Alaska Bird FAQ: if it's sick, abandoned, injured or dead

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not treat sick or injured birds.

If you find an injured bird and the cause of its injury IS OBVIOUS:

(for instance, the bird hit a power line or window, or was hit by a car, attacked by a pet etc.), please contact the following permitted and legal avian rehabilitation facilities in Alaska:

  • Anchorage: Bird Treatment and Learning Center (phone: 907-562-4852)
  • Mat-Su Valley: Alaska WildBird Rehabilitation Center (phone: 907-892-2927)
  • Seward: Alaska SeaLife Center (phone: 888-378-2525)
  • Haines: The American Bald Eagle Foundation 
  • Sitka: Sitka Raptor Center (phone: 907-747-8662)
  • Elsewhere in Alaska: please contact Bird TLC in Anchorage (see numbers above).

Birds can also be brought to the two emergency vet clinics in Anchorage that are open 24/7 year-round: Pet Emergency at Lake Otis & Dowling (2320 East Dowling) and Midnight Sun Animal Hospital on Tudor near Lake Otis (2545 East Tudor). Under 50 CFR, Part 21.12, licensed veterinarians may care for and stabilize a bird under that same authority in order to get it to a rehab center within 48 hours.

If you observe dead seabirds, or encounter a sick or dead wild bird(s) and the cause is NOT immediately apparent:

Please call the Alaska Sick or Dead Bird Hotline at (866) 527-3358. Before calling, please note the location (GPS coordinates are best), species of bird (if known) and the date/time found. For your safety, do not handle any sick birds or bird that are found dead. 

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) viruses can affect the health of humans, domestic animals, and wildlife. Globally, HPAI H5N1 outbreaks have increased rapidly in both domestic poultry and wild birds. Recently, HPAI H5N1 has been confirmed in both domestic and wild birds in Canada and the United States. The strain of HPAI now present in North America has caused illness and death in waterfowl, shorebirds, gulls, and birds of prey. The Center for Disease Control believes that the public health risk from HPAI H5N1 in North America is low. Alaska hunters should still exercise caution while hunting and eating migratory birds by following these steps to reduce infection risk:

  • Do not harvest game that appear sick or are found dead.
  • Wear rubber or disposable latex or nitrile gloves while handling and cleaning game.
  • When done handling game, wash hands thoroughly with soap or disinfectant, and disinfect knives, equipment, and surfaces that were in contact with game.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling game.
  • Cook game thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

To Report Observations and Concerns about Migratory Birds:

For more information: Avian Influenza

If you've found a wild baby bird:

Many baby birds learn to fly from the ground up. A fully feathered baby bird is considered a fledgling and many parent birds continue to care for their young after they leave the nest (they are vulnerable to predators at this time, like cats, so please keep pets inside or leashed). You may not see the parent bird(s). This flow chart (adapted from Bird TLC) will help you make an informed decision about your course of action if you find a wild baby bird. See contacts above. 

Black and white bird with long neck and yellow bill on the water
Alaska is home to more than 470 species of birds. Most are migratory birds for which the Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible under international treaties and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. While some of the birds stay in Alaska year-round, most migrate to Canada, Central America, South America...