I Found a
Baby Bird

I Found a Baby Bird – In Florida, Baby Birds are abundant, especially in the Spring through the Summer when Songbirds are breeding, nesting and caring for their young. There are stages of development baby birds go through and it’s important to know which stage they are at to determine if they may require your help.

1. Hatchling   2. Nestling   3. Fledgling (see below at the bottom of this page)

I Found a Baby Bird!
Does this Baby Bird Need your Help?

Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a home-care specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us at (941) 637-3830 to learn about free classes.

I Found a Baby BirdDisplaced: If you find a displaced baby bird, chances are it may be a fledgling that has left the nest and the parents are nearby actively hunting for food for and training their young and these babies will not require your human interference. If they are not injured, have feathers and are hopping around, they can be left alone. If it is a hatchling or nestling, it will need your help to place back in the nest. If you cannot find or reach the nest, but the parents are nearby, place the baby in a makeshift nest (constructed with a small basket or plastic tub, with holes drilled into the bottom, and a few twigs and blades of grass or moss) and attach it to the tree as high and as close to the original nest location as possible.

Yes, you can gently handle a baby bird and the mother will still care for it. After carefully placing the baby back in the nest, leave the area and monitor or check back in a few hours and most likely the mother has returned and it is probably safe to just leave them alone. If you do not see any activity, or the babies are back out of the nest, have immediate predatory danger or expecting inclement weather, the babies will need your temporary assistance for their best chance for survival. Follow the “Orphaned” information below if this is the case. Baby birds are very fragile and stress very easily.

Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer certain diseases and parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the bird yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a home-care specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us at (941) 637-3830 to learn about free classes.

I Found a Baby BirdOrphaned: If you find one orphaned baby bird look carefully as there may be more nearby. A baby bird is considered orphaned only if both parents are confirmed to be deceased. If you are not positive the baby bird is actually an orphan, please follow the “Displaced” information above.

Depending on the species and age, the baby bird will need supplemental formula to survive. It is best NOT to feed the baby bird any foods or formulas without knowing the specific proper diet that is required according to the birds species, age and health. However, it is very crucial to keep the baby bird warm and covered in a quiet stress free container. Make sure the container has holes and is lined with a pillow case and something warm until a wildlife rescuer arrives and the baby can be transported to your local wildlife rehabilitation center. If you need to have the baby bird for more than two hours, place the container partially on a heating pad set on low temperature.

Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry and transfer certain diseases as well as parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the baby bird yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet as there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a home-care specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

I Found a Baby Bird CardinalInjured: In many cases, it will be obvious that a baby bird is most likely injured. If this is the case, the baby bird will need immediate medical attention and be brought to your local Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. An injured baby bird will most likely be in pain, highly stressed and the animal may bite or be difficult for you to handle. It is very important to reduce the trauma and stress the baby bird is already feeling. Gently place a wash cloth, sheet or pillow case from head to toe over the distressed bird, wrap the sheet around the animal while being careful not to get bit, pick up and place into a secured container or box with air holes. Do not make any attempt to examine, medicate or feed the baby bird.

Keep in mind scared or injured animals may bite and can also carry certain diseases and transfer parasites such as mites. Wear gloves and use extreme care when handling any animal. Please call 941-637-3830 if you need wildlife rescue assistance or for us to guide you in the steps to rescue and transport the baby bird yourself. Please DO NOT keep the babies to care for yourself or to make as a pet, there is a lot involved in successfully rehabilitating wildlife. If you are interested in becoming a home-care specialist to foster baby mammals or becoming a Wildlife Rescuer and Transporter, please call us for the next available free classes.

Songbird Developmental Stages (Raptors, Shorebirds and other species have different stages and life cycles)

I Found a Baby Bird Mourning Dove Just Hatching
Mourning Dove Just Hatching

Hatchling: A hatchling is a bird that just hatched from the egg within the last 5 -7 days. Eyes are not open. Completely bald or small patches of fuzzy down. These babies are completely defenseless and depend on both the parents for everything–staying warm, protected and fed at all times.

 

 

 

I Found a Baby Bird Common Grackle Nestlings
Common Grackle Nestlings

Nesting: A nestling is a bird that is partially feathered with flight feathers growing in, usually 8 -14 days old. Eyes may have opened. Still completely dependent on parents for everything. Starting to be able to regulate own body temperature but relies on parent’s warmth.

 

 

 

I Found a Baby Bird Loggerhead Shrike Fledgling
Loggerhead Shrike Fledgling

Fledgling: A fledging is fully feathered but lacks full tail feathers and is preparing to, or has already left the nest but still requires the parents care, usually 3 – 4 weeks old. Not fully dependent on the parents. It is not fully flighted but is building wing muscle and strength for flight. Able to fly short distances while learning to stay safe from predators and attempting to hunt on it’s own. The parents will still follow the fledgling and feed it throughout the day.