Unfortunately, baby birds sometimes fall from their nest. If you find a young bird on the ground, your best bet is to try to leave the rescue efforts to the adult birds. When that is not practical, locate the nearest wildlife rescue center. Wildlife rescue centers have experience in meeting the needs of different birds, needs which can vary considerably. Do not try to keep the bird as a pet – this is simply not legal.
When leaving the rescue efforts to the adult birds, usually your best bet is to simply leave the bird where it is. Keep in mind there are two types of birds you might encounter. If the bird lacks feathers, it will require lots of feedings, possibly as often as every 20 minutes. This obviously presents quite a challenge and is best left to the parent birds or a rescue center.
In the case of finding a baby bird that lacks feathers, if you can locate and reach its nest, put it back. If not, create a make shift nest out of grasses in a small box of sorts that you can place in a safe tree in the vicinity of where you found the bird. Don’t give into the myth that the adult birds will abandon a baby bird handled by humans. This is not true. In most cases, the adults are simply waiting for you to go away so they can take over where they left off.
The other type of young bird has fuzzy feathers. There is a good possibility it did not fall from its nest, but is still working on developing its flying skills. Again, the best bet is to simply leave the bird where it is. Chances are the adults are chasing after it with food and stopped when you came into the picture.
In some cases, this fuzzy feathered bird is simply not in a safe location – like on a road, in a place where cats and dogs come through, or simply where there is heavy foot traffic. You might place the bird in a tree or on top of a bush. A fledgling testing out its wings is able to cling to branches with its feet (the naked youngsters will not be able to cling).
In either case, if you see that the adult birds are not returning to the baby, then it is time to look into a wildlife rescue center.
Wendy V Sykora has a BS and MS in Wildlife Management and a BS in Education. My work experience includes 9 years of teaching, 6 years in environmental consulting, 8 years in the investment field. Extensive volunteer work in biology and environmental endeavors. Teaching experience includes 5 schools in three different countries (USA, Spain, and Korea).
Photo. Vinson Tan