We are getting to the time of year when I get a ton of questions about what to do with a young bird that has left the nest. Is the fledgling bird okay? Has its parent abandoned it? Can I take care of it myself and release it later?
These are just some of the many questions that I get about nesting birds, and they are all very good questions to ask. Everyone is very interested in helping the the fledglings and making sure they reach adulthood, which is a wonderful thing!
Here are some of my favorite tips for keeping fledgling birds safe:
1. Although it might appear that there isn’t an adult bird in the area, it’s unlikely that the fledgling has been abandoned. Feel free to carefully and gently check the fledgling to make sure there are no injuries (and if there are, see my second tip). If you feel the bird might be in danger, pick it up and move it to a safer location.
2. If you observe an injured bird, the best thing to do for the bird is to call a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. If you have trouble finding a rehabber in your area, contact a local vet, nature center, or bird feeding/bird supply store, and they will point you in the right direction.
3. If you do determine that the fledgling has been abandoned, do not attempt to raise the bird yourself. It’s extremely difficult and also illegal. Contact a rehabber as soon as possible.
4. It does not hurt a baby bird if you pick it up and put it back in its nest. It’s a common myth that touching a baby bird will cause the parents to abandon it but it just that – a myth.
You can get more information about what to do with young birds that are out of the nest by reading this post from another Birds & Blooms blogger, Jill!