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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 22616
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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Ive got an injured female blackbird in the garden.Ive put

Customer Question

I've got an injured female blackbird in the garden.Ive put a ventilated box over it. she is breathing but bleeding( I think it was a cat). I now discovered she has laid an egg, what czan I do?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 4 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with this poor wee one today.


Now I have to say that I am very concerned about this wee bird.


As I am sure you can appreciate, birds are very delicate animals and can easily suffer serious injuries, especially at the hands of cats. Now the bleeding is a major worry since these wee ones do not have much blood volume to spare. As well, if she is bleeding externally, we do have to be concerned about internal bleeds, bruises, damage to the lungs, or even fractures of bones. Therefore, we need to monitor her very closely for any signs that the damage is more extensive then you can see.

In regards XXXXX XXXXX the bleed, it will depend completely on where it is and what type of wound it is associated with. In any case, you need to take steps to staunch it as quickly as possible. To do so, you can try carefully applying pressure to the site (by pressing with a cotton ball). To promote clotting of the bleed, you can applying corn starch (or corn flour, or even normal flour) to the bleed. If you do and so the bleeding doesn't stop (or there is a serious wound present), then she may need emergency intervention from a vet.

Since this bird is significantly injured and will likely need medical attention, it would be best to consider seeking out a wildlife rehabilitator to assess her and get her proper medical treatment secured for him. To find your local bird rehabilitation center, you can check the Wildlife International (LINK), Wildlife Rehabbers ( or Wildlife Sanctuaries (LINK) databases to find a rehabilitation agency are near by. These rehabilitators will be best prepared to care for this bird and also will have the permits required to care for wildlife (since permits are often required to keep wild birds in captivity).

Alternatively, if you are struggling to get a rehab centre near you, you can turn this bird over to your local veterinary practice and they will be able to examine/treat her and be able to directly turn her over to the rehabilitation centre (often the vets will have a relationship with the local rehab centre and sometimes are able to get them in even if the facility isn't accepting birds from the public). If you wanted to find a vet open today, you can do so via the RCVS Register (HERE) to find your local Vets Now (LINK) who are open all nights/weekends.

And while you are sorting that for her, you do want to keep it in your wee hospitalization pen. Ideally it should be one level and bedded with soft flooring (ie washcloth, towel, etc). The cage should be warm (86-90 degrees F), secluded, and in a dimly lit environment to keep her nice and calm to stabilize from the shock. You can use a heat lamp, or a heating pad under half her pen (do not put it in the cage). Alternatively, you can make a safe warmer for the bird from a clean sock filled 2/3rd full with uncooked white rice. Tie it closed and microwave (approx 1-1.5 min). Make sure to shake it before adding it to the cage, to allow the heat to distribute. Make sure its not too hot (as we don’t want to burn the bird. If it cools, you can re-warm as required). Whichever you technique, you use monitor the temperature closely, since we don’t want to overheat her (and we cannot be confident she would move herself if she grew too warm). And do try to keep handling and disturbances to a minimum just now since she is likely shocky and stressed, and possibly showing elevated respiration. And this warmth and stability are the mainstays to focus on at the moment until she can be seen.

Finally, the egg situation. I have to admit under the circumstances the egg is likely to be lost. We'd have to be concerned to why she has laid it now, if it is premature, and how it may survive if she isn't able to care for it properly (hatchlings are very hard to rear and really need to be done by someone with extensive experience to do them justice). So, I would keep it with her in your very warm cage but I'd not focus on that just now when her life is in the balance.

Overall, we do have to tread carefully when we are dealing with injured birds. If she is actively bleeding, this needs to be addressed immediately. If the bleeding has stopped, then do consider taking measures to let her settle and to let the shock of her injury wane. Once she has settled, then that is the time to examine her for further injury and get her to a rehabilitation facility or vet to give her the best chance of survival.


I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.


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