Look, a Baby Bird. Now What?

Marion Stacey shared with us a lifetime of hummingbird stories and insights during her May program at the Nature Center.  What should you do if you find a baby bird you think needs help?

First, make sure you’re right.

  • If the bird is uninjured and has some feathers, put it in the nearest tree.
  •   If it can’t perch and has fallen out of the nest, put it up in the tree in a berry basket or shoebox lined in shredded tissue.  The parents will find it and feed it after people leave.
  • If the bird runs around and is chick-like (covered with short, fuzzy down) it may be a duckling, baby quail, or another species that is able to leave its nest soon after hatching.  The parents are probably nearby, waiting for a chance to reclaim their chick.  Place the chick out of harm’s way and leave the area.
  • If it is obvious that a bird needs help, intervention may be needed.  This might be the case if the parents have been killed, the bird is newly hatched and the nest is out of reach, the bird has an injury, or a cat or child has brought it in from places unknown. In these cases, only those properly trained can provide the care needed by the bird.  Place the bird in a towel-lined box and call for help.
  • Raising an orphaned songbird is a demanding task requiring specialized training.  It takes from 4-8 weeks and a lot of daytime commitment.  Don’t attempt to do this without proper guidance.  Contact Marion or another rescuer as soon as possible.
    Hummingbird Rescue Center:  619-420-5156 Project Wildlife:  619-225-9453

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