Finding a baby bird out of its nest is not an uncommon occurrence among bird watchers, particularly during nesting season. The usual assumption is that the baby bird has accidentally fallen from its nest and has been abandoned by its parents, but most of the time this is not the case. A question many people working in the pet industry get asked is, “I found this baby bird, and I want to feed it and raise it, what do I need to do?”

It is not in the best interest of the baby bird to attempt to nurse and raise it. Baby birds need to be fed four to five times per hour, every hour, for at least 10 hours each day. That task is not one most people will be able to handle. The best thing to do with baby birds is to leave them alone, or move them out of harms way into the nearby vegetation. It is often recommended that baby birds should not be handled bare handed by humans or the parent may not accept the bird. Only properly trained wildlife rehabilitation specialists should ever attempt to nurse and raise wild baby animals such as birds and bunnies.

If a baby bird is found out of its nest and appears to be unharmed, it may have left the nest on its own and isn’t flying well, yet. A good general rule of thumb is, if the bird can perch on a finger or small branch then the best thing to do is to place it in some cover nearby, such as a bush, where it will be safer from predators. If the bird is not strong enough to perch on its own, then place it back in its nest and the parents will care for it when you are gone.

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