Spring has sprung, and for birds, that means one thing — it’s baby season! The babies of most species of wild birds will hatch in the coming months, and these adorable critters will be on their way to learning the ways of the world. But just like humans, baby birds can face some serious obstacles on their path to adulthood. Injuries, human encroachment and abandonment are all potential consequences for these helpless creatures. It’s tempting, then, when coming across a seemingly abandoned or injured baby bird, to want to help it in any way possible.
So what steps should you take if you find a baby bird? Read on for tips on what to do, and what not to do.
Figure Out How Mature the Bird is.
How far is the bird in its development? You don’t need a Ph.D. in ornithology to figure that out, and the answer has a huge impact on what actions you should take.
Hatchling or Nestling: These birds were born very, very recently, and are entirely dependent on their parents to fulfill their basic needs. They might have a light down of feathers, or no feathers at all. If you see a nestling on the ground, it probably isn’t capable of walking or hopping, and almost certainly isn’t capable of flying.
Fledgling (pictured above): A fledgling, on the other hand, usually has almost all of its feathers. They can walk and hop on their own, and might be able to fly, though they aren’t very good at it yet. The bird pictured above is a fledgling.
See Also: 8 Unbelievable Bridges (Slideshow)