For the Birds of Indiana
Bird Information:
F. A. Q.
Found a Bird
Rescuing a Baby Bird
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Frequently Asked Questions

Phone (317) 877-1187

Can I keep it?

It is against both Federal and State law to keep native wild birds even if you plan to release them. A rehabilitator is required to have both State and Federal permits to do this. (The penalties for violation of this law include large fines and possible prison! However, it is legal to transport the bird to a rehabilitator or veterinarian).

Will a mother bird accept a baby after it has been handled by a human?

Yes! Birds have a poor sense of smell - and even if they see you touch their baby their protective parental instinct comes first.

Do most birds eat worms?

No! They can be indigestible to many species.

Can a baby bird be given a drink of water or milk from a dropper?

Not recommended. The liquid could enter the lungs and airsacs and cause pneumonia. Lactose is not good for them.

Can parent birds carry a baby back to the nest?

Very, very unlikely - the parents are not equipped to do this.

Why is a baby bird on the ground?

If it is feathered, it is most likely a fledgling learning how to fly. This may take several days and is normal. If not feathered, it may have fallen by accident or could have been rejected by parents or siblings for some reason.

Should I let ‘nature take its course’?

No! Much of the time accidents happen to birds due to an unnatural event e.g. hit by an automobile, attacked by a dog or cat (introduced by humans), flying into a window or overhead cable. Oil spills and uncontrolled use of pesticides/rodenticides also take their toll on birds. It is the responsibility of humans to mitigate these circumstances.

Phone (317) 877-1187