How to tell if a wing is broken


New member
I'm new here and am looking for some help. Yesterday I found what I think is a mature American goldfinch. It's wing was slightly ruffled and held higher than the other. I easily captured it, put it in a covered cage and kept it overnight. this morning it is hopping around and eating (my cockatiel's seed, in addition I gathered some seed from grasses and coneflowers in the yard just to be sure)
The bird still is holding one wing higher than the other, but it's not really at an unnatural position. Should I release it to see if it can fly or continue to hold on to it? Thank you for any advice you may have!

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
United States
Hello b. and a warm welcome to from the entire staff.

You might try releasing it to see if how it fares and if it does not seem to get around well, then I am inserting a list of rehabbers in your state. Hopefully, there will be one nearby you and they can take over from there.

Connecticut, Central

Connecticut, Central region, Middlesex County (Durham)..... 860-349-1433 (H) or 860-349-3485 (Durham Vet Hospital)

Gina D'Alessio, licensed wildlife rehabilitator wildoneswaystation 'at' Specialty: rabies vector species Connecticut, Central region (East Hampton)..... 860-267-0061

Skip Hilliker, licensed wildlife rehabilitator Wildlife Species: all mammals and birds Connecticut, Central region (Marlborough)..... 860-295-1176

Kasha Breau, licensed wildlife rehabilitator Bob.Kasha.Breau 'at' Wildlife Species: orphans, songbirds, small mammals Connecticut, Central region (New Britain).....

Jessica Koch, licensed wildlife rehabilitator NBWildlife 'at'

Dawn Sotir (rehabber and veterinary assistant), Wildlife Rescue/Mobile Veterinary Clinic Rvndawn 'at' Wildlife Species: accept only mammals (raccoons, skunks, fox, woodchucks, squirrels, etc.)

Jayne Amico, The Recovery Wing recoverywing 'at' Wildlife Species: migratory songbirds

Connecticut, Eastern
Connecticut, Eastern region (Baltic)..... 860-822-8530

Colleen Caplet (director), Second Hand Rehabilitation Center dcaplet ' at' Wildlife Species: rabies vector species and small mammals

Connecticut, North Central
Connecticut, North Central region, Hartford County (South Windsor)..... 860-432-1037

Kristen Hay (volunteer rehabilitator), Lutz Children's Museum KristenHay 'at' Wildlife Species: small mammals, non-migratory birds Limitations: no rabies vector species SPECIALTIES/KNOWLEDGE: rabbits and squirrels

Connecticut, Northeast
Connecticut, Northeast region, Windham County (Ashford)..... 860-429-2181

Mary-Beth Kaeser (owner/director), Horizon Wings Raptor Rehabilitation Horizonwings 'at' Wildlife Species: raptors only Website:

Connecticut, Southern
Connecticut, Southern region (Branford)..... 203-488-2610

Karen L. Hannon, licensed wildlife rehabilitator Specialty: raptor rehabilitation, osprey conservation programs, and pesticides Connecticut, Southern region (Clinton)..... 860-669-4004

Hope Douglas (IWRC boardmember), Wind Over Wings, Inc. Comments: fax 860-664-9262 Wildlife Species: Great Blue Herons

Connecticut, South Central
Connecticut, South Central region, Hew Haven County (Naugatuck)..... 203-723-8630

Karen Withstandley (volunteer RVS rehabber), Fund For Animals ubakeep 'at' Wildlife Species: rabies vector species, bats, and snakes only (no small mammals or birds) Specialties/Knowledge: raccoons

Connecticut, Southwest
Connecticut, Southwest region (Greenwich)..... 203-869-5415

Jean Seward, Wildlife Trust Inc. bwallace 'at' Specialty: breeding of endangered species Connecticut, Southwest region, Fairfield County (Stamford)..... 888-727-6774

Cathie Kovacs (president), The Wildlife Orphanage, Inc. Wildlife Species: mammals including raccoon, skunk, and fox; no birds accepted at this time Connecticut, Southwest region, Fairfield County (Stamford)..... 203-253-7584

Florence Chaippetta (vice president), The Wildlife Orphanage olf0098 'at' Specialties/Knowledge: small mammals and rabies vector species Connecticut, Southwest region (Orange)..... 203-799-0871

Marilyn Kappel (founder), Raptor Rehab mrlnkappel 'at' Wildlife Species: Rehabilitation of sick and injured birds of prey Connecticut, Southwest region (Stamford)..... 203-253-7584

Florence Chiappetta (vice president), The Wildlife Orphanage wildorphanage 'at' Limitations: not licensed to do deer Wildlife Species: small mammals, raccoons, skunk, fox

Connecticut, Southeast
Connecticut, Southeast, New London County (Norwich)..... 860-887-0606

Jean Walsh Presslitz, licensed wildlife rehabilitator beoromeo 'at' Wildlife Species: birds (including raptors and terns) and mammals

Connecticut, Southwest
Connecticut, Southwest region, Fairfield County (Old Greenwich)..... 203-637-9822

Meredith Sampson (Director), Wild Wings, Inc. wingsct 'at' Wildlife Species: small mammals, all bird species, turtles Comments: Certified supervisor/coordinator for rescue and rehabilitation of oiled wildlife; Humane solutions for wildlife problems Connecticut, Southwest region, Fairfield County (Redding)..... 203-438-0618

Darlene Wimbrow (director), Back to the Wild Rehabilitation darwimbrow 'at' Wildlife Species: birds (including raptors), and mammals Specialty: owls Connecticut, Southwest region (Weston)..... 203-544-9913

Dara Reid (director), Wildlife in Crisis, Inc. wildlifeincrisis 'at' Wildlife Species: migratory birds, rabies vector species and other small mammals and deer Specialty: owls, songbirds, rabies vector species, and deer Connecticut, Southwest region, Fairfield County (Weston)..... 203-544-9913

Dawn Davis (intern), Wildlife in Crisis, Inc. wildlifeincrisis 'at' Wildlife Species: all species of wild birds and mammals

Connecticut, Western
Connecticut, Western region, Litchfield County (Woodbury)..... 203-263-4006

Penelope Eastham, Twinbrook Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Coyotedance1 'at' Wildlife Species: referrals and advice only at this time Connecticut, Western region (Plymouth)

Veronica Scalora, licensed wildlife rehabilitator johnvena 'at' Wildlife Species: red fox and skunks
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Mod Squad
B. Meulmester, welcome!

If you have the least doubt, please consider getting this bird to a rehabber. Care of songbirds takes quite a bit of skill, and licensed rehabbers are the only ones legally permitted to 'hold' the bird. There will be no fees to you, although you may have to deliver the bird yourself.

Thank you for caring so much about the finch.


New member
Anyone know how/where I can find a rehabber near Raleigh, NC? It's dove season and some people were shooting in the woods behind my house (I think it was illegal because of how close they were!!) and I found a young dove with a broken wing. I know it's broken because I used to care for injured/unwanted small exotics, and one was a budgie with a broken wing at the joint - this one appears to be just below the joint toward the outside. Looks like he's part of this year's brood - still has his youth tailfeathers and short flight feathers :(

For now he's in one of my cat carriers with food and water, but that wing has been broken at least 3 days and needs to be set asap!