Saving sick or injured wild birds
People frequently contact SFVAS concerning oiled, wounded and sick birds. Below are the bird rescue operations in our area of which we are aware. If you know of others, please let us know and we will add them to this list. All of these organizations are non-profit, need donations, and frequently solicit volunteers, with the exception of the two organizations listed at the end. If no one answers it is because clinic personnel are currently busy with feeding or emergency procedures. Please leave a message – they will return your call as soon as possible.
Please, always call these organizations before you attempt to deliver an animal to their Center. You may waste valuable time.
Please note: The rehabilitation organizations listed below are not bird sanctuaries or bird boarding facilities, and with the exception of the two organizations at the end of the list, are not nuisance wildlife removal agencies. They are not permitted (by law) to admit domestic animals or birds. It is always illegal for non-permitted parties, including Veterinarians, to keep or care for wildlife.
If you have any questions not covered below, please call Dave Weeshoff, SFVAS Conservation Chair, at (818) 618-1652 or email Dave.Weeshoff@SFVAudubon.org.
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act: Most wild birds are federally protected. They must not be chased, harassed, captured or harmed in any way. Their eggs and nests are also protected.
Occasionally, it may be necessary to move a bird or its nest. We are permitted through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to handle protected migratory birds on a case by case basis.
California Wildlife Center
Phone: 310) 458-WILD 
PO Box 2022
Malibu, CA 90265
International Bird Rescue:
(Wild, aquatic birds only)
3601 So. Gaffey Street Box 3
San Pedro, CA. 90731
Ojai Raptor Center
Phone: (805) 649-6884
Wild neighbors too close for comfort? Wildlife problems can and should be resolved with compassion and humanity – with respect for life and the environment. Where traditional pest control companies focus on trapping and killing animals, HAC focuses on the cause, for lasting results. Fees may apply.
South Bay Wildlife Rehab
26363 Silver Spur Rd.
Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90275
City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services
Small Animal Rescue Team (SmART)
Los Angeles Wildlife Program
(323) 225-WILD (9453)
The fastest way to reach a Los Angeles City Animal shelter is:
- Dial 888-452-7381
- Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish
- Press 4
- Connect directly to any of our shelters
Humane Animal Control
Phone: (855) 548-6263
“Orphaned” baby birds
The first thing to do when you find a baby bird on the ground is stand back and watch, if it’s safe to do so. The baby will likely peep and you’ll become aware of an anxious parent nearby waiting for you to leave. If you’re sure that no parent is watching over the baby, you can pick it up — it’s a myth that the baby will be abandoned if touched by a human.
Just because a baby doesn’t have all its feathers doesn’t mean it wasn’t ready to leave the nest. Give it the “finger test” — if it can hold onto your finger and stand upright, it’s a fledgling and ready to leave the nest — set it someplace out of danger and leave. If it cannot perch on its own, then it has probably fallen out of a nest. If you can find the nest and put the baby back in it, do so. But be aware there are numerous reasons why a baby is no longer in its nest — they don’t usually just “fall out” for no reason. If you’re determined to help and can’t find a nest, you can put the baby in a bush in a little plastic fruit basket — but at this point you are really fighting nature. Capital-N Nature can be cruel and sometimes it’s best to leave well enough alone. Feeding baby birds is tricky, time-consuming (they must be fed every twenty minutes during daylight hours) and fraught with the possibility of failure.
No matter how “in the right place” your heart is, small perching birds are hard to save. Of course, if you find a baby Great Blue Heron and you’re certain there’s no parent around, then call the Wildlife Center.
(reprinted/edited by permission, Audubon of Portland OR)
It is a common and somewhat harrowing sight to see a duck leading a string of ducklings across a busy road or through the middle of a highly urbanized area.
Many of the calls we receive during the spring and early summer are from people who want to know “Why are they here?” and “How can I help them?” The following are some answers to the most common spring waterfowl questions: