What to do with a bird that hit a window ⋆ Tucson Audubon Skip to content

What to do with a bird that hit a window

Depending on the condition of the bird, follow the guidelines provided by Tucson Wildlife Center, an accredited wildlife rehabilitation facility.

Give the bird time to recuperate by leaving it alone and observing from a distance. If the bird is still on the ground after one hour, try walking up to it. If the bird does not fly away when you approach it, it is most likely injured and needs rescuing.

If the bird is showing signs of injury (visible blood or wounds, head tilt, not using legs, drooping wing, not flying after one hour etc.) it needs emergency medical treatment, or it will not survive in the wild. Proceed to capturing the bird or call Tucson Wildlife Center at 520-290-WILD (9453) for assistance. Please do not rehabilitate on your own. It is illegal to do so.

Recommended rescue materials:

  • You will need a cardboard box or a container with air flow for the bird once its captured.
    • Avoid using a wire crate. Poke air holes in the sides of the cardboard box and line the bottom with paper towels, newspaper, leaves or a towel.
  • A light towel to help you capture the bird.
  • A pair of gloves for your protection.

Hold the towel with both hands while you slowly approach the bird. Get as close as you can before gently tossing the towel onto the bird. If you are having trouble capturing the bird by yourself, have a friend distract the bird from the front while you approach it with the towel from the back. Once the towel is over the bird, swiftly scoop up the bird and place it into the box. Remove the towel carefully and securely close the box.

Immediately transport the bird to Tucson Wildlife Center (13275 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85748) for the best chance of survival. Keep sounds and talking to a minimum if possible. If you are unable to transport the bird right away, place the bird in a quiet, dark, and warm environment (if winter). You may provide a shallow dish of drinking water, but make sure to remove it from the box before transportation. Please do not feed, treat injuries, or handle the bird in any way.