Have you ever heard an unexpected chirp? Have you ever looked down on the pavement and seen a baby bird?
We’re inclined to save this tiny life, after all, we’re talking about a baby here. But how?
Well, it turns out there’s a lot we can do to make sure these seeming orphans get a chance at life. Peter Helmer, a specialist in avian veterinary medicine at Blue Pearl Veterinary Partners, shared a few tips.
For one thing, as with many animals, mother birds will occasionally leave their babies alone while they run to do some errands. Namely, gathering food to fill those tiny mouths back in the nest.
“The animal’s parents will do the best job at raising the baby compared to a wildlife rehabilitation facility or veterinarian,” Helmer notes. “Unless the animal is injured, it is best to leave it alone and let nature take its course.”
That’s okay if we come across a baby alone in a nest, a tree or even in a stretch of grass. But what if we find one on the sidewalk? Front porch? That may call for a little human intervention.
First thing to do is to try wrapping the bird in a towel and carrying this little bundle to a nearby tree or shade. Mothers, as you may already know, have a genius for knowing exactly where their children are. Just as long as you don’t take them too far from where they were found. And, yes, it’s fiction that mothers abandon babies if they are touched by humans.
“It is a myth that touching a baby bird will orphan it – birds do not have scent glands,” Rob Halpin of MSPCA-Angell said.
Although you’ll still want to be extremely tender handling the baby for obvious reasons.
The idea is to get them to a safe place, awa from the searing sun and, of course, beyond the clutches of dogs and cats who may stumble upon them.
Keep in mind, animals generally have no idea what a helping hand looks like. Often, they may see it as a grasping menace. They may try to peck or scratch.
Once you’ve gotten this precious cargo to a safe spot, lay a few blades of grass over him. That way, you can check up on the baby bird in 12 or 24 hours. If the grass has been displaced, it’s likely mom is back on the scene and in charge.
A badly injured baby will need more than just a fresh patch of shade. Ideally you should take him to a wildlife center. But if you can’t find one near you, Helmer recommends taking him to the nearest veterinary hospital — again using a towel or a crate, to keep the baby from bouncing around in the car.
It’s important to note that injured babies won’t eat or drink. The key here is to get them medical attention ASAP.
Let the animal hospital take care of the tiny patient. Once baby’s better, staff will likely contact a local wildlife center for rehabilitation.
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”