A baby bird on the ground, or a cat presents an owner with a bird (a reason to keep cats indoors).

Step away from it (or remove from the cat and contain the cat). Be far enough away to allow the parents to return and feed it.

Don’t assume that it is abandoned. The parents may only be hunting for food and will soon return to lead it to safety.

A displaced nestling with very few feathers, not hopping or flapping its wings.

Look for a nearby nest in a tree or a shrub. Return the bird to its nest.

Do not believe the myth that touching it will leave a human scent that will cause the parents to reject it.

The bird is a fledgling with feathers and is strong enough to hop around and try to fly.

Leave it alone unless threatened by cats or other predators. Be far enough away to allow the parents to return and feed it.

Do not return it to the nest. It will simply hop out again. It’s ready to see the world, now!

The nest has fallen from the tree.

Try to return it, as close as possible to its original location.

Don’t worry that handling the nest will cause the parents to abandon it.

The nest has been destroyed, or you think it is too flimsy to hold the nestlings.

Make a new nest out of soft moss and grass using a container with good drainage but waterproof. Put it near the tree, put the bird in the new nest, and watch it carefully from a distance.

Don’t give up hope! The parents of baby birds and mammals do not give up easily, but will seek to recover their young and resume their parental duties.

If you are convinced your “baby” is an orphan after observing it for several hours, please know that raising a wild bird or mammal is a full time and difficult job for humans! Because of its high metabolic rate and voracious hunger, it must be fed every twenty minutes during daylight hours (or at night for nocturnal species) to prevent brain damage. Its parents are well equipped to do a great job; we are not.

Wildlife Rehabilitators have legal permits and the experience to proved  a high success rate. A donation is always appreciated.

In Brevard County, we are fortunate to have Florida Wildlife Hospital at 4560 North US #1, Palm Shores – that is South of the Pineda Causeway. 321-254-8843. You can leave birds or injured wildlife there – even when closed. Someone is always working behind the scenes and will get it.

The Florida Wildlife Hospital is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to Florida’s wildlife in need. Our mission is to aid sick, injured and orphaned native Florida wildlife and migratory birds, and to return them to the ecosystem. Florida Wildlife Hospital is open to admit patients 365 days a year; we treat nearly 5,000 patients each year.