First Aid for Birds

First Aid for Birds teaches you the key information and nursing techniques to support a bird that is either unwell or injured - such as from a collision, fall or animal attack. You will learn how to examine a bird for injuries, make an assessment and provide essential treatments such as wound care, bandaging, warmth and fluid therapy.

This short course forms one module of the complete course WILD BIRD RESCUE 101

Do You Want to Help Save a Sick or Injured Bird’s life?

● Have you ever found an injured bird and not known how to help?

● Would you like to develop your skills in wild bird rescue and rehabilitation?

● Do you know how to examine a bird thoroughly to detect injuries?

● Do you know how to assess a broken wing and apply the correct bandage?

● Do you know how to safely and correctly give fluids to a severely dehydrated bird?

Learn the essential skills to give the appropriate first aid for any bird in need!

The aim of this course is to help you increase a bird's chances of surviving overnight by providing simple yet effective nursing support. These techniques are also suitable to support a bird prior to transfer to a wildlife carer or vet hospital that is not in the immediate area. These simple but effective techniques are suitable for wild birds but also any bird in need, such as a pet or aviary bird.

This module provides the following key information and skills through visual and auditory learning tools including presentations, handouts, videos and charts:

  • How to perform a complete physical examination of a bird
  • Humane euthanasia techniques for severely injured birds
  • The top three first aid techniques essential to save a bird’s life!
  • Detailed instruction on fluid therapy options and how to safely give fluids
  • Essentials of wound care such as bleeding or open wounds
  • The correct process to apply wing and leg bandages

There are course downloads and a completion certificate that are yours to keep and you will have access for a full six months - plenty of time to practice those techniques and gain your confidence.

Want to know more? See the course outline below for further information - simply register with your email address to get a sneaky preview!

Meet your tutors

Dr. Janelle Ward
Wildlife Veterinarian

Dr. Ward is a New Zealand-based vet with a master’s degree in wildlife health and is a member of the Australian & NZ College of Veterinary Scientists (ANZCVS) in Avian Health. Her master’s thesis investigated muscle damage during capture of wild birds.

Janelle has worked in all aspects of wildlife health since 2007, including avian medicine, wildlife disease, oiled wildlife response, pathology and conservation. She has a keen interest in wildlife rehabilitation and is on the committee for the national wildlife rehabilitation network (WReNNZ). She provided technical advice for the NZ Department of Conservation for over 5 years and currently is the Biodiversity Team Leader at New Zealand’s largest fenced ecosanctuary.

Janelle also has a Certificate in Adult and Tertiary Education and has 3 years of tertiary teaching experience in animal care and vet nursing.
Dr. Janelle Ward holding a juvenile takahe

Mandy Robertson
Wildlife Rehabilitator

Mandy began rehabilitating birds in 2003 and has a wealth of experience in raising and caring for a huge range of wild bird species. She has helped to hatch and raise threatened species for the NZ Department of Conservation for release to the wild. She founded the Wild Bird Care Charitable Trust, that supported her work in the rehabilitation centre. Mandy also volunteered for many years on the committee of the Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of NZ, helping to raise their profile and designed their website.

Mandy always worked to a very high standard with her dedicated bird treatment room at her rehabilitation centre, and over the years developed aviary designs for different species. Mandy believes that people should no longer need to learn from trial and error when it comes to wild bird rescue and care.

Mandy and the WBCCT helped to create education and training programmes and provided support materials for wildlife rehabilitators. Mandy loves to create educational materials that people find practical and easy to use.

What Others Have Said

5 star rating


Jordan Rennie

Whether you are a new-intermediate rehabilitator or a caring member of the public wanting to learn how to rescue a bird, this course provides excellent tools...

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Whether you are a new-intermediate rehabilitator or a caring member of the public wanting to learn how to rescue a bird, this course provides excellent tools and knowledge. I highly recommend it, and think it is great value!

Read Less
5 star rating

Great Course

Annemieke Kregting

Nothing to add; well done!

Nothing to add; well done!

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star rating

Sign me up now for First Aid for Birds!

Learn essential first aid skills for a sick or injured bird in need!

Who This Course Is For

These first aid techniques can be practiced by anyone who has the confidence to work with birds immediately. In particular, the following people will find these techniques useful to expand on their current animal care knowledge:

  • Wildlife rehabilitators (new and existing)
  • Veterinary Nurses
  • Veterinarians
  • Bird breeders
  • Zookeepers
  • Field Biologists
  • Animal Carer's

For those people that are inexperienced but are keen to learn about bird health and first aid, this course will give you a lot of new knowledge and understanding, but if you have less confidence, it may be best to practice some of these techniques under supervision initially.

 Note that if you wish to learn more about rescue and capture techniques, housing, feeding, handling, or husbandry, then one of the following complete courses may suit your needs better (both of these courses include First Aid for Birds)


    1. Welcome by Dr Janelle Ward

    2. Objectives & Learning Outcomes

    3. How to Navigate this Course

    4. Human Health and Safety

    5. Rescue and Capture Tips

    6. Towel Wrapping Demonstration

    7. Downloadable Resources

    1. Basic First Aid Checklist

    2. Physical Examination of a Bird

    3. Bird Skeletal Anatomy - Downloadable

    4. Bird External Anatomy - Downloadable

    5. Euthanasia

    6. Downloadable Resources

    1. First Aid Introduction

    2. Warmth

    3. Fluid Therapy

    4. Crop Tubing Demonstration

    5. Crop Tubing (Download)

    6. Crop Tubing (Download II)

    7. Needle Handling and SQ Fluids Demonstration

    8. Downloadable Resources

    1. Wound Care

    2. Leg and Foot Bandage Demonstration

    3. Wing Bandaging Demonstration

    4. Pain Management

    5. Initial Food Requirements

    6. Downloadable Resources

    1. First Aid for Birds Quiz

About this course

  • $57.00
  • 28 lessons