Examining wing

Humane destruction

It is natural to feel that a bird, however seriously injured, must be given a chance of life.

What to do if you find a badly injured bird

A bird with a badly broken wing will seldom be able to fly again and a bird blind in one eye is severely handicapped in the struggle for existence.

In such cases it is often better for the bird to be humanely destroyed, rather than leave it suffer a stressful life and an eventual slow lingering death.

Please contact a vet, the RSPCA/SSPCA/USPCA or a wildlife rehabilitation centre for guidance, especially when the bird is large.

Although it is legal to keep a permanently disabled bird, this is not recommended. Wild birds rarely take well to captivity and the stress this causes to the bird is often such that it is far kinder for the bird to put it down.

The RSPB does not run bird hospitals or a rescue service, so please do not contact us about a welfare matter, as we are unable to help. The RSPCA (England and Wales), SSPCA (Scotland) and USPCA (Northern Ireland) are the national charities which help and advise on wildlife welfare matters. You can also find an independent local rescue centre on Help Wildlife.