Arizona Wildlife emergency info

Harmony Animal Behavior
Barbara Bingham Deutscher, CPBC, CPBT-KA
 – Behavior, Training, Consultation

“You can make a disposable heating pad by putting a cup or two of dry, uncooked
rice in a plastic bag or old sock with a knot in the end and microwave it for 45 seconds."

— East Valley Wildlife tip


Wildlife “Injury Center
Quoted from

“Small animals may need help for a number of reasons. They are attacked by cats or dogs, injured by weapons, collide with windows, or poisoned by eating food contaminated by pesticides or fertilizers. Occasionally a well-meaning citizen will find a baby bird or other small animal, raise it by itself, and release it when it’s grown. Tame wildlife lacks the skills to find food and is unprepared to live in the wild. They either starve to death or create a nuisance begging from humans.  If you have found an orphaned baby, keep the youngster in a warm, dark environment and call a wildlife rehabber.”
“To find an East Valley Wildlife rehabilitator call 480-814-9339 or check out “other AZ rescue organizations”  on our home page."


Here are several common examples of preventable wildlife injuries we encounter.”:

Cat and Dog Attacks
Any wildlife that has been in the mouth of a cat or dog is likely to sustain contaminated puncture wounds and is in danger of developing a fatal infection. Cats and dogs easily cause large cuts and broken bones in birds.

Sick wildlife may have been poisoned by pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or other chemicals by drinking or bathing in contaminated water, or eating contaminated seed, plants, or insects.

Line a suitable container with soft material such as paper towels or clean cloths without loose strings, and place the animal inside.
Put a heat source under the container–a heating pad on low setting is ideal.
In all situations the wildlife needs to be kept warm, dark and quiet.
Keep pets and curious onlookers away from the animal to keep its stress at a minimum. Call a rehabber.

BB guns, blow darts, arrows and other devices cause devastating harm to wildlife. If you find a wildlife that has sustained an attack, prepare a container for it.

Do not try to remove anything from the animal. BB guns, blow darts, arrows and other devices cause devastating harm to wildlife.
If you find wildlife that has sustained an attack, prepare a container for it. Line with soft material such as paper towels or clean cloths without loose strings, and place the animal inside.
Put a heat source in the container–a heating pad on low setting is ideal.
In all situations the wildlife needs to be kept warm, dark and quiet.
Keep pets and curious onlookers away from the animal to keep its stress at a minimum. Call a rehabber.

Window Strikes
Windows without screens reflect the image of the sky and birds collide with them with surprising force. Sometimes the bird will just be stunned; keep pets and curious onlookers away and observe him for about 15 minutes and see if he recovers on his own. Make sure there are no predators around and that he is not in direct sunlight.

Released Tame Wildlife
Baby birds raised alone will imprint on humans. Without having spent time learning skills from other birds, they will not adjust to living in the wild with members of their own species. A tame bird, when received into rehabilitation, will be grouped in an aviary with members of its own species and will be released when it demonstrates appropriate bird behavior, including fear of humans and animals. If you find tame wildlife:

Line a suitable container with soft material such as paper towels or clean cloths without loose strings, and  place the animal inside.
Put a heat source under the container–a heating pad on low setting is ideal. In all situations wildlife needs to be kept warm, dark and quiet.
Keep pets and curious onlookers away from the animal to keep its stress at a minimum. Call a rehabber.”

Have You Found a Wild Cottontail, Jackrabbit or Squirrel?

Quoted from
There are two types of wild rabbits in the Phoenix area: Jackrabbits (which are actually hares) and Cottontails. 
Jackrabbits are born with their eyes open, fully furred, and able to run. Cottontails are born naked, blind, and helpless.Contrary to popular belief, touching a baby bunny will not make the parents reject it. Stress usually drives the mother off when curious people poke around the nest site too often. If you find a nest of baby cottontails, don’t kidnap them because you don’t see the mother around. The mother only comes to the nest twice a day to feed the babies (early morning* and dusk) Put two crossed strings over the nest to see if it is disturbed. If the strings remain intact, then the babies should be rescued.

Tips to follow:
Keep all injured and orphaned bunnies and squirrels warm on a heating pad in a secure, covered box with a towel lining the bottom. Set the container on a heating pad.

