Today, as my daughter was playing in the backyard, she noticed a little bird dive into one of our bushes. Curious, she wanted to check into this further. She called for her dad to come and help her investigate. They found this bird nest with at least four hungry babies. We took a photo but didn’t stick around long, we knew the mama bird was close by.
MYTH: If you return a baby bird to its nest, the parents will smell your scent and reject it.
Parent birds do not recognize their young by smell. If you find a baby bird on the ground, it’s okay to return it to its nest (which is almost certainly nearby). However, before you return a chick to its nest, you should be sure it did not leave on its own. If it’s sparsely feathered and not capable of hopping, walking, flitting, or gripping tightly to your finger, it’s a nestling. If you can find the nest (it may be well hidden), put the bird back as quickly as possible. If the bird is feathered and capable of hopping or flitting, and its toes can tightly grip your finger or a twig, it’s a fledgling. Fledglings are generally adorable, fluffy, and have a tiny stub of a tail. Their parents are nearby and watching out for them. The parents may be attending to four or five young scattered in different directions, but they will most likely return to care for the one you have found shortly after you leave. You should always leave fledglings where you found them.
Read more about bird myths with via Nestwatch.