What To Do if You Find a Baby Bird
"I found a baby bird. What should I do?"
You won't like the answer. The correct response is "Nothing."
Some baby birds like Killdeer and Mallards are ready to leave the nest within minutes of hatching. Their parents are nearby and will help to protect them. They are already capable of feeding themselves.
Other birds, like American Robins, are altricial and need to stay in the nest for a few weeks as they grow. However, they will often leave the nest and walk along a tree limb before they are fully able to fly. Sometimes they fall to the ground. Leave them alone. The parents will find them and feed them.
If you happen to find a very young bird and the nest is easy to reach, it is OK to return the bird to the nest. Touching the baby bird will not make the mother abandon it because of a human scent. Most birds in your yard have a lousy sense of smell. What you should be aware of is the trail you are leaving for other predators. Your scent may very well lead snakes, raccoons, opossums and other hungry animals directly to the bird's nest.
If you are worried about a cat hurting the baby bird, do something about the cat -- not the bird!
An important law is the law of nature. Not every bird that hatches will survive. Other living things consume dead baby birds to survive. You may as well accept it. The life expectancy of a small songbird born in your yard is 10 months!
Other Questions and Answers:
- I found an injured bird. What should I do?
- Birds crash into my plate glass window. How do I prevent this?
- Woodpeckers are banging on my house. How do I make them stop!
- Squirrels are eating all my birdseed. How do I make them stop?
- When should I take down my hummingbird feeder? How much sugar should I add to the water? Should I add red dye to the water?
- How long do birds live?
- Where Do Birds Go During Hurricanes?
- Are Birds Dinosaurs?