Guest Author - Lisa Shea
Itīs bound to happen. Baby birds are very curious, and like to hop around and test out their wings. Some of them will hop a little too much, or try to fly when theyīre not quite ready. If you come across a small bird on the ground, what should you do?
Is it really helpless?
Birds naturally leave their nests when theyīre learning to fly. Itīs part of life. The parents hang around, feeding them whereever they end up, and soon they learn to fly properly. If itīs uninjured, itīs best to leave it where it is. If itīs in a dangerous situation, move it off the road or path, but leave it near its original location.
Even if you don't see the parents nearby, they may be hiding, to trick you into leaving. Don't assume that the chick is alone just because you don't see the parents.
Was it still a nestling?
If it really shouldnīt have left its nest yet, and still needs lots of parental care, try to find its nest and put it back. If you really canīt find its nest, contact a vet or nature museum in your area. The bird will need a special diet to grow properly. Your attempt to raise it may result in it dying a long, slow painful death of malnutrition.
What do I do until I get it to safety?
If you have a baby bird that youīre trying to track down proper care for, make sure it stays warm and hydrated. Tuck it into a towel, making a nest out of it, and give it warm sugar water.
In no case keep the bird yourself. This is against many laws, and properly caring for birds is very difficult. Each type of bird needs a different diet, and birds do best when kept with other birds. After all, the final aim is for them to fly free in their natural habitat!
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