What To Do If You Find A Baby Bird - Expert Shares Critical Move Everyone Should Make
LifeAspire Staff 5/5/2017
Spring is here and this means blooming gardens, longer days, and warm sunshine to rejuvenate our spirits and shake off the winter blues. As all of us spend more time outside appreciating this change in pace, here is some expert advice on how to enjoy mother nature at its best.
Specifically, we speak about the birds for whom this is prime time to mate and lay eggs. Depending on where you live, it might not be unusual to see new nests and an increased number of birds chirping and tweeting throughout the day.
While all of this is a refreshing reminder of new life and vitality, there might be an occasion when you find yourself in the unexpected company of a baby bird that has fallen from its nest.
Many will remember the common advice from our childhood days to leave a baby bird alone because touching it means leaving our scent on it, causing the parent birds to abandon their young. For most part this is a myth since birds don't have a strong sense of smell. So what's the right thing to do?
Experts say that if you are to find a fallen baby bird, your next course of action depends on the age of the bird. There are basically three stages in a baby bird's life that dictate our intervention and whether or not our help will do them any good.
The three stages include:
This is when the bird looks mostly pink and like a tiny rubber chicken without any feathers. Its eyes are not yet open and it does not have any wings. The bird at this point is between 0 to 3 days old and definitely not ready to leave its nest.
Expert advice is to look for a nest nearby from which they have most likely fallen, and then gently place them back in to be taken care of by their parents.
In nestling stage, the baby bird has opened its eyes and might have some signs of down or feathers on its body. However, the wings still have to break through from the protective sheath and therefore the bird is not yet ready to leave its nest.
The age of the bird at this point is between 3 and 13 days and the best advice is to put them back in their nest to be looked after by their mom.
When the baby is a fledgling, it has all its feathers and wings even though they might be on the shorter side. The baby resembles a normal grown bird and is able to hop or walk around even if it can't fly.
The baby is about 13-14 days or older and unlike the previous two stages, is ready to get some exercise on the ground and eventually learn to fly. Parents of a fledgling still keep an eye on the grown baby and provide it with food. The best thing to do then is to leave the baby bird alone!
If you are unable to locate the nest of a bird that's in the hatchling or nestling phase, it's advised you make one out of a box or a plastic container with a few holes poked out of the bottom. Line it with a soft filling like a paper-towel or kitchen-towel, before placing the baby bird in it. Then put the make-shift nest on the highest part of the tree that you can reach.
Once you have followed their advice as listed above, experts also suggest spending about 30-minutes observing the babies and making sure other critters including pets and young children don't interfere.
In the case of a baby bird (no matter what stage of life) being injured, then placing it in a nest is definitely encouraged. You can also call your local wildlife rehabilitation center for further advice on how to help the injured bird.
As you find ways to help though, please remember that it is illegal to keep wildlife, and this includes birds. So, hopefully we helped you learn something new today when it comes to helping mother nature be at its best!
Sources: David Wolfe, The Animal Rescue Site, FB Image Credit: Flickr/Audrey, Flickr/Al PavangKanan