WHAT TO DO WITH A NEST OF BABY BIRDS
Q: I was trimming the bushes at my house this weekend and I knocked a nest of baby birds down with three little ones that had just a few feathers. My neighbor said the mother wouldn’t come back if I touch them. I put the nest back but am concerned that the parents may not return.
A: Spring and early summer leads to the explosion of baby animals that are much more abundant than we can imagine in our backyards. As we go about our “spring cleaning” it is often difficult to avoid disrupting their homes.
It is an old “wives tale” that the mother won’t take care of them if they have been touched by humans. They will indeed come back, but only if they are placed somewhere where the parents feel safe to approach and care for them. The original location or close to it, is best, with some of the original nesting material placed in a small box.
If the young ones are squawking at you with gaping jaws for food, a small amount of canned dog food or cat food, made into tiny meatballs can be pushed into their mouth (past the airway opening on their “tongue”). This will carry them a little longer until mom or dad are brave enough to approach from the tree where they are observing.
Watch out for those parents! Some species like Blue Jays can get very aggressive if they hear a baby calling out in distress and will come in and attack the offender. So, find the babies a safe spot out of harm’s way in another tree or bush and let nature take its course. If you know for sure the parents won’t be returning, call your local veterinarian or animal shelter to find the name of a reputable rehabilitation person that will take and keep them until they are ready to fly!