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Aquatic Birds


This large group of birds includes killdeer, herons and gulls – the latter two who are not closely related but have similar aquatic feeding habits. Gulls are increasingly adapting to urban encroachment and are thus more likely to fall into harm’s way.


  • Any that were attacked by another animal.
  • Any that were hit by a car.
  • Any that are easy to approach and appear lethargic.
  • If there is a fishing line wrapped around or trailing from the bird – DO NOT attempt to remove the line from the bird as the bird could have swallowed a hook.


  • If you cannot catch it. Chasing the bird may exacerbate its injuries or cause the bird to run into traffic. Call for advice.
  • Young killdeer; they follow their mother from the moment of hatching. A lone baby should be reported, but not approached. Call for advice.


  • BE VERY CAREFUL! Herons have sharp, pointed beaks that they use in a stabbing motion to defend themselves.
  • DO NOT force feed any injured bird. Unskilled hands can force food/water into the lungs and excess handling can cause shock and exacerbate the bird’s injuries.
  • DO NOT feed any baby bird, even if it is begging. Unskilled hands can force food/water into the lungs and an improper diet can be fatal.

See Transporting Wildlife. Keep it warm and quiet.