Birds that we have helped
Birds that we have helped

What to do if you find a bird (emergency care)


This page explains when you should intervene, and when injured or baby birds should be left alone. If in any doubt, contact us for expert advice.

Injured and Sick Birds

While most birds with obvious signs of injury or illness would benefit from treatment, catching them is easier said than done. If the bird can still fly, it is often better to leave it alone, or call the ManxSPCA or ourselves before taking action. Trying to catch it, but failing will only stress the bird and make things worse.

If the bird isn’t flying, carefully pick it up and put it into a box. This should have a towel at the bottom and punched holes in the top to let air in. The darkness of the box will help keep the bird calm.

Use two hands with large birds – one covering each wing. Or if they are very large or birds of prey, contact the ManxSPCA  and ask them to collect it. Don’t risk being injured yourself by talons or beaks.

Once you have the bird in its box, phone us for advice – you may need to take it in to be looked after. Injured birds often need prompt treatment to prevent infection & should be taken to your nearest vets. All the Vets on the Island will help  a wild injured bird & not charge you. 

Please note – it is legal to look after most wild birds in the Isle of Man, but some birds of prey are protected and require a special licence to keep in captivity. Also, Rremember not to put yourself in danger trying to rescue a bird. If there’s any climbing or water involved, call the experts.

Baby Birds

While it’s tempting to rescue every baby bird you see on the floor, this isn’t always the best thing to do. It’s completely normal for fledglings to leave the nest before they can fly and spend up to five days on the ground. The parents will usually be nearby.

In most cases the bird will have a much higher chance of survival if left where it is. In others, you can simply place the bird into some nearby bushes to get it out of harm’s way, or in in the case of nestlings, its nest. Very rarely is it necessary to remove the bird from the wild.

Generally, you should only intervene if the baby bird is obviously injured, has been attacked by a cat or is in immediate danger from traffic or predators. Otherwise, leave it alone.

If the bird is in danger, move it to a nearby tree or bush for safety.

We’ve put together this handy flow chart to help you know what to do.



 Click on the image to enlarge and/or print.


If you’re at all unsure whether to intervene, contact us 242777 or the MSPCA

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Our Postal Address

11 Victoria Road


Isle of Man


Contact us

If you have any queries on what to do if you find a bird then check out our 'emergency care' section.

We do not provide an emergency service but will help where we can


Telephone  07624 242777 or email us ( non urgent ) at


Or use our contact form.

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