Found a baby bird on the ground?
Top Tips if you find a baby bird
- Keep pets away if there are young birds on the ground. If you cannot remove your pet from the area move the bird to a nearby shrub or tree in the same vicinity as where the bird was found.
- Not all birds on the ground need rescuing. Many birds learning to fly end up on the ground and can be seen flapping around for 1 or 2 days before finally taking flight. They are fledglings and do not need rescuing. If there is an imminent threat, you may move to a tree or shrub nearby but when possible, a healthy fledgling should be left where it was found. In particular, magpies, noisy miners and currawongs will learn to fly after being on the ground, flapping around.
- When watching for a the parent bird to return, stay some distance away. If you are too close, the parents may not return to feed the baby bird on the ground. If you don't see them return after 30 minutes, move farther away. You may be preventing their return, and parent birds are caring and will not leave their baby unless something is preventing them. Only when you fail to see the parents after 2 hours, does a healthy fledgling need assistance.
- A baby birds number one best chance of survival is in the wild with their parents. Removing them from the wild drastically reduces their chance of survival and should only be done if they are injured or ill.
- It is never a good idea to take a wild bird home to try and raise. Special permits are required from the Department for Environment and Water (here in South Australia) as well as particular food, resources and training to be able to do. It is ok to touch a baby bird where necessary to move it to safety. It is a myth that the animal will be rejected if touched by a human but only handle where necessary.
- To transport the baby, place it on a towel in a small box and keep it warm, dark and quiet. Do not give it any food or water. Wildlife organisations and vets will need the EXACT location of the rescue so the bird can be returned to that spot when older.
- Click here to find your closest wildlife rescue organisation (here in South Australia). If you are not in South Australia, contact a wildlife rescue group in your state. If you are unsure on what you should do, contact a wildlife organisation for further advice.