Anonymous asked in PetsBirds · 1 decade ago

if i touch a baby bird......?

a baby bird falls out of the tree, mom cant be found. If i touch the baby bird, will the momma bird REALLY abandon the baby chick?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Absolutely NOT! Birds do not have an acute sense of smell, so the parent bird will not even know you touched the baby. Bird banders and wildlife biologists handle baby birds all the time (they are licensed to do so), and the parent birds never abandon the babies.

    Baby birds fledge (leave the nest) several days before they start to fly. They hop around on the ground, and they climb on low branches until their wings are strong enough for them to fly. The parent birds continue to feed and care for the fledglings until they are self-sufficient. If you see a baby bird on the ground, and the bird has most of his feathers, leave him alone. Do not think that he needs to be "rescued."

    If you see a baby bird on the ground, and the baby is naked or he has mostly fuzz, he is a nestling and is not ready to fledge. Try to put him back in the nest.

    If you can not get the nestling back into his own nest, hang a basket (like an easter basket) on a tree limb as close to the nest as you can reach. Place paper towel in the bottom of the basket, and put some grass and leaves in with the baby bird. The parents find their babies by sound, not by sight or smell, so as long as they can hear the baby, they will come and feed him. Placing it on a high limb will keep cats and other predators from getting it, as they would if you left it on the ground.

    If you find a baby bird on the ground, and it seem to have been injured by the fall - or if you find an injured adult bird - contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. You should be able to find one here: or here:

    Licensed wildlife rehabilitators have the specialized training to care for sick, injured and orphaned wild animals, and they have the required state and federal licenses that allow them to keep the wild animals until they are healthy enough to be released.

    Do not take the animal to a vet - vets are for pets, and most vets do not have the expertise to care for wild animals; nor do most vets have the proper licenses that would allow them to keep a recuperating wild animal.

    Do not attempt to keep a wild bird and care for it yourself. In the US, all native migratory birds are protected under federal law (Migratory Bird Treaty Act), and it is illegal to keep any protected bird unless you have the required permits. Penalties for violating this law include fines of up to $500 and/or up to 6 months in jail for each offense. The only birds not protected by this law are feral pigeons, English House Sparrows and European Starlings.

    While preparing an injured bird to go to the rehabber, place him in a small box lined with paper towel - not cloth, as the bird's nails could get caught in the material. Cover the box and place it in a warm, dark, quiet area. Do not allow any animals, children or excitable adults near it. Do NOT attempt to feed the bird - if you do not know what species it is, you don't know what to feed it, and an inexperienced person can kill a bird attempting to feed it. Do NOT attempt to give it any water - it could aspirate and die. Get it to a rehabber as quickly as possible, within 4-6 hours if possible.

    Hope some of this information has helped.

    Source(s): former volunteer - Avian Rehabilitation Center
  • Suzi
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    No. Birds will not reject or abandon their young because they've been touched by humans - or other predators. Almost all birds have a poor sense of smell. They can't smell humans.

    Be careful about picking up chicks. If they have feathers and you find them on the ground, please leave them alone.

    As soon as chicks develop feathers, they outgrow the nest - and jump to the ground (fledge). These youngsters are called fledglings.

    Fledglings need to be on the ground while learning how to fly. The parents are nearby, and continue to feed and care for them. After the youngsters learn to fly, most remain with the parents, who teach them survival skills, and if needed - the migration path.

    Uninjured baby birds who do not have regular feathers, and only have fuzzy down feathers, belong in the nest. They are called nestlings. If you find a nestling who has fallen from a nest, please put it back in the nest, if possible.

    Injured birds of any age, and nestlings who cannot be returned to the nest should be taken to a licensed wildlife rehabber. These services are free to the public.

  • 1 decade ago

    No, she won't abandon the chick if you touch it. They can't smell much and they don't care about smell.

    If the baby has feathers all over, and seems okay, just leave it. Its parents will continue to feed it, and soon it will be flying. If you think it is in danger, maybe you can find a safer place to put it. The parents will find it by its call; there's no worry about that.

    If it doesn't have feathers all over or seems too helpless (can't run or jump) then you should try to put it back in the nest. If you can't do this, get some small basket or box and line it with something soft and fasten it somewhere that predators can't reach it. The parents will come and feed it.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    if i touch a baby bird......?

    a baby bird falls out of the tree, mom cant be found. If i touch the baby bird, will the momma bird REALLY abandon the baby chick?

    Source(s): touch baby bird:
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  • 7 years ago

    No, We have rescued over 20 birds and released them all (accept 6 who chose to stay) and one day we had to care for a bird for 1 hour and the mom saw us touch her baby she did not care. When we put her back in the test she fed the birdy

  • 1 decade ago

    You mean to put the baby back into the nest?

    The mother is not likely to abandon the nest, especially if you pick up the baby and put it back and leave it alone (don't linger). Birds can't "smell" you on their babies, however if they're nearby it's very likely that they will SEE you. Most birds have a strong enough parenting instinct that you're not going to cause the mother to abandon the nest. That's just a myth

    Source(s): Rehabbing birds for 15 years.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    No, the bird will not be able to tell that you touched them. Birds do not have a good sense of smell, if you did take them out of the nest put them back they will be alright.

  • 4 years ago


  • 6 years ago

    Bird mom is likely to peck you from behind you

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Nope! Thats a total myth!

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