Help Baby Birds

What Should I Do...?

... if I find birds in an abandoned nest?

If you believe one of the parents of a nest of babies has died, be sure to watch carefully before removing any nests. In most altricial bird species, both the male and female care for their young. If one parent dies the other parent will often continue to care for the babies.

It is also best to watch carefully before taking action if you suspect both parents have abandoned a nest, since parents visit the nest less frequently as their babies grow. Before removing a nest, watch the nest constantly from a distance (parents may not tend to the babies if you are too close by) for at least an hour (1/2 hour for birds smaller than a walnut). If no parents return to feed the babies in this time, contact a wildlife rehabilitator for further advice before removing the babies.

One exception to this would be if you are certain no parents are returning and you will not be able to reach a wildlife rehabilitator for several hours (e.g., if the wildlife centre has closed for the evening). In this case you should remove the nest with the babies inside, place the entire nest in a cardboard box, put a lid with air holes on the box, slide a heating pad set on low underneath half of the box to keep the babies warm for the night, and place the box in a quiet place away from people and pets. Leave a message with a wildlife rehabilitator so they can call you first thing in the morning.

... if I find a baby bird fallen from the nest?

... if an entire nest of birds has fallen?

... if my dog or cat brings home a baby bird?

... if I find a baby bird on the ground that can't fly?