Any baby bird that has been caught by a pet MUST be cared for at a wildlife hospital for their best chance at survival. Do not try to care for the bird yourself.
Birds that are “down” need immediate care! Bringing a bird you find in San Francisco to either of these wildlife care centers will help their chance of survival.
- Peninsula Humane Society (PHS). PHS won’t take pigeons, so call WildCare instead or contact San Francisco Animal Care and Control (415) 554-9400.
- PHS/SPCA Burlingame Office (650) 340-7022
- PHS/SPCA (650) 494-7283 or Palo Alto Animal Services (650) 329-2413
- WildCare in San Rafael (415) 456-7283 (or 456-SAVE). Operators are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 365 days a year. After 5 p.m., for wildlife emergencies only, call WildCare’s Wildlife Emergency Nightline at 415-300-6359.
If a baby looks orphaned but not injured, it may be a fledgling that is hopping and flapping, learning to fly, with parents feeding it. Read more about fledglings on the Baby Birds page.
Birds only need to be rescued if they are:
- Caught by a cat or dog
- Cold to the touch
- Naked (no feathers)
- Orphaned (click here for more information on how to determine if a bird is orphaned)
- In a street with no shrubs anywhere nearby.
Symptoms of a bird injury or illness:
- Seen attacked by cat or dog
- Falling over on one side
- Wing tweaked upward or drooping
- Unable to flutter wings
- Weak or shivering
- Huddled with feathers fluffed.
If You Can’t Transport the Bird and You Live in San Francisco
Please call San Francisco Animal Care and Control’s emergency dispatch number: (415) 554-9400. An SF ACC Officer will pick up the bird from you, or from the location where the bird is. (Be specific about the location if you cannot pick up the bird.) Officers drive birds to the Peninsula Humane Society, once per morning, staff providing.
If you don’t live in San Francisco, click this link to view options in other areas.
For more information, click on the type of bird that may need help: