Rescuing Songbirds


Baby mockingbird

Before you pick up an orphaned bird (and if it is not in immediate danger from pets or traffic), watch it from a distance for an hour or two to see if the mother will return.

Replace a fallen, featherless, baby bird to its nest. It is a myth that once you touch a baby bird the parents will not accept it. Birds do not have a well-developed sense of smell.

If you can't locate or reach the nest, use a small, plastic berry basket or margarine container. Cut drainage holes, add grass or pine straw, and use wire to attach to the shady side of the closest tree or bush. Gently place the baby bird in the new nest and, from a distance, check it periodically to make sure the parents return.

Some fledglings (teenage birds with feathers and short tails) may hop around on the ground in a covered area near their nest for several days while parents feed them. Fully feathered birds with short tails hopping around should be left there. Don't put them back in the nest; they will only jump out again and could injure themselves. The parents protect and feed them on the ground until they can fly.

If parents do not return within two hours or if the baby is injured, place it in a small, covered box with air holes punched in the lid. Keep it warm and quiet and do NOT attempt to give it food or water. Birds breathe through a hole in their tongues. Water placed in its mouth will be inhaled. Each species requires also requires specialized food and care. Take it to St. Francis Wildlife as soon as possible

Confining cats and dogs and educating children is the best way you can help. Wildlife's natural parents are always better at caring for them than human foster parents.

produced by the Humane Society of the United States and the Animal Planet.

Chimney Swifts

If chimney swifts have already moved in, push a styrofoam ice chest up into the flue to muffle their noisy calls as well as cushion any falls. And don't worry, they'll be on their way to South America long before you start chopping firewood.

What you can do to help baby birds

Before you cut down or prune trees and shrubs, check very carefully for active nests or cavity residents. Avoid cutting dead trees or snags. They provide food and shelter for a variety of wildlife.

Properly managed birdbaths and feeders are good, but planting native trees, bushes, and flowers supplies natural food, water, and cover for wildlife.

Many birds depend on insects in and around our backyards. Replace chemical insecticides and fertilizers with organic products to help protect our wildlife and water resources too.

What do to when a bird flies into your window

What to do if you find sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife


 St. Francis Wildlife Association