Found a wounded kestrel, what is the procedure for a wild animal? do i bring it home?

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it has a broken wing apart from that seams in good health. An i allowed legally to get veterianny help ect?




  1. Hi,

    Your question is quite brief, but I will answer it as best I can. I have worked at animal shelters, veterinary surgeries, and at a swan rescue centre, where I have learnt lots, but am by no means an expert.

    I shall assume you are in the UK - my advice is specific to the UK though it has some general relevance to non-uk.

    Kestrels are the most common bird of prey in Europe, however their numbers have been declining in the UK for the past few years.

    I will presume that you have already captured the bird? If you come across a bird with a broken wing, there is no right or wrong answer about rescuing it or leaving it. Obviously, the rarer the bird, the more important it might be to rescue it, and if it is in pain, it may be inder to have it seen to. It is best to call the RSPCA or RSPB on your mobile for advice before approaching the bird - it should not be able to get too far. If it is highly distressed, you might consider placing a jacket or blanket over it to keep it dark.

    When handling birds, always put your health and safety first - they may have sharp beaks and claws, and may carry diseases that can be transmitted to humens, so wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly. If there is a risk that the bird is infected with bird flu, always get professional assistance.

    Once you have captured it It is very important to keep the bird calm - one of the best ways of doing this to keep it in the dark - e.g. a warm, well-ventilated box (or cupboard), and in a quiet place.

    As it has a broken wing, you should seek veterinary attention. I don't know where you live, but your best bet would be to follow the following routes (they may ask you to transport the bird to them, so start thinking how you could do that - do you have transport or a friend who does):

    i) Some local veterinary surgeries will take it on (free of charge) - phone round - the more you try, the more likely you are to fing a good one. Also, most veterinary clinics are very friendly and will be able to point you in the best direction locally.

    try :

    ii) The RSPCA should be able to help. Try: or 0300 1234 999

    iii) See if you have a local wildlife hospital or rescue centre

    Always phone beforehand to check that they can help you as you will want to minimise the transport as much as possible for the bird's sake. Although these should not charge you, they will generally be grateful for a donation if you can afford it, as it can be costly to take in and care for wildlife.

    In general, they will either try to mend the bird and return it to the wild, or if they can't, they will put it down. It will depend on the nature of the injury and how well the bird is coping with shock, amongst other things. Be prepared that whatever you do, the bird might die, and don't get uset or beat yourself up if that happens.

    There is a fourth option for treating wild birds - and that is to care for them yourself, but I would advise against this strongly unless you know what you are doing. I would always seek advice from the three above, and the aim must always be to return it to the wild - you should not think about keeping it as a pet. If the bird is in pain, it might be kindest to put it out of its misery. If you have no other option, keep it in a well-ventilated cupboard or box, keep it warm and away from noise, and check what to feed it and how often based on the species and age of the bird.

    When returning the bird, it is best to return it to the place you found it in general. Keep it in its cage or box for an hour or so before release to let it get used to its new surroundings. Make sure it is somewhere you can keep a discreet eye on it to see how it copes.

    Important Note: For anyone reading this advice, it is specific for a bird with a broken wing. Avoid handling birds unless you are certain they are injured, especially if they are very young (their parents will reject them and they are then very unlikely to survive). If they have flown into your window, they may just be shocked and need time to recover . Keep an eye on them and just check the local cat doesn't get them (you might want to place an upturned washing basket over them for protection from local cats, until they become more alert etc).

    Finally, for all who read this, you can do your bit to help injured birds and wildlife by donating to charity or raising funds for such charities - please consider the RSPCA or other agency. All donations add up. If you have no money to give, some rescue centers will take on volunteers to help muck out, etc. which can be very rewarding.

  2. Here is a  list of wildlife rehabilitators by state. Find one close to you and ask for help.

  3. Google local wild bird sanctuary and they will come and take it and help it.  

  4. Yes you can get veterinary help. Your best bet is to call raptor rescue (find them on google), they will either collect it from you or advise you of a local vet who will treat it.

  5. I think in the UK vets are obliged to give it treatment free under some wildlife act

  6. Call the humane society so they can come and get the bird and take it to a hospital.  Best if you don't bring it home because remember it is still a wild animal.

  7. No, it will bite your hand off first chance it gets. Phone the RSPCA

  8. Take it to a vet who will help it and release it.

  9. We found a injured bird of prey once. My mom caught it with leather gloves and some towels. We put in in a dog crate, covered the crate to try to keep the bird clam, then we took it to the local Emergency Animal Hospital. They took it to a Wildlife rehab.

    I'm not sure if you should try to catch it yourself. You could injury the bird more or it may injury you. However, catching it might keep it being killed by cars and cats (this is why my mom caught it).

    Contact your local vet, or preferably, wildlife rehab.

  10. Do NOT take it to a vet, get it to a local wildlife rehab.  Keep it in a box in a quiet dark place so it can relax and not get stressed.  Look here for a rehab near you:

    You might be able to contact a local vet for help as to where to take the bird as they may have wild animals brought to them often and know of a rescue nearby. You cannot legally keep this bird in your possession, but you can legally get it the proper care and treatment it needs. Heather is correct..if you cannot EASILY capture this bird...let it be and call someone to capture it for you.  You don't want to further damage the bird and you don't want it to hurt you.

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