It is assumed that if you are looking for emergency information at this location that the songbird in question is either in your possession or nearby where you can keep an eye on it.

Most injuries sustained by songbirds are caused by collisions or domestic pets, usually felines.

When helping a bird that has flown into a window, or has body wounds (including lacerations and fractures), place it in a box with a soft cloth towel in the bottom and air holes. Keep it in a darkened, warm, quiet area. Position its head back with the beak pointing upwards to help keep the airways open.

If the bird has not sustained internal injuries, broken bones or lacerations and is acting very healthy, it should be released in a few hours.

If the bird does not respond to this treatment, contact a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator in your area. Your state division of wildlife management, the Department of the Interior - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, your local veterinarian, area animal shelters, state or local police or animal control officer should be able to supply you with information on how to contact them.

You can search the following for your state's government agencies:



Do Not attempt to feed or water distressed animals or birds without contacting a Wildlife Rehabilitator - The wrong food or improper watering can kill.

State and Federal Law requires special licenses and or permit(s) to rehabilitate migratory and other birds. Always contact a Wildlife Rehabilitator when you take possession of a wild animal in distress.


Attracting Song Birds to Your Feeding Stations

What seeds attract:

Black Oil Sunflower Seeds

Cardinals, Chickadees, Evening Grosbeaks, Finches, Juncos, Mourning Doves, Pine Siskens, White Throated Sparrows and to a lesser degree Grackles

Safflower Seeds

Cardinals and House Finches and to a lesser degree Chickadees and Nuthatches

Hulled Sunflower Kernels

American Goldfinches, House Finches, White Throated Sparrows, Grackles and to a lesser degree Cardinals, Nuthatches and Mourning Doves

Niger (Thistle) Seeds

American Goldfinches, Pine Siskens and to a lesser degree House Finches and Juncos

Large White Proso Millet

Tree Sparrows, Juncos, White Throated Sparrows, Cowbirds, House Sparrows, Mourning Doves and to a lesser degree Cardinals

Seed Blends

Local feed stores offer a variety of custom blended seeds for wild birds. In addition they carry wildlife feed blends that will attract ground birds like pheasants, quail, turkeys and grouse and animals like deer, squirrels, etc.


How Birds Survive Extreme Cold

Birds possess some of nature’s best insulation—feathers. Those remaining in the coldest parts -of the country year around put on as much as 50 percent more feathers in the winter than in summer. When birds fluff out their feathers? They add even more insulation to them.

Fluffing out the feathers traps more air close to the bird’s skin preventing vital body warmth from escaping.

Birds like the Junco add up to 15 percent more body fat before winter to help stay warm.

Ever noticed a bird standing on one foot with the other leg drawn up under it? Birds do this to reduce the amount of exposure of featherless skin to cold air.

Ruffled grouse and snow Buntings dive into snow banks to stay warm through a cold winter night. Snow banks may be as much As 40 degrees warmer than frigid Surroundings.

Goldfinches and other birds shiver constantly all night to stay warm. The shivering causes fat to burn generating enough body warmth to make it until morning.

The Chickadee actually lowers its body temperature as much as 20 degrees to conserve energy throughout winter nights.

Food in winter is the mainstay of life. Without it, regardless of insulation, birds could not survive. They consume energy rich seeds, weeds, and fruits throughout each day.

At dusk most birds fill their crops with seeds and buds. Through the digestive process they generate enough warmth to make it through the cold winter night.

Small birds increase the time they spend eating 20 times in the winter from what they did in the summer.

(Reprinted from vol.6 no.4, Wildlife Health News)


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