Do NOT handle the animal any more than necessary and don’t let children handle it. Don’t keep peeking in the box as stress alone can cause the animal to overstress and die. Put the box in a dark, quiet place away from pets, noise, and family traffic. 

Don’t force food or water down a bunny or squirrel’s throat especially if he is cold or dehydrated. It’s easy to aspirate an animal if fluid gets into his lungs. The wrong food which can cause bloating, illness, and death.

Never use sugar or Karo syrup which can cause bacterial growth. A rehabber will provide the animal with specialized foods and fluids based on the animal species and needs.

Never feed a baby animal cow’s milk. If you absolutely must feed go to a pet store and get KMR (Kitten Replacement Milk) and a nursing kit. Use bottled water to mix unless you have an R/O system. Put a drop at a time on his lips until he begins to suck on the bottle.

Call a bunny rehabber and bring the animal over to them. Bunnies (and squirrels) are cute and hard to give up…but the animal’s life depends on the correct diet and housing. All wildlife deserves the right to return to the wild as a healthy, productive animal.” “



Index of Bird Identification Galleries –

Quoted from

“When discovering a baby bird on the ground, most people want to help but don’t know what to do.  The old myth that touching a baby bird will cause the parents to reject it is false."

— East Valley Wildlife

Birds have a limited sense of smell so detecting human scent is not an issue.

A baby bird can be returned to the nest without problem if the baby isn’t cold, sick, or injured… and you return him to the right nest!

What is the most important thing to check for when finding a baby bird? Make sure he is warm and alert!

Re-nesting A Baby Bird
Certain birds can be re-nested easier than others. Doves have the best chance of being re-nested but grackle kids should always be rescued. Adult grackles will call out the entire Grackle National Guard to scream at anyone who comes close to a fallen youngster but they have little interest in taking care of a baby on the ground.

Sometimes the parent bird is trying to care for the baby on the ground but that can be dangerous because of predators. Getting the baby back to the nest is the ideal solution if the parents are still around. If the nest is destroyed, a natural fiber basket filled with dried grass will also work if hung in a protected place. Think “nest size” when making a selection… no laundry baskets, please. Plus the nest needs drainage in case it rains so plastic containers and cardboard boxes will not work. Also consider the protection the nest needs… it may look like a shady spot but will the afternoon sun hit it directly and bake the baby inside?

Wire or tie the nest to the branch so it won’t blow out again during the next wind storm. Watch from a distance to make sure the parent returns to care for the baby. If the baby is very young and alone after dark, it needs to be rescued.

If the Baby is an Orphan
If the bird appears to be an orphan and cannot move around well, pick it up off the ground before cats, dogs, kids, hawks, grackles, or ants attack it.  If you can pick the bird up easily, it’s either injured or too young to be out of the nest and it does need to be rescued. Never leave a compromised bird on the ground outside!

Keeping it on a heat source is essential… a heating pad (low setting), gel pack, or you can use a plastic water, milk, or orange juice container filled with hot water from the tap. If the bird is cold, it MUST have a heat source to get warm.  Wrapping it in a towel or blanket or putting it in a warm room will NOT help.  Don’t put the bird in the sun as it will get dehydrated.Keep all orphaned and injured wildlife warm with a heat source even in the middle of summer!

Temporary Food
If the baby songbird is warm, alert, and opening his mouth for food, chop up a hard boiled egg and feed small pieces.  Soaked kitten kibble can also be used. A good quality kitten food such as Science Diet or Iams is best.

Most baby birds need to be fed often throughout the day (sometimes every 15 minutes for newly hatched birds) but they don’t need to be fed at night.   Baby doves and pigeons don’t gape for food. Mash up hard boiled egg yolk with water and feed drops along the outside of the bill.  Strained chicken baby food (Gerber’s, Beechnut) can also be used for temporary care.

Never squirt water down a bird’s throat; instead put a drop of water along the outside of the beak and allow the bird to swallow on his own.

Baby birds need the right diet to grow strong and healthy- these foods are for temporary care only!

Precocial Babies (covered with down and capable of moving about when hatched) 
Precocial baby birds take longer to hatch but once they do, they’re ready to follow mom (and sometimes dad) away from the nest. They can walk, swim (ducklings), and eat on their own. They’re covered with soft down but still need to huddle under their parents for warmth for at least the first week.Quail and Killdeer

These babies are very fragile… do not handle any more then necessary. They also eat on their own… do not try to force food or water into their mouths.

