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How To Deal With a Wild Baby Bird

Found a bird that's fallen out of its nest before it's ready to fly? Luckily, you can help.


  • : If you suspect that the bird is injured, or you have no luck returning it to its parents, locate a bird rehabilitator by contacting the local Audubon Society or wildlife preserve.
  • Step 1: Check to see if the baby bird has feathers. If it does, it is a fledgling and is normally found hopping on the ground. Fledglings are close to being able to taking care of themselves. If it has no feathers, the baby bird needs to be returned to its nest.
  • Step 2: Look for the baby bird's nest if the bird is not bleeding or injured. If the nest is reachable, the bird's best chance for survival is to be returned there.
  • Step 3: Put on gloves, and use a ladder to reach the nest. Carefully place the bird back inside. Observe from a distance to see if the parents visit the nest. If they appear in a few hours, the parents will take it from there.
  • TIP: Always wear gloves when handling any wild animal to protect yourself and the animal.
  • Step 4: Make a new substitute nest for the baby if you are unable to find or reach the nest. Punch a few small holes with scissors or a knife into the bottom of the container for drainage.
  • Step 5: Line the container with paper towels or a soft cloth and dry grass or leaves, and carefully place the baby inside.
  • Step 6: Use the wire to hang the pot from the tree where the baby bird was found or one nearby with a convenient sturdy branch. Try to put it as high as possible to reduce danger from predators.
  • Step 7: Make sure not to hang around the substitute nest to avoid scaring the adult birds away. The mother bird will continue to feed the baby in its new "nest."
  • TIP: Contrary to popular myth, birds will not abandon babies that have been handled by human hands.
  • Step 8: Contact a local wildlife rehabilitator if the parents do not return after a day. Don't keep the baby bird or any other wild birds in your home. Not only is it illegal to keep it as a pet, but it has a greater risk of death.
  • FACT: Bird eggs make look fragile, but they are actually very sturdy. It takes 26 pounds of pressure to break a swan's egg and 120 pounds to smash the egg of an ostrich.

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