Caring for injured bird

South Bay Wildlife Rehab (SBWR) is dedicated to caring for California native birds and educating the public about the natural world. We rehabilitate over 1000 sick, injured and orphaned birds for return to the wild every year and see over 30,000 children and adults with wildlife and environmental education.  SBWR has state and federal permits for wildlife rehabilitation and wildlife education.

South Bay Wildlife Rehab was officially formed as a non-profit corporation in 1993.  Ann Lynch, the founder and Director, has over 40 years of experience in wildlife rehabilitation and wildlife and environmental education. The organization is located in Los Angeles County, California and services all of Los Angeles County, and parts of Ventura, Orange, Riverside and San Bernadino Counties

South Bay Wildlife Rehab has grown from a one-woman operation to an all-volunteer group of over 70 individuals   Please visit the Volunteer page to get to know some of these people, without whom SBWR could not exist.

Until our center is completed, we are an out-shelter organization, meaning that we work out of our homes, rather than at a central location. Our facilities vary from the smallest hummingbird enclosures to huge enclosures for pre-release of birds of prey.

If you have found an injured animal  – please read this!

If you find an animal

Try not to take an animal from its natural habitat unless absolutely necessary. If you do need to intervene, pick up the animal carefully and place it in a secure box in a warm, dark and quiet location, away from children and other animals.
Do not attempt to feed the animal.
Call us as soon as possible (310) 378-9921
The more quickly the animal receives proper care, the better it’s chances of survival.


None of the birds most people encounter have a noticeable sense of smell. Therefore the parents do not reject their young because of human touch. While mammals do have a good sense of smell, the parents also seldom reject their young because of human touch.

If a nestling bird (too young to walk) is not injured and the nest can be found, the bird should be put back in the nest. Keep out of sight and watch to be sure the parent(s) return.

oriole3If the bird is a fledgling (able to hop or walk) and is not sick or injured, it should be put in a leafy tree or tall shrub were   it can hide. Watch carefully, out of site, for at least an hour. The baby bird will “call” its parents, who will feed it in the tree. If the baby hops out of the tree, try a different branch or a different tree – be persistent. Make sure all cats are out of the area before doing this. If no parent shows up, call a wildlife rehabilitator.

If you find a baby mammal, observe it out of sight to be sure it is orphaned and not just “parked” there while mom finds food. Call a wildlife rehabilitator before removing it from the wild.

If the bird or mammal has been injured, it needs medical attention. Call a wildlife rehabilitator or a veterinarian who is experienced with wild animals and is working with a licensed wildlife rehabilitation organization. If the animal is caught by a cat it most likely will need to be put on the correct antibiotics.

Approach any bird with sharp talons (toenails) and/or beak, or any mammal, with extreme caution. Use a box and a heavy towel or a box and a broom if removal is urgent.

RTHA bbDo not feed birds or mammals until advised by a qualified rehabilitator. Many baby birds are unable to pick up food and will swallow anything put into their mouths. Cow’s milk is not good for any wild birds or mammals. Do not attempt to raise wildlife yourself. Improper diet and other conditions can cause irreversible damage. Keeping wildlife without a permit is against most state and federal laws.

Keep sick, injured or orphaned wildlife warm, dark and quiet in a ventilated box (not a wire cage) until help is obtained. Do not handle the animal unnecessarily, as this causes further stress.

Most wildlife rehabilitators rely on donations to offset their considerable out-of-pocket expenses. Please remember this when you bring a critter for help. Thank you!