How to Help a Fallen Bird Baby: 10 Steps

Table of contents:

How to Help a Fallen Bird Baby: 10 Steps
How to Help a Fallen Bird Baby: 10 Steps

A baby bird is a young bird that is past the incubation and nesting period, but may not have learned to fly yet. It is not common to see chicks on the ground, as many bird species push them out of the nest to help them become independent. So, unlike baby birds, the best thing to do is to leave the chick alone while it learns to fly after you've made sure the area it's in is safe. However, if the puppy is injured, contact the Environmental Police or IBAMA.


Method 1 of 2: Don't move the puppy

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 1

Step 1. Find out if the bird is a chick or not

Depending on the age of the bird, it may not need your help. Young birds fall into three categories: those that have just hatched, those that are in the nest, and those that have just hatched. Birds in the first two categories are babies and have no visible feathers on their wings or bodies. They don't survive outside the nest for long. Those that leave the nest, however, have feathers and can survive on their own.

It is very common to find baby birds hopping on the ground while learning to fly and looking for food. As much as it is normal to be concerned about a young bird walking on the ground, it is possible that it does not need any help at all

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 2

Step 2. Check that the baby bird's parents are feeding it regularly

Position yourself a few meters away from the chick and observe the nearby trees. Sooner or later, one of your parents must come down with some food. I may have to wait a while. In some cases, parents feed their young only once every four hours.

If the parents aren't feeding the puppy, try to step back a little. Adult birds may not approach if you are too close

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 3

Step 3. Leave the puppy healthy on the ground while he learns to fly

As long as the parents are watching and feeding him frequently, the puppy has his needs met and doesn't need his help. In many bird species, chicks can spend up to a week or two on the ground while learning to fly. To someone who sees this in passing, it may appear that the puppy is in danger, even when he is not. The best thing to do is not to touch the healthy puppy.

If you're concerned about his safety and health, check him every day or two to make sure he's still alive and active

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 4

Step 4. Do not place the chick in a nearby nest

Even if you are seeing a nest in a tree close to where you are, don't put the chick there. More likely, it will jump back out of the nest or the parents in the nest will push it out again.

Also, the nest may not even be from the chick's family and may be a completely different species

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 5

Step 5. Do not give the puppy food or water

Even though your puppy may look small and hungry, resist the temptation to care for and feed him. His parents are probably around and will bring him food from time to time. Also, do not give the bird water with your cupped hands or an eyedropper. Finally, don't pick up the chick and take it to a water source - it could get lost or eaten by a predator if you move it.

If a chick accepts food from humans many times, it may end up bonding with us and have difficulty socializing with other birds

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 6

Step 6. Protect yourself from overprotective parents

While the chicks flap their wings on the ground trying to fly, their parents are often watching them from a nearby tree. Some species of birds - jays, for example - are very careful with their little ones. If the parents think you're threatening the puppies, they can come down from where they are and attack. If one or two adult birds do this, look away, get out of the way, and avoid getting close to the chick in the future.

If you have to walk around the area the protective birds are monitoring, take an umbrella with you to keep the birds from pecking your head and face

Method 2 of 2: Helping an Injured or Abandoned Puppy

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 7

Step 1. Assess the puppy to determine if he is injured

Walk towards it until it's less than a meter away. Kneel down and look for any signs that he has been injured. This can include drooping wings, broken and visible bones, or any signs of blood. Also see how it moves. If he has his wings at his side and shows no signs of pain, he is probably not injured.

A badly injured chick may have flies over it or, if it is in a very bad state, some larvae on its body

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 8

Step 2. Call the Environmental Police or IBAMA if the puppy is injured

They are professionals trained to take care of puppies without parents or injured. Call them too if he doesn't look hurt but looks like he's been abandoned by his parents. They will examine the puppy and, if necessary, take him to a wildlife rehabilitation center.

  • If you live in the United States, you can find sites for rehab centers in each state here:
  • If you live outside the United States, contact your local government and zoonoses control services and ask about wildlife rehabilitation centers.
Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 9

Step 3. Place the chick on a low branch of a tree if it is not in immediate danger

In some cases, you will not have time to wait for the Environmental Police or IBAMA to arrive. For example, if wild cats live in the area where the kitten has fallen or if you see an eagle hovering there, it is in immediate danger. Carefully run your hand under it, lift it up, and place it on a low branch or stout bush.

Even after placing the baby in the tree, it is a good idea to call the Environmental Police or IBAMA

Help a Fallen Fledgling Step 10

Step 4. Keep cats and other pets indoors until the kitten leaves

Pets can be dangerous for puppies that cannot fly. Cats in particular would love to play with and ultimately kill a helpless puppy. So, if the puppy is a few miles from your home, all pets should stay indoors for two weeks or until he flies away.

If you have neighbors with cats, advise them to leave their pets at home for the same amount of time


Popular by topic