I thought this was a prime time to go over these issues since so many baby birds are leaving their nests right now. “At some point or another, nearly everyone who spends time outdoors or who feeds backyard birds finds a baby bird, unable to fly very well and apparently lost or abandoned by its parents. Our first impulse is to adopt this apparently helpless creature and try to raise it ourselves. But in most cases, the young bird doesn’t need our help at all, and, in fact, we may be doing more harm than good.” This is from the experts at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology who have more information about how to tell if a baby bird is a fledgling like in this poster or a nestling and what to do if it is a nestling on their AllAboutBirds.org webpage.
Here are a few things you can do to help baby birds:
- Check your lawn before raking, mowing or rototilling as small fledglings can be hard to see
- If you have fledglings (and especially if you have a nestling you cannot return to it’s nest) in your yard keep your cats and dogs inside–even a playful pup can seriously injure or kill a helpless fledgling (or nestling).
- Last month Jill also posted some useful tips on safely observing nesting birds as well as about finding baby birds.
The folks at the CLAWS, Inc organization, a group that does wildlife rehabilitation in North Carolina, that kindly gave permission to use their poster above also cautions that baby deer are ‘parked’ out in the open by their mothers “to keep them safe from predators” and also not in need of rescue. You can find more information on this CLAWS facebook page about how to tell if a fawn needs help.