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Injured or abandoned birds

I have found an injured or abandoned bird. What should I do?

Please take the advice we have given to many other concerned people who have written in with similar questions about baby birds. A baby bird belongs in the wild, and you should leave it where you found it.

Parent birds will continue to care for their young even when the youngsters are out of the nest. Most of the time, when you find a young flightless bird on the ground you can retreat to a distance where you can still see the bird. Usually within minutes a parent will make its presence known by vocalizing from nearby or coming down to feed the youngster. Very young birds that fall out of the nest may be abandoned by the parents, but people are not equipped to care for them. They will usually die.

If the entire brood is lost, most species will renest immediately. Therefore, it is best to let nature take its course. About 80 percent of all baby birds do not survive their first year.

If you choose not to return the bird to where you found it, contact your local wildlife agency so they can advise you where to take it for care, as it is illegal to be in the possession of any wild bird.

You can find a wildlife rehabilitator near you at this Web address:

We hope this helps,

eNature Naturalists

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