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What To Do If You Find A Baby Bird

It's not unusual to find baby birds in your backyard this time of the year.

"Young birds will often leave their nests before they're able to fly," says Ron Stewart, regional conservation outreach manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

"They usually spread out along the branches of a tree and call for their parents to bring them food."

Stewart says it's not uncommon for a strong wind to blow the birds off the branch and for people to find them on the ground.

If you find a baby bird on the ground, what should you do with it?

"The best thing to do is to get it out of the reach of house cats and dogs by placing it on a safe branch," Stewart says. "The baby will squawk, and the parents will find it. Most birds do not have a good sense of smell, so picking the baby bird up and placing it back on a branch won't harm it."

Stewart also says you shouldn't feed the bird before placing it back in the tree.

"Trying to hand feed a baby bird is not a good idea," Stewart says. "Birds have a specific diet. Feeding them something that's not part of their diet could kill them. For example, 'the early bird gets the worm' doesn't work in most cases. Robins are one of just a few birds that can safely eat worms.

"The best thing to do is let the bird's parents feed it. They know what the baby bird can and cannot eat."

In addition to receiving calls about individual birds, DWR offices also receive calls from people who have found a nest with baby birds in it. The callers want to know what they should do with the nest.

"The best thing to do is leave the nest where it is, but if you can't, then relocate it in a nearby tree or another safe place," Stewart says. "Birds are extremely good parents. They'll almost always find the spot where the nest is placed by following the sounds of their young."

- Utah Division Of Wildlife


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