Let’s Ask Sandy: Episode 12 – Are the Baby Birds okay?

Springtime means you may encounter baby and fledgling birds in your yard or pasture. What should you do about them, if anything? Don’t worry, Birds & Beasleys owner Sandy Shull is here with a bonus -Let’s Ask Sandy!-to answer your question.

Hi! I’m Sandy with Birds & Beasleys! Today, I get to be outside, which is exciting because I want to talk about what happens outside.

The question we’re getting right now is “What do I do when I find a baby bird?” It’s a hard question. So the first thing you need to do is stop and don’t do anything. Sit back, look at the situation, and try to decide what’s going on. Is it a baby bird that has feathers? Is it a baby bird that doesn’t have any feathers? Is it injured? Are parents near? So look again, and say to yourself, “Oh, it’s a bird, he’s hopping around, he looks healthy, he’s got most of his feathers on, and I think I hear an adult is feeding him.” Leave the bird alone. Now, 99% of the time, the birds are fine. It’s hard to watch, but you need to go ahead and leave them alone. The parents are feeding them, the birds has flegged.

If you find a bird that doesn’t have many feathers or has few feathers on it, look around to see if there’s a nest near. You might be able to see a nest where the bird has fallen out. If you can see that nest, you can pick the bird up. It does not matter about your hands, on the smell that’s kind of a wives tale, old myth. Put that bird back in the nest if you can find the nest. If you can’t, put it in a safe spot. Pick it up, put it up in a tree, put it in a bush, so it has a sporting chance.

The hardest thing is Mother Nature is cruel sometimes and we have to let the birds do what nature does. If it is a bird, like a raptor or an eagle, Montana WILD has the license to take it and they can help rehab it or take it to the vet to do some kind of repair or get medical attention.

Unfortunately, in Helena, we do not have some kind of rehab person for a non-raptor. So, no one legally can take a bird home with them. So, what I would say is put the bird up in a tree where it is safe, where the parents might be able to find it. Try to step back, it’s hard to watch. About only 10% of birds live their first year. It’s part of nature. It’s not a pretty sight, but it’s part of what we do. Know that you have probably saved a bird by putting it up in a bush where it is safe, away from kitties. When in doubt, give us a call. We’ll give you moral support. We’ll talk you through it.

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