Irecently received a telephone call from a nice lady who had come upon a baby bird in her yard. The bird did not have enough feathers to fly and was standing in the grass, perhaps with an injured wing.
The lady put the bird in a box and took it indoors. Then she called me. The advice I gave her is this:
First, look around to see if you can spot a nest that the bird fell from. If you can, and if it is easily done, simply return the bird to the nest. (It is an old wife’s tale that a mother bird will ignore her chick once it has been handled by humans.)
However, if there is no nest in sight, your best bet is to place the bird in a box filled with tissues and take it to a bird rehabilitator as quickly as possible. Be aware that some birds – crows, robins, scrub jays and owls – normally spend two to five days on the ground before they can fly.
In our area, rehab experts include All Things Wild Rehabilitation of Austin, an outfit that rehabs both songbirds and mammals, including baby deer. You can reach them at 512 897-0806 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Another possibility is Wildlife Rehabilitation, which treats birds, mammals and reptiles – call them at 512 709-6335.