||This page has been prepared for the "UK
Wildlife: First Aid and Care" Wildpro module, and is designed for the
needs of the following species groups:
- Waxwings, Dippers, Treecreepers, Thrushes, Starlings, Flycatchers, Chats, Nuthatch, Wren
garrulus - Bohemian waxwing, Certhia
familiaris - Eurasian tree-creeper, Cinclus
cinclus - White-throated dipper, Erithacus
rubecula - European robin, Ficedula
hypoleuca - European pied flycatcher, Luscinia
megarhynchos - Common nightingale, Muscicapa
striata - Spotted flycatcher, Oenanthe
oenanthe - Northern wheatear, Phoenicurus
ochruros - Black redstart, Phoenicurus
phoenicurus - Common redstart, Saxicola
rubetra - Whinchat, Saxicola
torquata - Common stonechat, Sitta
europea - Wood nuthatch, Sturnus
vulgaris - Common starling, Troglodytes
troglodytes - Winter wren, Turdus
iliacus - Redwing, Turdus
merula - Eurasian blackbird, Turdus
philomelos - Song thrush, Turdus
pilaris - Fieldfare, Turdus
torquatus - Ring ouzel, Turdus
viscivorus - Mistle thrush
- Tits, Goldcrest, Warblers, Acrocephalus
palustris - Marsh warbler, Acrocephalus
schoenobaenus - Sedge warbler, Acrocephalus
scirpaceus - Eurasian reed-warbler, Aegithalos
caudatus - Long-tailed tit, Locustella
naevia - Common grasshopper-warbler, Panurus
biarmicus - Bearded parrotbill, Parus
ater - Coal tit, Parus
caeruleus - Blue tit, Parus
cristatus - Crested tit, Parus
montanus - Willow tit, Parus
major - Great tit, Parus
palustris - Marsh tit, Phylloscopus
collybita - Common chiffchaff, Phylloscopus
sibilatrix - Wood warbler, Phylloscopus
trochilus - Willow warbler, Regulus
ignicapillus - Firecrest, Regulus
regulus - Goldcrest, Sylvia
atricapilla - Blackcap, Sylvia
borin - Garden warbler, Sylvia
communis - Greater whitethroat, Sylvia
curruca - Lesser whitethroat, Sylvia
undata - Dartford warbler)
- Larks, Sparrows & Wagtails: Anthus
petrosus - Rock pipit, Anthus
pratensis - Meadow pipit, Anthus
spinoletta- Water pipit, Anthus
trivialis - Tree pipit, Alauda
arvensis - Eurasian skylark, Eremophila
alpestris - Horned lark, Lullula
arborea - Wood lark, Motacilla
alba - White wagtail, Motacilla
cinerea - Grey wagtail, Motacilla
flava - Yellow wagtail, Passer
domesticus - House sparrow, Passer
montanus - Eurasian tree sparrow, Prunella
modularis - Hedge accentor)
- Finches, Siskins, Linnets, Crossbills, Buntings: Calcarius
lapponicus - Lapland longspur, Carduelis
cannabina - Eurasian linnet, Carduelis
cardualis - European goldfinch, Carduelis
chloris - European greenfinch, Carduelis
flammea - Common redpoll, Carduelis
flavirostris - Twite, Carduelis
spinus - European siskin, Coccothraustes
coccothraustes - Hawfinch, Emberiza
cirlus - Cirl bunting, Emberiza
citrinella - Yellowhammer, Emberiza
schoeniclus - Reed bunting, Fringilla
coelebs - Chaffinch, Fringilla
montifringilla - Brambling, Loxia
curvirostra - Red crossbill, Loxia
scotica - Scottish crossbill, Miliaria
calandra - Corn bunting, Plectrophenax
nivalis - Snow bunting, Pyrrhula
pyrrhula - Eurasian bullfinch)
- Small birds may be transported for short periods within a cloth bag with a draw-string
opening, suspended so the bird is cradled in the bag. (B169.43.w43,
- Transfer to a suitable box (e.g. cardboard) for longer journeys. (B169.43.w43)
Short term (Immediate/Emergency) Accommodation:
- Small secure cardboard box with ventilation holes and newspaper or kitchen paper is considered suitable for
- Small birds must eat
frequently to survive and should therefore be supplied with food and sufficient light to
feed if left in box accommodation for more than a short period.
