Wild Birds

If you have found a wild bird in need, this page contains helpful information. Some of it is specific to Louisiana, but even if you are somewhere else, you should find the information you need here.

General Information:

PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO REHABILITATE AN INJURED OR ORPHANED WILD ANIMAL WITHOUT A LICENSE AND TRAINING.  Not only is that activity illegal, it is dangerous for the human and animal involved.  For more info, visit: The Reason You Should Never Feed Injured or Orphaned Wildlife.

It is illegal to rehabilitate deer, bears, alligators or wild turkeys in Louisiana; and special permission is needed to rehabilitate certain threatened species.

The public is advised to contact your LDWF Field Office to report injured Bald or Golden Eagles.  You may also call 1-800-442-2511.

If you have found a baby bird, click here first to view a flowchart to determine if the animal is in need of assistance or not, and what you can do to help it. The download above also has information about how to reunite animals separated from their parents, and how to safely transport, if needed.  You may want to read the PDF even if the animal you found is not an orphan.

If you are calling a rehabilitator because there is a fledgling bird and you are worried your cat or dog will attack the animal- the recommended solution is for you to keep your pet inside and/or supervise them during this time while the youngster is vulnerable.   The bird’s parents are still watching over him, and taking him away from them should be avoided whenever possible.

A baby bird’s best chance of a healthy life is with its mother, so please do not collect the animal unless you have looked at the corresponding flowchart above and followed the instructions.  Over half of the calls we get about “orphaned” wildlife are baby animals in a perfectly normal situation that does not require interference.

Sometimes an animal needs to be euthanized.  This is an emotional task for wildlife professionals and members of the public who are trying to help an animal.  If a wildlife professional has advised you that an animal needs to be euthanized, please respect that their decision is based on many factors and do not try to treat it yourself to “avoid it getting killed.”  You would be doing the animal harm, and potentially exposing yourself to injury, disease and criminal liability.

AGAIN, PLEASE DO NOT TRY TO REHABILITATE THE ANIMAL YOURSELF.  Not only could you get into a good bit of trouble, there are numerous aspects of wildlife rehabilitation that an untrained person cannot know, such as zoonotic diseases, diet, imprinting, fostering, release site choice and methods, and more.  Following the rules is better for you, and it is better for the animal.

L.E.A.R.N. recommends Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation of Louisiana for species in NW Louisiana that L.E.A.R.N. does not serve.  Click here to visit their website.  WERLA is typically unavailable outside of regular business hours.  Another good option in NW Louisiana is Janette Armstrong; her cell number is 337-319-9855.  You may need to leave a message or text and wait for a callback.  

The official list of Louisiana licensed rehabilitators is located here.  The licensees are broken down by parish and species served.  You should start by calling the closest licensee to you that serves the type of animal you have and work your way outward.  Verify on the list that the person listed serves the type of animal you have (birds, mammals, etc.) before calling for best results.

Many rehabilitators will be too busy to answer the phone when you call.  Some may be too busy to call you back in a timely fashion.  Leave a message, and then keep trying to reach someone.  You should plan on bringing the animal to the facility listed, as many rehabilitators do not have the manpower to drive to every animal in need

Additional links:

Please note that wildlife rehabilitators are not funded by any government agency, but are just concerned individuals trying to assist wildlife, so please consider making a donation if you can.