Before you do anything, you need to know this:
According to the Bulgarian Biodiversity Act any interference associated with protected species is prohibited if you do not possess a special permit issued by the Ministry of Environment and Water.
If you find a distressed, injured or dead bird, the law dictates that you contact the respective Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water. Then, experts from the Inspectorate should arrive on the scene and determine the state of the animal. If it is in a condition to survive in the wild, they will release it; if it isn’t, they will write a report and direct the animal to the respective wildlife rescue centre.
If you decide to assist the Regional Inspectorate officers by transporting the animal to the wildlife rescue centre yourself, you need to ask for a taking-over certificate and a copy of the report.
If you decide to take care of the bird yourself, it is important to do it properly – you need to know the basics about the species biology.
Taking care of injured animals is an ethical matter, and as such it is not regarded as ‘nature conservation’ – the field in which the BSPB works.
Expecting the BSPB to cooperate in case you’ve found an injured or distressed bird means to expect us to break the law which we would not do! For a number of reasons the BSPB does not get involved in cases of injured and distressed birds.
Why do we not deal with injured and distressed birds and other animals…
- We do not have the specialized structures and staff to provide specialized care (treatment and raising) of injured, sick or young birds and other animals.
- We do not have a permission to keep wild birds in captivity.
- In the cases when an injured or a distressed bird from a very rare and endangered species is found (for example, imperial eagle, saker falcon, Egyptian vulture, griffon vulture, red-breasted goose, etc.), the BSPB could make an exception and cooperate for the transportation of the patient to the specialized wildlife rescue centres.
In case you find a distressed or injured bird, we recommend that you contact:
Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre
Phones: +359 42 607741, +359 886 570053, +359 885 228486, +359 896 662726
The Wild Animals Foundation
Phone: +359 988 797986
You can receive useful information, instructions and advice from the respective Regional Inspectorates of Environment and Water. According to the law in such cases people should contact the Regional Inspectorates.
Green line: +359 2 8565152
Green line: +359 56 813212
Green line: +359 52 634582
You can find contact information for all the Regional Inspectorates for Environment and Water in Bulgaria here.
I found a young bird in distress. What should I do?
- Sometimes birds might seem in danger but in fact they do not need our help.
Still, if you find a young song bird (but not an owlet!) on a busy trail in the park or at another dangerous spot, you can move it to a safer ground. You should do so quickly, and as close to its nest as possible, so that the parents are able to find their young. Place the bird on the highest and thickest branch you can reach, on a windowsill, ledge or the roof of a nearby building, out of the reach of land predators. In any case the general rule is to leave the young to the care of their parents.
- Taking a young bird away from its natural environment reduces its chances of survival and it should be done only under extreme circumstances.
I found a wild bird stuck in a big closed space. What should I do?
Some wild birds (most often song birds and owls) get inside buildings (warehouses, hangars, etc.) and are not able to leave by themselves. The easiest thing to do is open all the existing doors, gates and windows and chase the bird towards them so it can fly out of the building on its own. In higher spaces you can use telescopic fishing rods; attach a flag to the end of the rod and use it to chase the bird towards the exits; if needed, more than one people can take part in the operation. For song birds, raptors and other diurnal birds the chase-out should be done during the day, and for owls – towards the end of the daylight period.
Wild birds damage a building, a structure, crops. What can I do?
There are many examples of birds causing damage to people – feral doves soiling a façade, starlings ‘attacking’ fruit trees, rooks forming noisy roosts on a city square, soiling the square underneath, even birds colliding with aircraft.
There is no uniform solution to these problems. Every individual case requires specific action.
The general principle, however, is to try and chase the birds away, not aim to exterminate them. Extermination is illegal but ineffective too – if there is nothing to chase the birds away, new ones will arrive in the stead of those that you eliminated. There are many methods and devices for chasing birds away. In most cases they are species-oriented but generally they fall into several categories:
- the well-known scarecrows that can be a convincing imitation of a human (window dummies in real clothes, on a spring so the wind can move them, digital moving dummies, etc.);
- raptor silhouettes stuck onto window panes or hung on a string from a pole in the garden, field or other agricultural land, where the wind would keep the silhouette constantly moving;
- three-dimensional models of owls and raptors (they need to be very precise in terms of shape and colour); the models are placed at sites where real birds shouldn’t land/perch.
- shiny moving objects (mirrors, metal lids, cut rotating plastic bottles, etc., but also balloons and other brightly coloured floating items) can be efficient when tied at the right spot.
- recordings of distress calls of certain bird species;
- tools that create a loud ‘bang’ are used in fish farms to chase away fish-eating birds;
- recordings of raptor calls;
- ultra- and infrasound recordings.
- nets that are spread over the protected object, or hung in front of a wall that a woodpecker damages;
- DIY or manufactured lines/plates with wire spikes to deter pigeons from landing on ledges, sills, rails
There are many devices from all categories that can be bought online. Use the following key words for you search: bird control, bird repellent, bird deterrent. It is important to remember, however, that a single method would rarely solve the problem; most often the combined use of several methodologies proves efficient.
In some cases a special strategy should be worked out, as was the case with birds colliding with fighter jets in Israel. Feel free to contact us and we will try to help you find a solution of your problem.