Have you ever found a baby bird on the ground and your heart breaks because you don't know what to do with it other than to try to put it back in the nest or put it in a shoe box and try to save it yourself?
Sometimes it works, but, sadly, sometimes the baby birds don't make it. Then you wonder, did the parents kick it out of the nest because it was sick? If you put it back in the nest and it ended up on the ground again, is it because you touched it? You just never know.
Well, our friends at the Pasadena Humane Society say that between May and September, they get a lot of people bringing by baby birds that they've found on the ground, and like you, just aren't sure what to do.
Julie Bank, President and CEO of the Pasadena Humane Society, recently penned a column for the Pasadena Star News recounting the story of a woman who brought in a baby hummingbird after some landscapers cut her trees not seeing the nest.
The staff at the shelter took the bird in and cared for it until they could get it into the hands of a wildlife rehabilitator, someone who is licensed by the state to care for, rehabilitate and release wild animals.
Because this time of year, you might encounter this situation, Julie offered up some tips on what to do if you find a baby bird on the ground. The handy illustration above is one that they created to help you decide what to do.
Here's a few tips:
- Give the parents an opportunity to care for their young. Observe from a distance before removing the baby bird.
- Check nearby for a nest and return the baby if possible. Yes, a momma bird will care for their baby even after a human touches an animal. However, it’s always best to wear gloves.
- Make a substitute nest if needed. Poke a few holes in the bottom of a plastic tub, line it with grass or pine needles and hang from a tree or bush making sure it’s safe from people or other animals.
- Ensure cats are kept indoors and children are kept at a distance to give a fledgling bird the time it needs to learn to fly. It can be a great family experience to watch and take pictures from a distance.
If you know that a bird has been intentionally abandoned or is injured, contact the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA at 626-792-7151.