Help! I found a...

Baby Bird

Please read the information below and Contact a Permitted Category II Wildlife Rehabilitator if you need further advice or help.

One of the first things we have to determine is if it is a nestling or a fledgling. A nestling (pictured on the left above, with very few feathers) is too young to be on its own and defend itself, while a fledgling (pictured on the right, with lots of feathers and able to hop around) is learning to be a grown-up bird and does not need our intervention. If you find a nestling that has fallen out of its nest, we have a few tips to make sure its parents can continue to care for it. Please note, if you notice any injury on the chick, give one of the bird rehabbers a call right away (see the bottom of this page). Being caught by a cat, or having broken bones can kill a bird in a very short time.

Can you return the nestling to its nest?

Returning chicks to their nest is the best option if you can. Gently warm the baby if it has gotten cold with a heat pad or warm towels. Then, simply place the baby back in the nest. It is a myth that birds will abandon their chicks if they smell like humans. If you cannot find/reach the nest, or if the nest has been destroyed, move on to the next question.

Can you make a new nest for the nestling?

This can be as simple as a plastic container or an old basket. Cut a few small holes in the bottom of the container for drainage, line with paper towels, and attach it to the tree as close to the original nest as possible. Once you have re-nested the chick, check back in a few hours to make sure the parents are caring for the chick.

What if there is a fledgling in an unsafe situation?

If you find a fledgling that is healthy and does not require intervention but is in a roadway or other unsafe place, you can carefully move or herd the baby to an area of landscaping where it will be more camouflaged from predators and out of traffic. Do not place them in a tree or on an elevated surface, the ground is the safest place for fledglings. If there are cats prowling around, turn on a sprinkler! Birds love water, but we know that cats do not!

Bird Rehabbers in our Area:

Brukner Nature Center

Location: Troy (Miami County)

(937) 698-6493

Erica Miller Wildlife Rehab

Location: Miamisburg (Warren County)

(937) 470-6626


Location: Milford (Clermont County)

(513) 825-3325

*Birds of prey only

Ride the Wind Wild Bird Rehab Center

Location: New Richmond (Clermont County)

(513) 797-7239

St. Melangell’s

Location: Batavia (Clermont County)

(513) 658-5955

Second Chance Wildlife Association

Location: Southwestern Ohio

(513) 875-3433

*SCW is a messaging system only. Leave a message, and they will call you back.