I wish I had of thought of doing this article earlier in the season but the information will still be useful. It's that time of year, everything is in bloom and there are lots of new animals being born. Earlier this week I was letting my cat out on the atrium connected to our house when I luckily saw a baby bird sitting on the ground. I grabbed the cat and have been watching this little Blue Jay all week long which made me think of writing this article on what to do if you find baby birds out of their nests. First of all there are two kinds of baby birds you should be aware of incase you stumble upon one yourself; Fledglings and Nestlings. A Nestling is going to be very young and not have many feathers, it most likely fell out of the nest accidentally and will likely not survive if not helped. With most birds it is okay to put the baby back in the nest; the parents will not abandon them because of your scent, that's just an 'old wives tale'. However, there are some animals that will abandon their young and I will touch on that a little later in this article. A Fledgling is most likely out of the nest and on the ground because it is time, they do not go straight from the nest flying. He will have more feathers and may have a tail and wings that are slightly smaller in proportion to his body. The Fledgling most likely does not need help, other than maybe warding off any potential predators. His parents are most likely very nearby, keeping an eye on him and feeding him as well. It is best to interfere with these babies as little as possible, getting near them gives them a great deal of unnecessary stress and can also make them more used to humans instead of fear us as they should. If you want to be sure the baby is not abandoned you should observe him consistently for at least two to three days and be sure his parents are not tending to him in any way. If you have not seen the parents at all during this time you can collect the baby bird in a box and cover the top with a cloth. I would not suggest attempting to raise him yourself, often this is very difficult and ends with the bird suffering and dying anyway. In the Dallas area my place of choice for situations such as these is a veterinarian office on Northwest highway by the name of White Rock Animal Hospital, www.whiterockanimalhospital.com. They work directly with a place called Rogers Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Sanctuary, www.rogerswildlife.org. You may drop the bird off at the veterinarian's office and Rogers does pick-ups or you can take the bird directly to Rogers in Hutchins, Texas. Either way the bird will be rehabilitated with the goal of re-releasing into the wild where they belong but if they aren't capable of going back to the wild they will be kept on the sanctuary to live out their lives happily and safely. Here is a very useful guide on helping baby animals, how you can and should help greatly depends on the type of animal and this reference breaks it down for you as well as other useful tips on the subject.
Keep looking out for our local pet's and wildlife and thanks for reading!