or Unsymmetrical Wings
Birds with broken wings usually
have an obvious injury. One wing will droop much lower than the other.
When looking at the bird, the wings are NOT symmetrical. Many
times the wing will actually be dragging or twisted. Ask yourself where
was the bird found? This can help determine if it is truly a broken
wing. Birds found in or close to the street, next to buildings and
windows or attacked by a pet are highly suspect for this type of injury.
There may or may not be obvious bleeding. It probably will not be able
to fly but may be able to flutter and run if a wing is broken.
people mistake fledgling birds for those with
broken wings. If the bird is hopping about and other birds are feeding
it, it is a fledgling bird. Leave it alone. Fledgling birds will "beg or
gape with an open mouth" for food and cannot yet fly.
injuries may keep the bird from flying also (See "I Found A Bird That
Struck an Object"). Birds with broken wings need assistance as
soon as possible. Bird bones begin to calcify quickly after an injury.
If a birdís bone heals incorrectly, it will be unable to fly. This
bird needs to be captured and transported to a wildlife rehabilitator
for help. Call a wildlife rehabilitator for help and instructions as
soon as possible.
I Found A Bird That Struck
Birds that Strike Windows
Many times birds hit windows
because they do not see them. This often causes head injury, broken
wings and death. Birds of Prey like the Cooperís Hawk will fly
straight into picture windows in their attempts to snag an easy meal of
songbirds at a nearby bird feeder.
Birds that have head injuries
are sometimes mistaken for birds with broken wings because they are
dazed and will not fly when approached. Birds that cannot fly due to
head trauma, may or may not have to be brought in. Sometimes, placing
the bird in a warm, dark box punched with air holes for a couple of
hours is sufficient for it to recover and then to be released. If it is
a large bird, placing a box with air holes over the top of it will also
work. Or if the weather is acceptable (and the bird is not directly in
the rain or sun or other elements), leave the area for a little while
with children and pets and again wait for the bird to recover on its
own. Often the bird has just knocked himself senseless for a short
period of time and soon will fly off. If the bird is bleeding from the
beak or its pupils are dilated or it has an obvious injury it will, of
course, need assistance. Call a wildlife rehabilitator for specific
advice and instructions as soon as possible.
For help in identifying birds
in need of rescue, please visit the
website, which provides excellent field guide information.
Return to Trail