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Baby bird found: How to help the little birdie


When you find a baby bird, first make sure it is in need before you help. So-called branches, young birds on their first attempts to fly, often look more pitiful than they are. You can find out here when you should intervene and who you can contact in an emergency. Don't worry, little bird, in the bushes you are safe until your mom comes to feed - Shutterstock / Andrew Iurciuc

The little baby bird looks very disheveled with its scant feather dress, surely it needs help? Not necessarily, because if you find a chick that is already fledged, it may only rest briefly from trying to fly and wait for the next meal delivery from its parents. In some cases, however, you should actually help the birdies.

Does the baby bird need help at all?

The young birds are divided into nestlings and branches. Nestlings are the very young, recently hatched chicks that have not yet or hardly feathered. Branches, on the other hand, are young birds that are beginning to fledge and have already left the nest. They can be recognized by their already clearly visible feather dress, which, however, can still be permeated with fluff. The first attempts to fly are exhausting for the baby bird, so it crouches on the ground, in the bushes or on a branch in between and takes a break. The parent birds are flown to for feeding every hour or two; the young animal draws attention to itself with loud calls. If you have found a baby bird like this, you only have to help if it is in danger or injured. For example, if the knot sits on the side of the road, in the middle of the sidewalk, or in such a way that a cat or dog could discover and injure it, this is the case. However, nestlings that have fallen down generally need help.

If you are unsure whether the foundling is well and whether it is being cared for by its parents, observe the branch from a hiding place for at least two, better three or five hours. You shouldn't notice the bird parents, otherwise they may not dare to come closer. But if you keep looking out of the window at the baby bird from your home, for example, you won't disturb the adult blackbirds, titmouse, sparrow or robin.

Baby bird found: put in a safe place

If the nestling is not injured, carefully place it back in its home. Be careful not to disturb or scare the parent birds, otherwise they may not return to the nest. Branches that are potentially at risk are best placed in a safe place within a maximum of 25 meters. This can be a protected shrubbery or a cozy branch. Here too, observe for about two hours whether the parent animals find and feed their young bird. If so, everything is fine. You do not need to worry that parents will not accept the little flutter when you touch him. Birds do not mind the smell of human beings and they find their offspring above all by their loud beeps.

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Injured baby bird found: What to do now

You should only take a baby bird if it is injured or you cannot find a nestling's home. Sometimes you see the nest, but you cannot reach it without putting yourself in danger. This is also a reason to carefully collect the little birdie and get help. If your cat brings you a living young bird as a gift, support is also required. Do not scold your cat, she meant well and followed her instinct. Wait until the kitty releases the bird and you can carefully take it away.

Rearing baby birds by hand is very complicated, so it is advisable that you take the little patient to the bird care station, a wildlife rearing station or the animal protection association. Some veterinarians are also familiar with wild birds. You can find a list of rescue stations and foster homes for orphaned nestlings in Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the page "Wildvogelhilfe.org". You can also contact zoological gardens, wildlife parks and nature conservation authorities for advice.