Here we are rounding the corner, running in to summer. We are surrounded by new life; from plants, bugs, birds, rabbits and so on. At some point in our lives we are bound to run into a baby bird that has fallen from the nest. Some are found on the ground just because they are trying their wings and not quite mastered it, or some have just fallen out due to wind, another animal messing with the nest, or the baby got too close to the edge and over he/she went.
Two kinds of baby birds you will come across
One stage of a bird’s life is called the nestling. Nestlings haven’t gotten their flight feathers yet. They are either, mostly pink and no fuzz or to fuzzy little creatures with a hint of feathers coming in, but still very fragile and helpless and not ready to leave the nest.
Then there are the fledglings. Fledglings have their feathers and are close to leaving the next and are at the stage of trying out their new found flight wings. This is their trial and error phase.
First let’s talk true or false statement; A mother bird will abandon her baby if a human has touched him/her.
The answer to the question “can birds smell and how well” is still under debate. In their little noses is an olfactory bulb that helps them smell and it is in debate on how complex and developed it is. That being said, there are a few birds who have more developed olfactory bulbs like your vulture; the vulture will eat most anything dead and discarded, so with all the things this large bird comes in contact with, a little human scent isn’t going to phase it much.
What most of us were told when we were younger is don’t mess with a baby bird because the mother will leave it and not come back. FICTION/FALSE; so if you are thinking back to a time you were told that and then worried you had ruined a birds life NO WORRIES, you fine feather friend was just fine. The mother bird will not just up and leave her baby at the thought of danger; they stay close. They may not come around with you still hanging around, but rest assured they are close and watching you. Some will fuss and holler letting you know they are their and to back off.
Parent’s reaction to a nestling and a fledgling out of the nest
The two stages are treated almost the same, but with a few different differences. Doing research on the two will help you understand their needs a lot better. If at all possible before you think the parents have left and abandoned the baby or are dead, walk away a good distance; far enough away so that if the parents are around they will come fly over the baby, fuss and let it be known they are there, they may be in distress especially if the baby is too young to fly and be out of the nest. If they are old enough to be out of the nest and just trying their wings the parents will act differently. They will not fuss as much; they will fly down to feed baby with nice worms and such and will be close by. There is not as much panic in their tweets. Some birds will come to the ground away from baby and flop around trying to distract you away from their baby, making you think they are hurt and really what they are doing is just trying to get your attention off their baby. They may or may not smell well, but they are very cleaver in protecting their young.
Conclusion and further Readings
If you find the mother and father are around and letting you know they are there, there are a few things you can do to please them, and protect the baby at the same time. First just leave them if the bird seems developed and has feathers. Walk away a distance and wait and observe to see if parents are around. Take care not to handle the baby no more than you need to, they can be very fragile and easily hurt or bruised. You can find many articles on this topic and you can also read my other article:
Keeping a Nestling or Fledgling Baby Bird Safe when out of the nest.
Some of the information in this article was taken from the following link: