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  • Writer's pictureJen Van de Kieft

Finding a Baby Pigeon on the Sidewalk

Updated: Jun 25, 2023

Sometimes walking down the street, you see a living creature in need of help. Do you know what to do? I was aware of the Wild Bird Fund, but I had never been in the position to help an injured bird before, until we spotted a baby pigeon clearly in need of assistance.

Baby Pigeon found on the sidewalk in a busy area

Baby pigeons are kind of funny looking, but cute in their own way. My son spotted this guy pictured here as we were walking on 4th Avenue in Park Slope in August 2019. Clearly a baby, as he couldn't fly or walk much when we approached. We looked around for a nest, but couldn't find one. He was right next to a restaurant. The baby was in the hot sun, so I gently picked him up and moved him into the shade. We didn't know what to do. As we headed to our home in Downtown Brooklyn, I started researching what one does when confronted with a baby pigeon on the sidewalk who clearly needs some help.

As it turns out, The Wild Bird Fund on the Upper West Side takes in all kinds of injured and baby animals, including pigeons. When we got home, I found a shoe box. I folded a pee pad into the box and cut some holes in the top. I grabbed a latex glove for handling, and we drove back to Park Slope. It was an hour later and the pigeon hadn't moved and the mother was clearly not around. The sun moved too and the pigeon was back in the hot sun.

There was a large crowd of people outside the restaurant, all either ignoring the baby pigeon, or unaware of his plight. I swiftly picked him up in my gloved hand, and gently placed him in the box. We drove him to the Wild Bird Fund where they gladly accepted him.

The WBF is a super cool place. They had a turkey and rooster walking around upon entering. The turkey fell asleep right by the front door while my son and I talked to the intake guy. They gave me a card and said I can check back in on him to see how he's doing. It turned out, he was sick and needed treatment.

Sleeping turkey in the Wild Bird Fund

A year later we found another bird who needed assistance. This time, it was in front of our building. It had blood on top of it's head and was lying next to the building. It must have flown into it. He was alive. This time we had some experience. I got a shoebox (I now keep extras just for this type of rescue) and we brought him to the WBF who took care of him until he was able to be released.

by Jennifer Van de Kieft
Injured bird in a shoe box

The Wild Bird Fund's website is really helpful if you find an baby bird. Here's a helpful guide from their site:

By Shannon K. Jacobs
From Healers of the Wild: People Who Care for Injured or Orphaned Wildlife

The Wild Bird Fund will be opening another location in Park Slope, Brooklyn, not far from where we found the baby pigeon.

About the author: Jennifer Van de Kieft is a Certified Advanced Feline Training & Behavior Professional located in Brooklyn, NY. She provides virtual consultations throughout the United States. She owns Cat Advocate, a feline behavior consulting company. She provides cat guardians with the strategies, tools and knowledge needed to address their cat's behavior issues.

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