Like many other types of wildlife, when someone finds a baby bird away from its nest, it may just be learning to live on its own which is part of the natural process. If the bird shows obvious signs of injury, such as asymmetric wings, limping, inability to stand, ruffled or wet feathers or if was picked up by a pet or other animal, it may indeed need help. Please follow the instructions at the bottom of the page.
The next step to determine whether it could use your help is to determine if it is a nestling or a fledgling.
A nestling will have very few if any feathers. It will not be able to hop and will not have the ability to grasp a stick or your finger. Its wind feathers way also look like tubes, because they haven’t broken thru their sheath. All attempts should be made to put it back in it’s nest. It is best to renest these birds in the daytime, it is ok to keep it overnight in a warm, dry, ventilated box overnight. If there is no nest or the nest has fallen, you can construct a new one out of a wicker basket filled partially with bedding. It is important to mount it securely as close to the original nest as possible. If you stay at a safe distance, the parents should return to feed it within 2 hours. You have to keep your eyes open because the feedings happen fast. If the parents do not return, call us!
A fledgling will be almost fully feathered, active and alert and will be able to hop or grasp your finger. The best course of action is to ensure all pets are kept away and let it be. It is okay to move it to a nearby shrub for protection. Its mother will not reject it because you handled it.
If the bird has obvious injuries, or is the parents do not return to feed the nestling, it may need rescued. Put it an a warm, dry, ventilated box lined with a pillowcase or towel. You can drop it off at the center, or call us to come get it.