Although it may be tempting, we highly discourage keeping wild birds as pets or attempting to provide them with medical care. First and foremost, legally, most species are protected under provincial or federal law, and it is illegal to keep them in your possession. But there is also the bird’s welfare to think about.
Well-Intentioned but Harmful
Very often, Le Nichoir admits birds from well-meaning individuals who have turned to the Internet for information on what to do when finding a wild bird in need. Almost always, the information is incorrect and detrimental to the bird. Virtually all birds admitted after being kept by these individuals show signs of neglect or abuse, due to improper housing conditions or diet, whether intentional or not. Poor feather quality, broken plumage, developmental issues, habituation, housing-related injuries, and malformation due to nutrient deficiency are all common effects. Birds released into the wild under these circumstances are unlikely to survive.
Each species has very specific dietary needs, essential to their overall health. Food sold in stores is mainly formulated for exotic or tropical birds, such as parrots. The food is unfit for native wild birds. Giving wild birds the wrong food, even for a few days, can lead to permanent, sometimes life threatening, health issues. Improper handling and housing can also be harmful.
Le Nichoir works with experienced veterinarians, wildlife biologists, and a full-time Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator who is certified by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC). Our team follows the guidelines, regulations and standards set by the government, veterinarians and the IWRC to ensure the well-being of the birds in our care. Our staff continuously improve their training with regular attendance at conferences and workshops, and we strive to improve and update our care protocols to reflect new advancements in the field.