What To Do When You Find A Baby Bird

black faced cuckoo strike tropical animal rehabilitation centre

Wondering what to do when you find a baby bird? Here’s what to do.

There are debates that will stand the test of time like does pineapple really belong on pizza? Or which Hemsworth is dreamier; Chris or Liam? But one thing everyone can agree on is that the baby versions of animals are easily the most adorable things out there, especially baby birds!

At this time of year birds are literally falling from the sky. No, don’t panic! This isn’t the onset of some apocalyptic plague or government alien invasion cover up… phew, right? It’s just that time when baby birds are putting on their ‘L’ plates and learning how to use their newly feathered wings.

And at some point, nearly everyone who spends time outdoors will find a baby bird on the ground looking lost. So what do you do when you come across a seemingly orphaned bird? Impulse screams “save the adorable baby bird!” but before you go running to cradle it in your arms, you need to consider whether your actions may be more hindering than helpful.

Now, as cute as they are awkward chances are, they have just taken an unsuccessful flying leap and are learning the ropes under Mama’s watchful eye. Often the best thing to do is to leave them alone instead of inadvertently bird-nap them.

Heck, we understand you want to do something, we care too, that’s kind of our thing. So, to better prepare you to give that baby bird the best chance of survival, don’t wing it follow these tips.

Firstly, is the bird injured? Yes, then it needs professional care, call TARC on 07 4099 3235, they will walk you through what to do to get the little guy the help and support it needs.

Once you determined that that the baby bird is not injured, it’s important identify whether the bird is a hatchling, nestling, fledgling or juvenile.

pheasant coucal chick at tarc wildlife habitat port douglas

Hatchlings are so sweet and new that their eyes are still closed. They’re mostly bald and pinkish skin. Nestlings have eyes have started to open, feathers are developing but still some skin patches exposed. If you spot a bird at one of these heart melting stages, they belong in the nest. There will most likely be a nest nearby, can you reach it?

If yes, then carefully return the bird to the nest. It is a myth that they will be abandon because it has been touched. Although it may take a while for wary adults to approach their baby again, they will eventually.

If no, please build them a sturdy makeshift nest for the baby bird. Ensure you put holes in the bottom of the temporary nest so unit doesn’t fill with water if it rains. If possible, place the ‘new’ nest as close to the original as possible. Watch the baby bird from afar until the parents return.

Fledglings-are seriously fluffy, mostly feathered and can hop and flutter. This little bird is learning to fly, how exciting. Check if its in danger, if yes gently pick it up and place it on a safe branch. If not in danger, are the parents close by? Yes, it’s all’s good the bird is just doing what little birds do under Mum and Dad’s supervision. No parents around, they may be busy collecting food or chasing away predators.

Another thing we can all agree on is we want the best for our wildlife. While baby birds are out there discovering the magic flight, we need to let them make their mistakes, we all fell down and eventually got back up. But if at any point you think it’s a bird emergency, TARC is always willing to accept injured native animals. If you’re unsure you have a bird in need of help, please follow this advice, or even give us a call we can walk you through some steps.

To contact TARC call 07 4099 3235 or follow them on Facebook @tarcqld or Instagram @tarcqld