All babies have a better chance of survival if the parents give the care.
It’s common to encounter baby birds in all stages of development in the spring and summer.
Our first rule is to leave them alone until it is determined that it needs assistance. Heres how to tell-
Is the bird fully feathered?
If YES, any fully feathered baby bird found on the ground, is most likely a fledgling bird (learning to fly). If it appears to be uninjured, leave the area, and do your best to keep pets and children away from the bird. The parent(s) will not feed the youngster while people are around but will return to give care when safe. You will not see the parents if you are close by.
If NO, attempt to find the nest. An uninjured bird found on the ground with few or no feathers needs to be returned to the nest. Look around in trees and bushes to see if you can locate the nest. Before replacing the bird make sure it is warm. A mother will not take back a cold baby. Cold = death.
Warming the animal is very important - click here for How to Warm.
Depending on the species, baby birds can spend days to weeks in the nest, where they are cared for by their parents. When it’s time for babies to leave the nest, they are almost fully feathered and they do spend a lot of time on the ground. This is perfectly normal, it is how they learn to fly. The parents feed them on the ground.
If you encounter a baby bird alone on the ground, stay back and let it alone unless you observe any of these conditions- is it bleeding, unable to stand, missing feathers, unresponsive or it is in immediate danger of being killed by a predator. If any of these conditions apply then the bird will need help. Then and only then contact a wildlife rehabilitator.
If none of these conditions apply then all things are as the should be. Please give baby birds the best possible chance for survival and leave them in the wild where they belong!
NOTE : Each animal’s nutritional, housing, and handling requirements are very specific and must be met if the animal has any chance of survival. Cow’s milk and human milk replacers will make wild animals sick. Raising a wild bird in captivity is a federal offense unless you have a federal permit.