Help for Wildlife

Help for Birds

Baby fallen from nest

Most birds have a poorly developed sense of smell, so it is possible to handle them without worrying that the parents will smell you and reject the baby. If the baby bird is not fully feathered but appears healthy and warm, and you are sure you know which nest it fell from, it can be replaced in the nest. Make sure to observe the nest from a secluded location. If the parents have not returned in about 2 hours, or by dusk, the baby should be taken to a rehabilitator. If the weather is poor, cold, or rainy, you may have to rescue the baby sooner.

Baby on the ground

If the bird has feathers, it is probably a fledgling. These are "babies" that are ready to leave the nest, but still need time to learn to fly well and feed themselves. The parents will take care of them on the ground on the ground as they learn to do these things. If the fledgling appears healthy otherwise, it should be left alone. Cats, dogs, and children should be kept away. If need be, the fledgling can be placed on a low branch or a bush for safety. Make sure to observe from a secure location. If the parents are not seen for 2 hours, or by dusk, one should call a rehabilitator.

Whole nest down

If the nest is just damaged, you can attempt to repair it with string or wire, BUT you must make sure that there are no loose loops, tangles, or sharp points on which birds could injure themselves. If the nest was destroyed, a substitute nest can be made from a plastic berry basket. Line the substitute nest with old nest debris or clean straw (do not use paper or grass, as they will get wet and mildew). Replace the nest as close to the original as possible, and hang (if possible). Make sure there is protection from direct sun, wind, rain, children, and cats.
For nests that have fallen from vents. A substitute nest can be made from a clean gallon container. Leave the cap on, cut a hole in the side for the parents to enter, and add drainage holes in the bottom. Hang this as near as possible to the original location. Do not place a baby bird who is unfeathered or has its eyes still closed in a substitute nest if there are still babies in the main nest. The parent will need to sit on this nest to keep the babies warm, and she can only sit on one nest! Refer to a rehabilitator.

Nest is abandoned

It is rare for a nest to be abandoned, and with many songbirds, both parents feed the babies. As the babies get older, the parents visit the nest less often, and the babies usually try to remain quiet and hidden when left alone. Watch the nest constantly from a secluded location for two hours to see if the parents return to feed. If not, refer to a rehabilitator.


If the duckling has been separated from their parents, the mother will not come back to retrieve the duckling. Attempt to reunite the duckling with the parent very carefully since a mother duck will drive away or even kill a baby that is not hers. You can try to locate the mother by holding the duckling securely in your arms as you walk around the lake. Allow the duckling to peep, as the mother will respond in a frantic, angry manner to his cries. If you cannot locate the mother, take the baby to a rehabilitator. It is unlikely to survive on its own. Keep the baby very warm.

Ducklings fallen down grates: Keep the mother and any other babies in a box until the remaining ducklings can be rescued. To rescue, use two poles that will fit through the grates. Attach a hammock made of fabric and netting to the two poles (make sure the holes in the netting are small enough that the baby will not fall through them). Lower the poles/hammock to where the duckling is, scoop him into the hammock and then lift the entire device up through the grates. Reunite the baby with the mother and siblings in the box and then release.

Birds trapped in a house or store

Birds will always fly towards the light. Attempt to confine the bird to a single room or area whaich has a door or window. Darken the room as best as possible, and most times the bird will leave on its own.

Birds flying into windows

This usually happens because the bird sees the reflection of the sky and flies right into it. The solution is eliminate or break up the reflection so the bird avoids it. Hanging something on the outside of the window such as paper, screening, mylar strips, windsocks, etc. may help. Use your imagination and go outside to check if you can still see the reflection. Birds, most commonly robins and cardinals, will also attack a window during breeding season because they see their own reflection and think it is an intruder in their territory. Try similar measures as above.