Read the descriptions below to help you determine if the animal needs help. If after reading you believe it needs rescuing, click here for instructions.

Featherless/newly hatched (Hatchling) Birds

hatchlingIf the bird is not injured, locate the nest and place the young one back in it. Birds are unable to detect your scent on their young and after you leave they will quickly forget your intrusion. Be sure to place the bird in the correct nest (as parents may toss out unfamiliar babies). If the hatchlings are injured, have had contact with a cat or dog, one/both of the parents have been confirmed missing, and/or you cannot place the young bird back in the nest, call a wildlife rehabilitator immediately. If they are cold, warm them in your hands, then place in a small covered box on a heating pad set to low. DO NOT feed or give water.

Downy/Incompletely Feathered (Nestling) Birds

nestlingThese are older birds, not quite ready to fly. Find the nest and place the young back in it, unless the bird is injured. If you are unable to find the nest, cannot place the young in the nest, it is injured, or has had contact with a cat or dog, the bird should be taken to a rehabilitator as soon as possible. If the bird is replaced in the nest and the parent does not return, the bird should be taken to a rehabilitator.

Fully Feathered (Fledglings) Birds

fledglingThese birds are completely feathered, can hop about, and may be able to flutter or fly short distances. Leave them alone unless they are being attacked by a dog or cat. This stage of life is a natural part of a bird’s training and development. The parents keep track of their young, protect them, and feed them. They should be left on he ground (to be fed and protected by their parents) unless they are injured or in imminent danger.


WCA is currently able to accept Raptors again. Please call is if you find and orphaned or injured raptor. 916-965-9453. In addition, you can also contact the UC Davis Raptor Center or The Bird & Pet Clinic of Roseville (California Foundation for Birds of Prey). Thank you and we appreciate your support and help.

California Raptor Center
1340 Equine Lane, Davis, just off Old Davis Rd.
Hours:Monday – Friday 9-4, Saturday 9-12, Closed Sun and Holidays

Bird & Pet Clinic of Roseville
3985 Foothills Boulevard, Roseville, CA 95747
Hours:Monday – Thursday: 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., Friday: 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m., Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Sunday: Closed