What Do I Do With An Injured Bird?
Sometimes birders come across an injured bird and are not sure who to call. Before you do anything, observation from a safe distance may show the animal is neither sick or injured and may need no assistance at all. If you do determine that assistance is needed, you can refer to the following list for the rehabilitator nearest you. These people are often volunteers who may have other jobs, so leave a message and they will return calls as soon as possible. For a more comprehensive list of state-permitted wildlife rehabilitators by county, please see the list from the Iowa DNR site. However, having a state permit does not mean a rehabilitator has a federal permit that enables them to care for migratory birds. There is no definitive list of people with a USFWS permit for rehabilitation, so you’ll just have to ask the person you call if they have the proper skills and permit(s) (rehabilitators must possess facilities that meet national standards and have prior hands-on experience with migratory species before they are allowed to possess a federal permit). One last thing: busy rehabilitators often can’t get away to rescue or pick up animals or may not offer this service at all. They may help you arrange rescue and transportation.
- Eastern Iowa
- Raptor Advocacy, Rehabilitation, and Education (RARE) @ 319-248-9770 or email RARE (Iowa CIty/Cedar Rapids area)
- Black Hawk Wildlife Rehab. Project Hotline @319-277-6511 (Waterloo/Cedar Falls area )
- Non Raptor wildlife
- Black Hawk Wildlife Rehab. Project (see above)
- Wapsi River Wildlife @ 319-480-1917 (Cedar Rapids and surrounding area)
- Rachelle Hansen @ 319-848-7463 (Cedar Rapids and surrounding area)
- Vera Blevins @ 563-355-7831 (Davenport)
- Central Iowa
- Injured Wildlife
- ISU Wildlife care clinic @ 515-294-4900 (Ames area) (no rabies vector species accepted)
- Iowa Wildlife Center, Marlene Ehresman @ 515-233-1379
- Southern Iowa
- Songbirds and Raptors
- Beth Brown @ 641-342-2783 (Osceola)
- Western Iowa
- Raptors, Waterfowl and Songbirds
- Save Our Avian Resources (SOAR), Kay Neumann @ 712-830-6116 (Dedham)
- Northwest Iowa
- Injured Wildlife
- Orphaned and Injured Wildlife, Inc., Linda Hinshaw @ 712-336-3827 (Spirit Lake)
While you are waiting, you can restrain the sick /injured animal in a pet taxi or securely sealed cardboard box with some air holes and do not offer any food or water unless instructed to do so by the rehabber. Keep the animal in a dark, warm, quiet location and wait for a call.
Occasionally birders come across someone's pet racing pigeon that got lost on its way home. These birds are normally banded with non-Fish & Wildlife Service bands that have some identifying characteristics. This website appears to be a good place to start to notify the owner.