nestling is defined as a naked
or down-covered baby bird. If a nestling is found
on the ground, he should be put back in his nest.
If the baby bird is cool to the touch, he should
be gently warmed before placing him back in the
nest. This can be accomplished by warming him gently
in your hands or placing him on a water bottle that
is hot to the touch, but not burning. The parents
will not reject the baby because a human has touched
Baby ducks and
geese are walked to water from the nest soon after
hatching. If you find a duckling or gosling at the
nest after the mother and siblings have left, please
call (414) 431-6204 to speak with a Wildlife staff
If the bird’s nest has fallen down, the nest
can sometimes be put back in place. A substitute
nest can also be made from a berry basket or an
empty, clean margarine tub with several holes punched
in the bottom for drainage. The container needs
to be wired in the location of the original nest
and lined with some of the original nest material
or dry grass if the nesting material has been lost.
Once returned to the nest, the nestling should be
watched or checked from a distance every 30 minutes
to make sure his parents have returned. Be sure
to watch from cover, preferably from inside your
house, to avoid scaring the parents.
Fledgling songbirds are fully feathered.
They leave the nest before they are able to fly
and spend several days learning to fly on the ground.
They are especially vulnerable to predator attacks
at this time, but the parents continue to feed and
defend their young bird during this stage. Parent
birds may only stop for seconds before leaving to
forage for more food. If you feel a fledgling bird
you have found is in immediate danger, placing it
in a bush or on a low tree branch will get it out
of harm's way.
If the young
bird you have found appears to be sick or injured,
please contact the WHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
If you have found a young owl, hawk, heron, duck
or goose, please speak with our Wildlife Rehabilitation
Center staff at (414) 431- 6204 for further advice.