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How Do You Raise a Baby Bird that Has Just Hatched but Has Been Orphaned?

8/5/2009 12:00:00 AM

Tags: birds

How do you raise a baby bird that has just hatched but has been orphaned?

You shouldn’t try to raise a baby bird, or any wildlife, yourself. Not only are your chances of success slim, it can also be illegal and potentially dangerous.

If the bird has feathers and is hopping around on the ground, it’s a fledgling and should be left alone. Fledglings can’t fly well when they first leave the nest. It’s a dangerous, but natural, time for baby birds, whose parents continue to feed them until they are self-sufficient.

If the bird is naked or covered in down, the best approach is to try to return it to the nest, which is usually in a nearby tree or shrub. Failing that, contact a wildlife rehabilitator who is trained and licensed to take care of wildlife. You can call your local nature center or animal control department and ask to be put in touch with a rehabilitator, or find one at Wildlife Rehabber.

— David Mizejewski, Naturalist, National Wildlife Federation



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