Keep extra warm (heating pad on medium).  Finely crumble a hard boiled egg or shave the top of a broccoli  floret for temporary food. Water needs to be in a SMALL jar lid with pebbles on the bottom; when these birds get wet, they crash fast.


Keep all rescued birds in a warm, dark place in secure containment away from people, pets, and household noise.

If you find a healthy nestling recently fallen from a nest (the bird isn’t cold, injured, or lethargic) the bird can be replaced in the nest. It must be placed back into the right nest, however, or the parents will reject it.

If the nest has been destroyed, a substitute nest can be made from a small woven basket or plastic berry basket lined with dry grass (the container must have drainage).  Wire the basket back to the tree in an area as close to the original nest site as possible and the parent bird should continue to care for her offspring.

Watch the nest carefully over the next few hours to make sure the parent bird has found the new nest. If the baby bird is cold, injured or cannot be returned to its nest, it must be rescued.

Older baby birds who are starting to leave the nest and learning to fly. They wind up on the ground and don’t yet have the capability to get back up into a tree. Fledglings can usually “flutter-fly” and hide in bushes and ground cover until they can fly. If conditions are suited to their survival (there is ground cover, bushes, or other places to hide, and there are no obvious predators such as cats, dogs, or curious children in the area) the bird should be watched to make sure the parent bird is nearby. Parent birds do the best job of raising their offspring, so it is desirable to keep the feathered families together if at all possible.

However, fledglings that are injured, orphaned, or in obvious danger from predators need to be rescued.

Hummingbirds need a special protein formula that researchers have developed for our wildlife rehabilitators. Babies do not survive on sugar water alone, which will result in deformities and death. Sugar water will also get their feathers sticky and damaged. The mother catches hundreds of small insects to feed the babies as, like many baby birds, they require lots of protein in their diet. The young fledge in 18-29 days depending on species, food supply, and weather conditions. They often sit on the side of their nest for 2-3 days to exercise their wings before fledging.

At about 10 days of age, and sometimes sooner, the mother no longer broods the nestlings at night. She spends more time catching insects, and she whisks in and out to feed the babies. Rehabbers often get calls from concerned people who think the nestlings have been abandoned when they don’t see the mother on the nest anymore. Especially around sunrise and sunset, unless these people stare at the nest continuously for at least an hour, they will probably miss Mom zipping in and out.

Baby hummingbirds make a sharp, high-pitched sound when they’re very hungry, but if Mom is feeding them on schedule, they won’t make any sound. However, if the babies in the nest are crying for food, then it’s likely something has happened to the mother and bringing the birds in for rehabilitation is advisable.

Hummingbirds may conserve energy by going into a torpid state at night. Torpor is a sleep-like condition in which their heartbeat slows down and their body temperature can drop by 30 degrees. (Nesting mother hummers, however, remain alert while they have eggs or babies to protect and keep warm.) Torpor can also occur when a lack of food coincides with dropping temperatures. This state can last from 8 to 14 hours. When birds are found in this condition, a slow warming to normal body temperature is advised.  Call a rehabber first.”

Fallen Feathers: Found A Bird

Contact Fallen Feathers 623-533-2348
Keep the bird warm: A bird must be warmed before feeding. Place the bird in a container with torn rags or paper in the bottom.
Place the container on a heating pad set to low. Do not place inside the container. If you do not have a heating pad find the warmest location possible and place container in that area.
Never put water in a bird’s mouth. A bird’s airway is located on the bottom of their mouths behind their tongue.

Do not feed the bird if: it is lethargic, cold, a hummingbird, or raptor.
Feeding baby birds any dry cat or dog food when the bird is warmed. Place the food in lukewarm water and wait for it to soften. Squeeze the excess water out and take small pieces and place in the back center of the bird’s mouth. Baby birds need to eat every 10-20 min.
Feeding adult birds can be feed when warmed, but do not feed a hummingbird, raptor, or lethargic bird. Adult birds have varieties diets, so offer a small variety of fresh fruit or water moistened dog/cat food. Place food in container and allow bird to choose.

Fallen Feathers: Lost A (Pet) Bird

Please contact us at 623-533-2348 or  if your missing bird is here or if you recently lost a bird we will be happy to provide you with updated information.