The Skunk Corner
Bird Stuck In a Room? Here's What to Do
Sometimes, wild birds fly into buildings, such as houses, offices, or classrooms, and can't find their way out. The most important thing to remember when helping a bird get out of a room is to give it space. Chasing the bird usually will cause it to panic and make the problem worse. The following steps are usually effective while causing the least stress to the bird.
1. Put your pets in another room. You don't want them to injure or frighten the bird.
2. Contain the bird in one room. It's easier for a bird to find its way out if you minimize the wrong turns it could take. Your actions should depend on which room the bird is currently in:
If the room has doors and/or windows that lead outside, keep the bird in that area. Close any doors leading to other rooms, so that the only open doors lead outside.
If the room is an interior room with no exterior exits, try to get the bird into a different room with doors and/or windows leading outside. First, close up all other interior rooms, so that the only path the bird can take leads to a room with exits. Leave the bird alone for a few minutes (being careful not to block the exits) and see if it flies into another room. If it does, contain it in that room. If not, don't chase it.
3. Create an exit point for the bird. One large exit point is preferable to multiple open windows and/or doors because a darker room enables the bird to find the outside more easily. It isn't necessary or advised at this point to chase the bird towards the window- just let it find its way on its own. Be careful not to stand in front of the exit point, because you don't want to stress the bird out.
4. Darken the room. Turn off all the lights. Close the curtains and/or blinds on all windows except the exit. (If you cannot darken a window, open it.)
5. Leave the bird alone as much as possible and remain calm. Stay away from the bird, but check on it periodically without disturbing it. If after half an hour it has not escaped, hold up a sheet with both hands and try to direct the bird while remaining calm. Call a wildlife rehabilitation center, such as Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network or Animal Rescue Team, if a bird injures itself while trying to escape.
Image credits: Bird stuck in phone booth: Chris Downer, attribution/share alike.