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  • How Can We Help?

  • How Can We Help?

Wildlife: Birds

Are you experiencing an issue with birds in your area?  If you have an urgent concern, please get in touch with us right away.  If you are looking for more information, please click on one of the questions below to expand the content and find your answer.  If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at DFW Wildlife Coalition.

A BABY BIRD NEEDS HELP IF,

  • Parents are known to be dead
  • Is injured, bleeding, broken wing or leg
  • Fire ants or flies
  • Lethargic, laying on its side
  • Cat or dog caught
  • Fishing line or other object tangled in the wing or body
  • Shivering is cold, featherless or nearly featherless and you cannot safely return to the nest.
  • Wandering and vocalizing

EXCEPTION FOR RESCUING A BIRD ON THE GROUND: 

A nestling is a bird that is too young to be away from the nest.  It will have no feathers or incomplete feathering, such as downy feathers or pin feathers which are undeveloped feathers consisting mostly of the shaft.  A nestling is not capable of hopping, walking, or fluttering.  It will not be able to grip tightly on a finger.

  • A nestling should be returned to the nest for care and warmth from the parents. If you can safely return the nestling, do so.
  • Birds will not reject a baby you have handled.
  • If the entire nest and several nestlings are on the ground, you can get the nest and babies put in a small wicker basket or a cool whip container with holes in the bottom to allow for drainage.  The container needs to be shallow as the parents will not accept a deep container.  Attach to the tree as close to the original site as you can safely do so.  Go inside and watch from a window to determine if the parents have resumed care.  If they do not resume care within two hours proceed with rescue.

A FLEDGLING is a fully feathered bird that is learning to fly.  The fledgling will look like the parents; however, you may notice the tail feathers are shorter than the adult.

  • The fledgling will be on the ground hopping around. At this stage they are often kidnapped by well meaning individuals who do not understand the process of learning to fly which will take several days up to a couple of weeks depending on the species. The parents will continue to feed and protect the bird.  Normally the fledgling will hide in shrubbery or undergrowth.  If you see the parent do not rescue unless the fledgling is injured.

A GROUND NESTING BIRD such as killdeer, are born feathered and ready to run and partially feed themselves.  If they are active and running do not rescue.

DUCKLING AND GOSLING should always be accompanied by a mother, if not rescue.

Please reference our “Quick Tips” located in the upper right corner of our website for instructions on containing, transporting, providing life saving heat, and finding a wildlife rehabilitator.

Please manage your pets during these critical times by taking cats and dogs indoors.

Please reference our “Quick Tips” located in the upper right corner of our website for instructions on containing, transporting, providing life saving heat, and finding a wildlife rehabilitator.

BIRD STRIKES:  When a bird is looking at the window, they often will see the reflection of the sky or trees not the window. A few ways to prevent these collisions are as follows:

Keep mosquito or solar screens up all year.

Hang wind chimes with shinny objects above the window.

Move feeders or bird baths, either within 3 feet of the window, which will limit collision opportunity, or more than 30 feet away so that the birds will recognize the whole house instead of the reflection.

Keep your vertical blinds at least halfway closed and shades, or curtains closed to reduce reflection.

At night, keep your lights off or close your curtains and shades.

Relocate house plants several feet away from the window.

These products are recommended for bird strikes. Your purchase through our product page supports the DFW Wildlife Coalition Hotline.

Apply decals, spacing them across and up and down the window. Many art and craft stores carry decals.

Apply a window film to the outside of the window. There are transparent window films that allow light in while appearing opaque on the outside

Apply bird tape.

Install a “Zen curtain”

BUILDING OR REPLACING WINDOWS:  Further solutions especially if you are building a home or replacing your windows. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/why-birds-hit-windows-and-how-you-can-help-prevent-it/

COMMERCIAL BUILDING BIRD STRIKES:  If you are routinely finding birds that have flown into your office building, share with the management and owners, the following information on FLAP. Dallas and Fort Worth are in the migratory flight paths, many songbirds migrate at night and can be drawn to the light and become confused and collide. Everyone working together can make a difference.

Fatal Light Awareness Program, FLAP. http://flap.org/. Mission, “FLAP Canada is dedicated to safeguarding migratory birds in the urban environment through education, policy development, research, rescue, and rehabilitation.”


Often, we have bushes in our yards that have berries. When the berries experience freezing and thawing temperatures it will often cause the berries to ferment. Cedar Waxwings are known to eat the berries and become drunk.

