Baby Bird with Feathers
A baby bird found on the ground with feathers is likely a fledgling, a normal process in development. Fledglings are unable to fly but spend up to several weeks learning to forage and fly, and their parents continue to feed them during this time. Although their parents will be reluctant to feed them in front of you, if you can observe from a distance, you should eventually be able to determine whether or not the parents are around. An easy way to determine this without extensive observation is to check for poop around the little bird. If they are pooping, someone is likely feeding them! If you become concerned that the fledgling is orphaned, give us a call. We will probably recommend that you take the baby inside and place in a box with soft, clean cloths and keep warm, either with a heating pad or a warm water bottle. Please do not attempt to feed the baby unless you are advised by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to do so.
Baby Bird without Feathers
A baby bird without feathers belongs in its nest. Normally the nest will be very near to where the baby was found, unless it was brought inside by a house pet, in which case follow directions for injured baby birds. If you can locate the nest, and can reach safely, make sure the baby is warm (you can even warm them up by holding in warm hands), and then place them gently back in the nest. If you are unable to locate the nest or safely reach it, bring the baby inside and keep warm (with a heat pad or warm water bottle) in a small box with soft, clean cloths. You can then call us and we will rehabilitate the baby! They’ll be released when they are old enough to fly and eat on their own. This can take several weeks, and is only legal by permit, so be sure you call instead of keeping the baby at home.
During your phone call to the Sanctuary, we will probably recommend that you take the baby inside and place in a box with soft, clean cloths and keep warm, either with a heating pad or a warm water bottle. A baby bird’s’ body temperature is over 100 degrees, so warm to you is not necessarily warm to them. If the baby is not warm to the touch, then it is too cold and needs to be warmed up.Please do not attempt to feed the baby unless you are advised by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to do so.
When a bird flies into a window, we recommend bringing s/he in regardless of how they seem. New research has shown that 85% of birds that hit a window suffer from severe head trauma—even if they can still fly. So those birds need to be held in observation for 10-20 days. If a large bird of prey has hit your window, take caution placing them in a crate or box, even if they appear stunned. We recommend wearing thick leather gloves when handling birds of prey. A great way to ensure safety is to throw a large towel over the bird and then scoop it up, gently putting the bird with the towel into the crate or box. Keep the bird covered in a quiet place until it can be transferred to RWS.