What to do if you find a baby bird


From National Geographic:

Sir Patrick Stewart, the “make it so” captain of Star Trek: The Next Generation, tweeted from his New York City home: “Help. Found a tiny baby bird in my garden and brought it in. What can I do?”

We asked Patrick Comins, director of bird conservation for Audubon Connecticut, for his perspective. Here’s some advice for Sir Patrick and anyone else who encounters a bird, baby or adult, in need of help.

Could a baby bird just take care of itself?

If it’s all downy feathers and no real adult feathers, it’s prematurely out of the nest. One exception is the great horned owl—it moves out of the nest earlier than some birds. And some birds, like sandpipers, as soon as they hatch are running around on their own. In an urban area, a killdeer chick running around is perfectly normal. Turkeys are another bird that can do that.

Should you not touch the bird? I’ve always heard that your human scent will keep the parents from taking the baby back in.

Birds have a bad sense of smell with a few exceptions. Turkey vultures have an amazing sense of smell, and [so do] albatrosses and seabirds, petrels, and the like. Other than that, birds are very visually and auditory oriented. They have great hearing and vision but not great senses of smell.

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