If you’ve spotted a baby bird in your garden, you may be wondering what to do next. It can be tempting to take the bird in and hand-raise it, but this is rarely the best option. In most cases, it’s best to leave the bird alone and let nature take its course.
Here’s what you need to know about caring for baby birds in your garden, and when it’s time to intervene.
Assess the Situation
The first step is to assess the situation. Is the bird injured or does it appear to be in good health? Is the bird a hatchling, or is it older and able to hop around?
If you spot an injured bird, you should take it to a local wildlife rehabilitation center as soon as possible. Wildlife rehabilitators are trained to care for injured birds and will be better equipped to help them than you will.
If you spot an uninjured chick, you’ll need to observe its behavior. Is the bird hopping around and exploring its surroundings? Chicks are usually left alone by their parents while they feed, so it’s common to find baby birds wandering around on their own. In this case, you can watch from a distance to make sure the bird is safe.
If the bird appears to be in distress or is not hopping around, it’s possible that the parents have abandoned it due to injury or illness. If this is the case, you may need to intervene and provide the bird with care.
If you’ve determined that the bird needs help, there are a few things you can do.
First, make sure the bird is warm. You can do this by placing a heating pad or warm washcloth in the box with the bird. The temperature should be between 95-105 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also important to keep the bird away from direct sunlight, as this can make it too hot.
You should also provide the bird with a safe place to rest. A cardboard box with a towel or blanket inside makes a good nesting spot.
Finally, provide the bird with food and water. For baby birds, you will need to buy special food at a pet store or online. Make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging carefully. Water should be provided in a shallow bowl that is easy for the bird to access.
If you’re able to provide the bird with care, it’s a good idea to take it to a wildlife rehabilitation center after a few days. Wildlife rehabilitators are better equipped to provide the bird with the care it needs to survive.
Release the Bird
If the bird is healthy and uninjured, the best course of action is often to leave it alone. Wild birds need to learn how to survive on their own, and they’ll do this best if they’re in their natural habitat.
You can watch from a distance to make sure the bird is safe, but it’s generally a bad idea to offer it food or water. Doing so can make the bird reliant on people for food, which can make it more vulnerable to predators.
When the bird is ready, it will leave the nest and start exploring its surroundings. At this point, it’s best to leave the bird alone and let nature take its course.
If you’ve spotted a baby bird in your garden, the best course of action is usually to leave it alone and let nature take its course. However, if the bird is injured or appears to be in distress, you may need to intervene and provide it with care. In this case, it’s best to take the bird to a wildlife rehabilitation center as soon as possible.