About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

How to get a bird out of the house

When we first decided to open the Wild Birds Unlimited store in East Lansing, MI, we thought it was a good sign that there was a wild bird literally living in the store before we opened. Very bird friendly area for sure!

Now we have starlings as regular visitors. When I hear the “tick, tick, tick” of them walking on the ceiling tiles, I pop a corner up. They come in and out through the outside vent but if they get confused I let them in the store and take them out the front door.

Starlings are one of the most common birds that find a way into a house through vents, chimneys, garages, or any 2 inch opening. They are especially curious in January and early spring when they are scouting out new nesting areas.

Yesterday the person that works at Goodwill next door came in a little panic and asked, “Can you help me? There’s a bird in the bathroom.” That was a very easy location to catch a bird. I shut the door, and swooped in with no hesitation and grabbed the bird in front of his wings.

If you make a little circle with your thumb and pointer finger, a bird can fit his head through but not the rest of the body. I put the rest of my hand gently over the wings and a second hand under the body and walked him outside. It’s best to act quickly so there is less stress all around. The birds won't hurt you. You have to be more careful that you don't hurt the bird.

The customer that came in just after I released the bird said it was good luck. She said when you release a bird from your house it means you will be freed from an unpleasant situation.

If you have a bird in the house it’s best to contain it to one room if possible and of course remove any pets. If a window or door can be opened for easy release, do that. And if you haven’t studied with as many Master Cat hunters as I have to perform my pounce and release technique, a towel and box can come in handy.

Wait calmly for the bird to sit and gently throw a towel over him. The bird can't fly under the towel. Then pick up the bird very, very gently, so it is still under the towel, and put the bird in a cardboard box, using the towel as a cover and take him outside.

If the bird seems injured call a rehabilitator for help before releasing the bird.

The following is a small list of the local rehabilitators:
  • East Lansing, MI ♦ 517.351.7304 ♦ Cheryl Connell-Marsh ♦ birds and small animals, deer
  • Lansing, MI ♦ 517-646-9374 ♦ Tiffany Rich ♦ white tailed deer, squirrels, raccoons; Vet. Tech. on center.
  • DeWitt, MI ♦ 517.930-0087 ♦ Wildside Rehab and Education Center ♦ birds and small animals
  • Eaton Rapids, MI ♦ 517-663-6153 ♦ Wildside Rehab and Education Center ♦ birds and small animals
  • Holt, MI ♦ 517-694-9618 ♦ Carolyn Tropp cctropp@aol.com ♦ Waterfowl, small birds and mammals
  • Howell, MI ♦ 517-548-5530 ♦ Howell Conference and Nature Center ♦ All wild animals except bats, skunks, starlings, raccoons, pigeons, or house sparrows.
  • Bath, MI ♦ 517-819-0170 (day) 517-641-6314 (evening) ♦ Denise Slocum ♦ Small mammals
For a complete list of Michigan Licensed Rehabilitators visit the Michigan Department of Natural Resources at: http://www.michigandnr.com/dlr/
Or to search for a local wildlife rehabilitation group by zip code at: http://www.wildliferehabber.org/

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