What to Do If You Find an Injured Bird

During spring and fall migration, millions of birds migrate through New York City. Unfortunately many will not survive our city's maze of concrete and glass. NYC Bird Alliance's Project Safe Flight estimates between 90,000-230,000 birds die each year in New York City as a result of colliding with windows. With your help, some window collision victims can survive. If you find an injured bird, please follow the steps below to help save them.   

Injured Northern Flicker. Photo: Christina G, NYC Bird Alliance Injured Bird Transporter

Assess If the Bird Is Injured

If you see an adult bird on the sidewalk with their eyes closed and/or is barely moving that is not a pigeon, the bird most likely hit a window and is stunned. Collisions with windows can cause: loss of consciousness, broken wings or legs, bleeding, and/or other blunt trauma-related injuries.   

A paper bag secured with a binder clip is a great way to transport an injured bird. Photo: Calista McRae

Where to Place an Injured Bird

Paper bags and cloth tote bags are great for securing birds and easy to bring along with you. Binder clips can also be used to keep the bags close. A box with a lid or towel placed over it can also be used but is less portable to bring with you.   

Volunteer Cynthia Guile encountered this stunned Ovenbird while patrolling her regular Project Safe Flight monitoring route during spring migration. Photo: Sophie Butcher

How to Secure an Injured Bird

Approach the bird slowly and quietly from behind, pointed away from traffic, so as to not scare it. Birds are easily frightened and can end up trying to fly away, often into a structure and further injuring itself. Lightly grab the bird with one or two hands over its wings and put the bird gently into a paper a bag or box.   

Injured bird secured in paper bag is brought to the Wild Bird Fund. Photo: Calista McRae

Where to Bring an Injured Bird

Once the bird is contained, place the bag in a dark, quiet place and bring it to the Wild Bird Fund as soon as possible. Do not try to force feed or give water to the bird. The Wild Bird Fund is located at:

Wild Bird Fund
565 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 11024 (
Google Map).

The Wild Bird Fund is open seven days a week. There is no need to call before dropping off a bird between their office hours of 10am-6pm. You can call them at (646) 306-2862 outside of those hours and leave a voicemail if needed. The Wild Bird Fund is the only wild bird rehabilitation center in New York City and provides by far the best chance for the bird to survive. If you absolutely cannot get to the Wild Bird Fund, certain Animal Hospitals located in other parts of the city may be able to take in the bird.   

American Woodcock at the Wild Bird Fund. Photo: Tristan Higginbotham

If You Can't Transport an Injured Bird to a Rehabber Yourself

If you have a bird that is contained but are unable to transport the bird to the Wild Bird Fund or an Animal Hospital, contact NYC Bird Alliance at injuredbird@nycbirdalliance.org. NYC Bird Alliance coordinates a volunteer group of injured bird transporters who (if available) will take injured birds in New York City to a professional rehabilitator. NYC Bird Alliance's office hours are Monday-Friday, 9:30am-5:30pm. If you have found an injured bird and need assistance outside of NYC Bird Alliance's office hours, please contact the Wild Bird Fund at 646.306.2862 or email rehabbers@wildbirdfund.org.

Note: This post was updated on March 23, 2022 to include the most up-to-date information about NYC Bird Alliance and Wild Bird Fund.