Birds in distress

What should you do if you find an injured or distressed bird or another animal?

Before taking any action you should be aware that:

According to the Bulgarian Biodiversity Act any interventions involving protected species are prohibited; you need to have an appropriate license issued by the Ministry of Environment and Water (MoEW).

According to the law, if you find a distressed, injured or dead bird, you need to contact the officials of the Regional Inspectorate for Environment and Water (RIoEW). Experts from the Inspectorate will come to the scene to assess the condition of the animal; if its state suggests it can survive in the wild, they will set it free; if not – they will issue a protocol statement and they will send it to a rescue centre.

If you decide to assist the RIoEW and to organize the transportation of the injured animal to the rescue centre (a rehabilitation centre for rare and protected species) yourself, you need to acquire a delivery-receipt protocol and a copy of the protocol statement.
On many occasions you could take care of the bird yourself but only do so if you have enough knowledge about the biology of the particular species. Such information can be found online (see Useful links further down).

Please take into consideration the fact that animal care (including injured wildlife) is a matter of animal ethics (together with breeding conditions for domestic animals concerns, abuse of domestic animals by their owners etc.), and not of nature conservation which is the field of activity of the BSPB.

Were the BSPB to take actions in the case of an injured or distressed bird, the organisation would be violating the law – which comes against our principles! For that reason, among others, the BSPB cannot take care of injured or distressed birds.
Since its foundation, the BSPB works for the conservation of the most endangered species and the most important natural territories, as well as for the reduction of chemical use in agriculture, for insulation of electricity poles posing a threat to wild birds etc.; all these activities are essentially different from the care for injured individuals. There are legal ways to found an organization with that particular purpose open for any group of people wishing to care for injured animals; this is how the BSPB came into existence over two decades ago and started working in its chosen field of interest. The profile of such an organization would differ essentially from that of the BSPB due to its distinct objectives, needs and interests; it would be formed under and comply with different regulations by the law. Its field of interest would involve working with veterinarian specialists and the infrastructure needed for caring for injured animals – facilities which are not available for the BSPB.

Here is a summary of the purposes and fields of interest of the BSPB:

•    The Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds works for the conservation of endangered and rare species of wild birds and of the areas and habitats important for them, and for the conservation of biodiversity in its entirety.

•    The BSPB does not have the specialized facilities and personnel required to provide rescue, care and rehabilitation actions for injured, ill or young wild birds and other animals; the organization is not licensed to keep wild birds in captivity.

•    Exceptions are made only in the case of extremely rare endangered bird species such as several raptorsImperial Eagle, Saker Falcon, Egyptian Vulture, – Red-breasted Goose etc. The BSPB can assist and facilitate the transportation of individuals from these species to specialized rehabilitation centres.

The BSPB is open for consultation and advice in any urgent situation.

You can find more information concerning birds and other animals in distress here.

Injured or distressed birds can be treated in the Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre, Stara Zagora:
Phones: 042 607741, 0886 570 053, 0885 228 486, 0896 662 726, 0886 570 052

Useful information, advice and assistance can also be provided by the Regional Inspectorates for Environment and Water.
RIoEW Sofia:
Green Line: 02 856 51 52

Advice and assistance can be provided also by:
Dobro Hrumvane Veterinary Clinic

Sofia Zoo
Ecology Educational Centre: 0878 640 192
Clinic: 02 962 04 49

This forum provides useful information for found wild animals.