  • A simple solution of placing an inverted laundry basket over the bird to give them time to sober is usually all that is needed.
  • If they are located near the street or pets are present that could cause harm, you may need to relocate them to a safer place.

If the bird has not recovered in 2 hours, contact a wildlife rehabilitator or the hotline, 972-234-9453.

Birds may eat Amdro Ant Block, bait or other granular pesticides, they can appear drunk. If you or your neighbor may have used a pesticide the bird must go to a wildlife rehabilitator immediately.

Please reference our “Quick Tips” located in the upper right corner of our website for instructions on containing, transporting, providing life saving heat, and finding a wildlife rehabilitator.

Barn Swallows build mud and straw nest and like to place the nest around the eaves and vertical structures of our homes.  Swallows eat insects and are beneficial to our neighborhoods.  However, it is understandable that the activity of a nest of baby swallows can be messy and a health concern.  Swallows are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.  An active nest with eggs or babies cannot be removed or harassed.  

To understand and resolve conflict you need a brief on the natural history.  The breeding season is March through September with two clutches of 3 to 5 young. Once eggs are laid they incubate 13-17 days. Once hatched the babies will fledge in 18-21 days of which the first week and a half or so, the parents eat the feces.  The conflict begins when this period ends after hatching and the babies start defecating over the rim of the nest. This will be a period of approximately two weeks where placing newspaper, or plastic tablecloth or tarp on the porch or automobile or patio furniture will make clean up easier.  Once the babies fledge they will come and go from the nest for several weeks. The bulk of the conflict will be the two weeks prior to fledging. Patience needs to be exercised as this conflict is short term and the benefit is insect reduction in your yard and neighborhood.

Once the nest is empty and prior to the second clutch, you may remove the nest.  You may need to continually interrupt nest construction by washing away the mud until the swallows become discouraged and move elsewhere.  REMEMBER you cannot destroy an active nest.  Other deterrents are hanging plants at the location of the nest or other moving objects such as windsocks, blowing devices, or strips of aluminum foil.  Play distress swallow calls may alarm the birds to relocate.

You may want to encourage the swallows to nest at another location or you may want to make a permanent modification to prevent further nest building these topics are in the following links.

https://www.fws.gov/cno/conservation/MigratoryBirds/pdf-files/Swallows-4-27-18.pdf

http://www.dfwwildlife.org/BirdSwallow.pdf

Birds can be seen attacking windows, (for example Cardinals), during the spring. The bird sees his image in the glass and believes he is seeing a competing bird, so to defend his territory the bird will attack the reflection.

The solution is to break up the reflection, on the outside place a post-it-note, a decal, twisted foil, or a suncatcher. Visit our product page for an attractive solution. You can also allow your windows to become a little dirty and not feel guilty because you are benefiting your feathered neighbors.

Chimney Swifts must nest in hollow trees or other vertical cylinders such as a chimney. Due to the anatomy of their feet, they cannot perch as other birds do on a tree limb. In our cities, the chimney is used for their nest and raising of the young.  A small cup shape nest made of twigs glued with their salvia is attached to a brick or rock of the interior of your chimney. The young mature in 30 days and often go unnoticed until the final two weeks.

Patience is recommended.

You can try insulating the noise with some foam or similar product placed in the firebox under the damper to muffle the baby’s cries.  Do not use insulation as it is harmful to the birds due to the fiberglass. Be sure and remove these items once the swifts have left. Understand that thousands of insects including mosquitos are being consumed and fed to these babies, this is beneficial to you.

Once the babies leave the nest in two weeks the conflict is resolved.

It is recommended to have your chimney cleaned and old nest removed.  If your chimney liner is a metal flue or other slick surface a chimney cap is recommended to keep Chimney Swifts from becoming trapped in your flue as well as raccoons and squirrels.  

If you believe a baby has fallen from the nest, please contact the hotline 972-234-9453, or Rogers Wildlife Center 972-225-4000.  DO NOT REMOVE BABIES FROM A NEST. Babies are best raised by their natural parents. Chimney Swifts are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918.

For the benefits of the Chimney swift, and considerations for the loss of habitat due to urban landscapes limiting dead hollow trees, read further in the following links for alternatives you may want to pursue to encourage your feathered friend and their hearty appetite for insects in your neighborhood.

http://www.chimneyswifts.org/

http://www.dfwwildlife.org/BirdChimneySwift.pdf

https://tpwd.texas.gov/publications/nonpwdpubs/media/dwa_chimney_swift_information_2005.pdf