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While out walking or doing your chores, you find a small, not fully feathered bird on the ground.  It is unable to stand and seems weak.  Odds are you’ve found a baby bird who has fallen from its nest. Start looking nearby for the nest—check trees, shrubs, porch rafters, bushes, etc. It is always best if you can return the bird to his nest but sometimes the bird was carried there by a predator and that’s not possible.


If you do find the nest and discover it has fallen from its original location, put it back together as best you can. Place the whole nest into a margarine container with holes cut into the bottom or a pint sized berry basket.  You can also substitute a plastic pop or water bottle with holes cut in the bottom for drainage and a hole cut in the side to allow the parent birds to go in and out. Try to use a plastic bottle that has a bottom roughly the same size as the nest would be. Hang this substitute nest as close to the original nest location as possible and put the baby birds in it. If at all possible, avoid placing it in direct sunlight and find a sheltered spot.


Watch the nest closely for a few hours either from inside a car or a house. If you don’t see the adult birds come back to feed the babies call an authorized wildlife custodian.


Fledgling birds, for all intents and purposes, resemble the adults.  They just aren't yet flighted.  It is normal for them to spend up to a week on the ground learning to fly.  These birds should not be 'rescued' because they have parent birds feeding them.  This is a natural process and should not be disrupted.  If the bird is a fledgling, you’ll be able to see adult birds flying to them and feeding them.  This process takes but a split second so if you check only every hour or so, you’ll miss it.  They continue this until the youngster learns to fly. It is not uncommon for other adult birds of the same species to feed fledglings once they are on the ground, particularly social birds.


If your concern is all the neighbourhood cats out roaming around, then you need to address the problem of cats being outdoors.  Removing the bird is not the answer and must never be considered a solution.  Remove the threat of the cats instead.  See our links pages for information on promoting 'Cats Indoors' in your area.  Cats are domestic animals and do not belong outdoors.  They kill millions of birds and other species of wildlife every year. 


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Last modified: 09/23/16 08:17 PM