It’s true, baby birds are very cute. They are also starting to leave their nests and we may be seeing them in our backyards, in empty lots, along nature paths and even in parking lots. Many people, especially children and teens want to pick them up and bring them home to care for them. Please try to refrain from doing this.
Most of these babies are just fine on their own. They are nimble and quick and mom and dad are usually close by. Many baby birds look pretty vulnerable and cry pathetically, bringing out the mom and dad in us humans, too. This works on their parents as well which is why they do it but most of these little guys and gals are pretty tough and pretty quick. Although many cannot fly well yet they can hop and run and climb pretty well. Keep watch from a distance and you will often hear or see a parent bird nearby. If you hang around too closely you will keep the parent from coming back while you’re there so it is a good idea to watch from a distance.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has much more information about baby birds on their website.
Don’t be overly alarmed to find baby birds in strange places. I have even watched parent birds take care of babies in parking lots at malls and grocery stores and the babies do quite well even against what seem to be pretty scary odds.
If you do find a baby bird that is truly abandoned or injured please call for help. On the Cape we have some great wildlife rehabilitators that are well trained and very helpful. You can call Wild Care Cape Cod in Eastham at 508-240-2255 or Cape Cod Wildlife Center in Barnstable (Cummaquid) at 508-362-0111.
The best thing you can do to help baby birds and other animals right now? Keep your pets leashed or indoors.
Sketches by Mary Richmond