So You've Found a Wild Baby Bird...

Don't Touch It!

Unless a baby bird is in immediate danger (like from a cat) there is no reason to pick it up. A normal part of baby wild bird's life is fledging from the nest. Many of these fledglings are not even fully feathered. During the next few weeks the parents continue to feed them as they hop around the on ground learning to fly and eat on their own. This is all normal and just because you don't actually see the parents feeding does not mean the chick is abandoned. Hummingbird chicks are frequently thought to be abandoned because the parents have to spend so much time foraging that people just never see the them return to the nest.

If a chick is in immediate danger catch it and bring it out of harm's way until the danger passes. Handle it as little as possible. If a cat or other creature was attacking the chick give it 30 minutes to an hour to clear off before putting the chick back. The parents should still be around and will not shun the baby because of your scent.

A billion wild birds are killed every year by cats. Most of these are fledgling chicks who cannot fly and are still learning to avoid predators. If you own a cat keep it indoors as much as possible during spring and when you let it out make sure it has a bell on its collar so that birds can hear it coming.

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