- Opening the top of the
box and covering the open end with a net curtain or similar thin pale cloth is one way to
achieve this. (B203)
- Provide a perch in the box, of a suitable size for the bird
to grip comfortably.
- Warmth may be provided by e.g. using a heating pad
underneath the box or an infra red lamp above the box.
- Take care to avoid overheating or burns.
- Place in a quiet place way from the sight and smell of humans, cats, dogs etc.
- A heated, thermostatically-controlled hospital cage
or commercial incubator may be useful for short term accommodation of sick and shocked
Medium-term (Hospitalisation) Accommodation:
- Avicultural "breeder" cages are suitable;
these have three solid sides to the cage and a front of vertical wires.
Part (e.g. half) of the wire front should be covered with a
cloth to provide extra seclusion and security. Complete covering with thin pale cloth
(e.g. white tea-towel or net curtain) which provides seclusion by does not make the cage
dark may be necessary for very nervous birds.
- A sliding floor tray covered with newspaper and/or
kitchen towel may be useful. The trays allow the cage to be cleaned without the need to
open the cage or catch and handle the bird.
- Standard bird cages (with all sides wire) may also
be used but must be mostly covered with a sheet or towel to provide security.
- A small access door into the cage is recommended to
permit feeding or catching birds without their escape.
- A range of natural perches should be provided at a
variety of heights within the cage. Ample perches must be available for the number of
birds kept in the cage.
- Provide a tray with substrate allowing probing for items of food.
Long-term (Rehabilitation and Permanent)
- Aviary accommodation should be used for at least two weeks prior to release for
hand-reared fledglings and for birds which have been in care for several weeks and may
require reacclimatisation to the outdoors and time to regain feather condition and flight
- Standard small aviary design with small mesh size to
prevent escape of small birds.
- Many of these birds are easily stressed.
- Minimise human disturbance and enable
birds to shelter out of sight.
- Build on a concrete base, a brick base two feet
into the ground or wire mesh the floor to minimise access of vermin to the aviary.
- The length of the aviary should be sufficient to allow flight.
- Standard aviaries with weld mesh or chicken wire may be used.
- Part of the aviary should have a solid roof and sides to provide shelter and perching
sufficient for all the occupants of the aviary should be available in this area.
- About two thirds of the roof should be covered only
by wire mesh to encourage re-acclimatisation to the outdoors.
- For a solitary aviary a safety porch (double door) system should be used to minimise the
risk of birds escaping. For a row of aviaries doors may open into a safety corridor.
- Sand or gravel over a concrete base may be used for substrate; this may be particularly
useful for rehabilitation aviaries as the substrate can be removed and replaced to prevent
build up of parasites and other pathogenic microorganisms.
- Ledges as well as perches should be provided.
- Grassed aviaries may also be used, particularly for permanent accommodation. These
provide a greater variety of shelter and occupation for the occupants.
- A shallow pool or bowl sufficiently large to allow the birds to bathe should be
- Privacy and seclusion should be provided within the aviary by plants such as bushes and
- Plantings outside the aviary will provide further seclusion.
- Provision should be made to enable observation of the occupants of aviary without the
birds knowing they are being watched. This could be a long line-of sight allowing
observation with binoculars, a peephole or a camera.
- Controlled access to a shallow water bath should be
available during the day; this may be removed at night to avoid birds drowning if they
become frightened and panic.
- Provide a tray with substrate allowing probing for items of food (B169.43.w43).
- Consider vermin control and prevent vermin access to