Wildlife Casualties - What To Do

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If you can catch a wild bird it is not well. Birds see people as predators and will be terrified when caught – the bird will be as frightened of you as it is of a cat. The stress of being handled can be enough to kill an already unwell bird. It is vital to treat the bird for shock and seek advice – see the ‘First Aid’ section.

Many fledglings are unnecessarily “rescued” by well-meaning people. Genuine orphaned birds are rare. Fledglings leave the nest before they can fly properly. They have feathers on their body but the tail and wing feathers will be quite short as they are still growing. The parents will leave the youngsters on their own while finding food for them. It is easy to mistake a perfectly normal, healthy fledgling for an abandoned baby.

If you do find a fledgling, it is best to leave it well alone for a few hours and return to check it later. If the fledgling is in a public place such as on a path, just move it a few feet away, under some cover if possible, to lessen the chances of someone else picking it up. If it is not possible to leave the bird and you have to pick it up, ring Gower Bird Hospital for advice immediately. To have a real chance of survival and being released back into the wild, the bird will need our specialised rehabilitation facilities within 24 hours.


Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures so any hedgehog seen out in the day is usually in trouble. It could be suffering from an injury, starvation, dehydration or an illness. Put the hedgehog in a box with torn-up newspaper as bedding. If it feels cold add a warm (not too hot) bottle. Make sure the box has small air holes and a secure lid as hedgehogs are remarkable escape artists, even when ill.

Do not give cow’s milk – contact Gower Bird Hospital for advice.
Wildlife Casualties - What to do

First Aid - If you find an injured or sick bird you can save its life by putting it into a cardboard box. All wildlife has an instinctive fear of people. Putting an injured wild bird into a cage with nowhere for it to hide and constantly looking at it will rapidly put it into a state of shock.

Shock can kill - The first treatment is always a warm, dark, quiet environment – a closed box with torn-up newspaper – to minimise shock, then seek advice from Gower Bird Hospital.

Oiled birds -  Follow the First Aid advice and contact Gower Bird Hospital. Do not try to wash the bird yourself as it could do more harm than good. Cleaning oiled birds is a specialised procedure.

A bird that has flown into a window may simply be stunned. Leave it well alone in the box for about three hours (or overnight if you found it late evening). Try releasing it, if it flies away – success! If not, put it back in the box and contact Gower Bird Hospital.

Safety - Large birds can have powerful beaks and a long reach. Keep beaks well away from your eyes!

Contact : Gower Bird Hospital


Why we need your support

 Gower Bird Hospital is a registered charity dedicated to treatment and rehabilitation of wildlife casualties with the sole intention of returning them to the wild. Every year more than 1,000 birds and 200 hedgehogs arrive in need of help.

Your donation helps directly with the running costs of the Hospital, ensuring these birds and hedgehogs have a real chance of recovery.

If you choose to donate even a small monthly amount by standing order, the Hospital can plan for the future knowing that funds are coming in.

Every supporter receives the Gower Bird Hospital magazine which keeps you up to date with our activities and progress.

Donations also help Gower Bird Hospital to apply for grants for specific projects – grants are usually awarded to charities who are well supported by the community, so your donation helps us twice! Please fill in the donation form and send to Gower Bird Hospital. If you pay income tax, please tick the Gift Aid declaration – this can increase your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you!

To donate to the Gower Bird Hospital, please download the Donation Form, print it, and return it to us with your donation.

THANK YOU from Gower Bird Hospital patients, staff and volunteers.


Gower Bird Hospital relies entirely on donations. If you would like to make a donation online, click the button below. To send a cheque or donate by monthy standing-order, please print our donation form and post it back to us. This form also includes the Inland Revenue Gift Aid  declaration that enables us to reclaim the tax that would otherwise be kept by the treasury.

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Gower Bird Hospital, Sandy Lane, Pennard, Swansea, SA3 2EW
Tel: 01792 371630        
E-mail: info@gowerbirdhospital.org.uk
Reg. Charity No. 1053912

The pictures and the text on this website are not in the public domain and must not be copied or used in all or in part without prior written permission from the copyright owners.
Pictures: ©   Chinch Gryniewicz
Text © Gower Bird Hospital