It’s that time of year again: baby bird season. Spring time brings with it the lovely sounds of baby birds chirping in their nests, and the not so lovely sight of baby birds wandering around in harm’s way outside of their nests. There are many myths out there, the most prevalent being that handling a baby bird will put human scent on it and the mother will reject it. This is absolutely FALSE. Most birds don’t even have a sense of smell.
When a bird leaves the nest it needs practice learning how to fly, just like toddlers need practice learning how to walk. This is a normal process called fledging. The baby will jump out of the nest and will be on the ground for a little while before figuring out exactly how to maneuver. In the meantime, their parents will still tend to it and protect it. Provided the bird is not directly in harm’s way, like in a street or walkway. The best thing you can do for the bird is to leave it alone. Momma and her nest are sure to be nearby.
If you need to move the baby to prevent it from being injured, gently pick it up and move it out of the way but still as close to the vicinity as possible. If you find an entire nest that must be moved, for example if it is on the moving gate of a fence, move the nest as close to its original location as possible, preferably with some sort of camouflage. The screaming babies will alert their parents to their new location. Chances are the parents will be watching you move them.
Keep a look out for the little ones who are just learning their way around the world and help them if it seems necessary.