Have you ever found a baby bird?

Have you ever found a baby bird and wondered what to do with it? Birds fall out of nests sometimes; what should you do? If you can see the nest above, it’s OK to pick it up and put it back in the nest. The parents won’t abandon the baby because you touched it.

But first, you need to make sure they are nestlings and not fledglings. How can you tell the difference? Nestlings cannot balance on their own. Fledglings can. Put the bird on your finger and put it to the test. If it can balance, it is supposed to be out of the nest. If it seems OK, not injured, just unable to fly, you should leave it where you found it. The parents will take care of things. Fledglings are meant to start learning to find food and learn the ways of their new world, outside of the nest.

If the bird is injured or after a few hours appears to have been abandoned, contact a wildlife rehabilitator. An online search for “baby bird rescue” might yield a solution, or call your local Audubon or your state Department of Environmental Protection for the contact info for a certified rehabilitator. In the meantime, confine pets and give the kids a lesson on the right way to handle this. Besides being difficult, raising a wild bird in captivity is illegal unless you have the proper state and federal licenses. There are passionately devoted people who know how to do it. To read about a passionate bird rehabilitator, Click here.

Just feed birds, Betsy Puckett