A young bird that has fallen from the nest is not necessarily in danger. It is therefore essential to observe it from a distance before picking it up in order to understand why it finds itself in this perilous situation. One should only intervene if he is injured, ill, exposed to imminent danger or permanently abandoned by his parents. If he seems to be in great shape, the solution is not to take him home to take care of him. Moreover, the law prohibits the capture of wild birds.
Why can a baby bird be outside its nest?
This is the first question to ask when you find a baby bird on the ground because there are several explanations.
The chick has no feather
He is extremely young, and maybe he is still blind. In this case, his life is in danger because he did indeed fall from the nest. If it does not appear injured, it is important to replace it with the other chicks in the brood so that its parents can continue to care for it. He has every chance of being saved if he returns to his environment.
The chick has feathers but cannot fly
If he is on the ground or in a bush it is certainly not because he fell from the nest, but quite simply because he begins to leave it from time to time to learn to become independent . If he does not know how to fly yet he is totally dependent on his parents. By taking a few minutes to observe him, we should not delay seeing his father or mother come back to their little one to give him the peck. This young bird in the learning period must be left alone . You must not touch it.
The baby bird is injured
It is quite easy to check if a young bird that has fallen from the nest is injured. He can have :
- Blood stains on the body, beak, head,
- A hanging wing,
- A paw he can’t stand on.
In this case, it is necessary to put it away from predators as quickly as possible, especially cats in the house or in the neighborhood. If it is on the roadside, it is also just as exposed to dangers.
The chick should be handled with extreme care and then placed, for example, in a small cardboard box , the bottom of which has been previously covered with a soft, warm fabric or freshly cut leaves. It must indeed place the bird injured in a cozy makeshift nest and ensure that the temperature is about 25 ° C . This litter must then be changed as often as possible because it will quickly be soiled by droppings and therefore very exposed to bacteria.
As the chick is thus sheltered and warm, contact should be made with:
- The rescue center of the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO),
- Or the nearest Wildlife Center referenced.
You can find their contact details on the Internet, by calling the town hall of your municipality or a veterinarian.
The baby bird is sick
The sick little bird that can be found outside its nest must also be urgently protected because it is in danger. His poor state of health is generally noticeable at first glance since he remains prostrate , is unable to make the slightest movement, does not even try to flee when one approaches him. It may be a juvenile that can not yet fly or an adult bird from elsewhere that suffers from exhaustion or is totally dehydrated . In this kind of situation, it is obviously urgent to take care of him because his life is in danger.
It is carefully placed in a safe, warm place, but under no circumstances in a cage because it can injure itself when trying to get out. Here again, we contact the dedicated centers without delay. Note that to capture a bird in distress, it is essential to remain very calm so as not to stress it. We recommend placing it in a dark place to appease it and it is better to grab it after putting on gloves, especially if it is a raptor.
How to feed an abandoned baby bird?
It takes a great deal of availability to take care of a small bird before it takes off, especially if it is a passerine that must have its beaks about every hour. If it is still quite pink and therefore has no feathers, it is because it has recently emerged from its egg. Its feeding should therefore last more or less twenty days .
It is also necessary to give it the food that will suit it (mealworms, small insects, insectivorous food that can be bought in a pet store, cat food after having soaked them in water, kitten food, and of course the indispensable water at room temperature that sugar can be added. But it gives him absolutely never of milk because it can be fatal to him or bread crumbs .
Feeding a young bird that has fallen from the nest requires a lot of patience because it will only eat if it is not stressed, sick or injured. And there is no point in force-feeding him against his will. The little bird knows how to cry out when it is hungry. If he doesn’t open his beak, we don’t insist. The food must be deposited in very small quantities on the bulges of its beak and certainly not in its throat because this risks suffocating it. As for the water, it can be given by pipette, drop by drop in order to avoid dehydration.
Finally, when it has feathers, it means that it no longer needs the beak. We can therefore place food and always clean water in front of him: he will quickly learn to eat and drink on his own.
Capture of a wild bird: what does the law say?
The law protects many wild young birds to such an extent that it prohibits anyone from capturing and keeping them in their home. This is the reason why were created in France:
- Mobile units,
- Safeguarding centers.
It is therefore imperative to contact one or other of these structures in your region in order to report the discovery of a young bird that has fallen from the nest or of a sick or injured bird.
Rarely orphaned , chicks should preferably be left in their natural environment when they are no longer in their nests. Each year, thousands of juveniles leave the family nest when they cannot yet fly. This peculiarity can be observed in many species such as the blackbird, the owl or the thrush.
In most cases, it is therefore necessary – only if they are close to a road or exposed to the sight of cats – to place these birds in height so that they are protected from predators, but always close to the place. where we found them because their parents are never far away. If there is no tree or wall, then they must be hidden under a thicket.