Rescue - What to
do when Kids bring home a Baby Bird
Helping Children Rescue Helpless Birds
children ever brought you a baby bird that
they found helpless on the ground?
Bringing it into your home and
feeding it seems like the right thing to do, but it may
actually cause more harm than good.
Find out how to handle the situation and take this
opportunity to educate your children about nature. You
will not only teach them about the natural world, but
more importantly you'll instill in them a respect for
"What Should We Do If We Find a
Many wild baby birds are able to
leave the nest before they can fly or find their own
food. It is a normal part of their life and are best
If you or your children find a
young bird on the ground, rest assured the parents are
likely near by. They are watching over it and bringing
The main danger for a baby bird
that has fallen out of the tree is from cats and
squirrels. If you want to help you might find a bush or
tree nearby and help the bird find a comfortable footing
on the branches, out of the reach of children. If you
cannot locate the original nest any bush will do. The
parents will locate the baby by its cries.
the common belief that a parent bird will not return to
a baby after human contact, birds in general have a poor
sense of smell. Your presence will deter the parents,
but your smell should not.
Handle the baby carefully but
firmly so it does not fall out of your hands when
struggling. If the bird is very young and without many
feathers you should try to put it back in the nest. If
the nest is destroyed you can create one by lining a
plastic basket with the remnants of the original nest or
with dry grass and leaves. Make sure the nest has holes
in the bottom to prevent it from filling up with water.
Secure the nest with wire if you do not find a suitable
"What If It's Injured?"
If the baby bird is injured and
in danger you can collect it carefully and keep it warm
with a towel. Do not feed it as baby birds can easily
get liquid in their lungs without using a proper feeding
In the US it is
actually illegal for you to care for a wild
bird, and without proper training you
wouldn't be able to anyway. Contact a
wildlife rehabilitator who will take over
care of the bird. Keep it warm and in a
quiet area until they arrive
Explain to your children what to do in the
future when they find a baby bird. Let them
be 'guardians' and watch to see the parents
care for the baby while they look out for
lurking cats or squirrels to chase away.
They will appreciate knowing that even baby
birds have parents that take care of them.
considerations for your bird friendly yard
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