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What if I find a baby bird?

Be Aware of the Following:

Under the Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and state law, it is illegal for anyone to injure or possess an indigenous bird without a permit. Introduced species such as English sparrows, European starlings, and common rock pigeons are excluded.

An injured bird requires immediate specialized care. Any delay reduces their chance of recovery.

Most veterinarians do not have time, special facilities, or experience to handle injured wildlife.

Birds learn to fly before they learn to find food. They rely on their parents for about two weeks (or longer) after leaving the nest.

Cats and dogs destroy many young animals that are just beginning to try out life on their own.

You can find a permitted rehabilitator on our contact pages.

If the young bird is not injured:

Be sure the area is free of other animals that can cause harm and keep pets indoors. Leave the youngster alone.

If a baby bird in on the ground, carefully return it to the nest or into a nearby bush.

If a bird's original nest is destroyed, place the baby in a berry basket or plastic cup (with drainage) and put it near the nest site.

It's a good idea to watch for the parents from a discreet distance. If one does not go to the baby in an hour, contact a rehabilitator as soon as possible.

If the bird is injured:

Place the bird on a towel, cloth, or shredded paper in a cardboard box that's just the right size for it and close it. Put the box in a dark quiet place until a rehabilitator can be contacted.


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