Woods Nature Sanctuary and Wildlife Rehabilitation
207-595-2140Raccoons only.
FrankfortSandra Stone207-223-4213 or 207-592-9000Mammals including Rabies Vector Species*. No porcupines, mice, or beavers.
HancockNancy Fox207-667-5130Small mammals. Raccoons.
LimingtonBethany Brown,
Saco River Wildlife Center
207-420-7159Mammals, including Rabies Vector Species*. No deer, moose, or bears. Reptiles and amphibians.
N. WaterfordJacqueline Fanning,
Warren Brook Wildlife Rehabilitation
207-583-6266Mammals smaller than a fox, including Rabies Vector Species*. No raccoons.
NorwayMelodyEcho Thurlow,
Earth Childrens Haven Open Skies
207-527-2310Mammals, including Rabies Vector Species*. No bears or moose. Reptiles. Amphibians.
OtisfieldKatrina Carstensen,
Carstensen’s Keep
207-583-2105All birds except for raptors. Squirrels, skunks, deer, bobcats, opossums.
PolandAdam Farrington207-210-1366All reptiles, amphibians, and mammals, including Rabies Vector Species*.
RaymondPamela Richardson207-838-8967Small and medium mammals.
SebagoKristine Beaudoin,
Beaudoin Way Wildlife Rehab
207-807-1986Small and medium mammals.
TrentonKisma Preserve207-667-3244Mammals, including Rabies Vector Species*. No deer, porcupines, or mice.
VassalboroDon Cote,
Wildlife Care Center
207-445-4326All mammals including Rabies Vector Species*.
WiscassetBridget Green207-631-0874Mammals, including RVS. No moose or bear.
Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles
Bar HarborAllied Whale207-288-5644 or 207-266-1326Marine mammals. Will rehab and assist with strandings. Services the coast from Rockland to the Canadian border.
BrunswickMarine Mammals of Maine1-800-532-9551Marine mammals and sea turtles. Will rehab and assist with strandings. Services the coast from Rockland to Kittery.
StatewideNortheast Marine Mammal and Sea Turtle Stranding and Entanglement Hotline866-755-6622Reporting of any stranded marine mammal or sea turtle. Will direct you to closest organization that can help.

Not in Maine?

Check with Animal Help Now (ahnow.org) to find the wildlife rehabilitator closest to you.


*Rabies Vector Species in Maine include skunks, raccoons, foxes, and bats.