What to do if you find a fallen baby bird or nest – Tips from a Wildlife Biologist

Every spring and summer, birds busy themselves
building nests, laying eggs, and feeding their young. But what happens when something goes
wrong, and you find helpless, unfeathered babies on the ground, or a nest that has been
knocked out of a tree? It’s a simple process to reunite nesting birds and their young.
This mockingbird nest was knocked out of a tree in our backyard after a strong storm.
When you find unprotected nestlings, be sure to put away household pets. Curious cats and
dogs are a threat to nesting birds. In our case, these mockingbird chicks aren’t fully
feathered, and they aren’t aggressively trying to fly away, so we know they aren’t ready
to leave the nest just yet. If the nest is still intact and you can reach it, simply
place the chicks back in the nest. Don’t worry about touching the birds. It’s not true that
the smell of your hands will cause the nest to be abandoned.
If you can’t find the nest, or if it is out of reach, you can make a temporary replacement
nest. You’ll need a hanging basket, and some natural materials like mulch, leaves, or moss.
Fill the hanging basket so that the materials come up to the edge of the basket. This way,
as the chicks get older and begin to explore their nest, they won’t fall between the nest
and the walls of the basket. Be sure to leave space in the middle to fit the chicks.
If you have the nest, place the nest into the hanging basket. Make sure to fill in the
gaps with natural materials to stabilize the basket, support the nest, and prevent the
chicks from falling into the deep basket as they explore their world.
Find a hanging spot as close to the original nest as possible, and hang the basket from
a sturdy hook or branch. When the parents return, there’s a good chance they’ll find
the new nest, especially if the nestlings make lots of noise. But resist the urge to
babysit too closely, (or to constantly check on the nestlings). You want the adults to
feel comfortable investigating, and they can’t do that if you’re constantly peeking into
the nest. The adults may not return immediately, and when they do, they probably won’t stay
very long. In our case, the adults watched the entire procedure, and fed the nestlings
within a few hours. Not all bird species are so bold, so be patient. Trust that their nesting
instinct will continue and let them do what they do best. They may even have a thing or
two to say about your handiwork! Be sure to check out our other videos about
nature by searching for Texas Parks & Wildlife Department on YouTube.

100 thoughts on “What to do if you find a fallen baby bird or nest – Tips from a Wildlife Biologist

  1. i had trimmed a branch that had a humming bird nest…now i tried to zip tie the branch back into the tree…hopefully that will help

  2. This is perfect! I live in Texas and yesterday I rescued a baby blue Jay right now we're taking care of it

  3. I found 2 baby birds today the cat actually found them first thought she was going to eat them , couldn't find the next so put them in a bird house, hope they survive.

  4. Just want to say 'thanks'. I was about to prune a pine that had some dead branches after a particularly bad storm here in the northeast (microbursts, tornadoes, hail, etc..) and saw a nest on the ground with 2 semi-feathered robins on the ground. After a quick heart attack, I took the two and placed them back in the nest, headed to youtube, saw this video, dumped the contents of an old hanging pot I had and followed the directions. My daughter took the nest, placed it in the basket, and then took the basket and placed it inside the pine. 30 minutes later, mom was hanging with her chicks and all is well. Thanks again for providing this video.

  5. Need help: I have a blackbird nest up on a pretty tall tree, inside the nest they are FIVE, but two of them are by far smaller and more frail than the others, so I am afraid they are not going to survive at all. The other thing that worries me is that they are really far from the ground, I don’t see how they could get down without dying, also because between them and the ground there are several hard and terrible obstacles like spiky tree branches and the ground right underneat them is pure rocky soil! We’re up for a disaster, right?

  6. I've come across two very small baby crows on the ground in my yard over the years. The crows put their nests like at least 50 feet up in the eucalyptus trees, so the babies either got really lucky and landed on something nicer than a rock, or they're just tough suckers. Anyway, each time I could see what I assumed was the mother of the babies constantly hanging around and watching. I put the babies in a nice bird cage I had from previously owning birds (before I realized what terrible pets birds make in general). All I did was go out in the yard each day and dig for earth worms, starting with smaller ones and working up to whatever I found — small or larger. I also had the cage outside during the day so the mamas could see their babies, and took them in at night. They eventually got quite big and I started keeping the cage door open until each finally flew away on their own. I guess earth worms do a baby birdy good. I also made it a point not to interact with the babies much more than feeding them. I didn't want them to lose any of their wild nature. Who knows if they would have or not… I didn't want to risk it anyway. So there's my cool story! Have a good one, everyone!

  7. Guys today i found a baby blue jay its fell from a tree and were gona raise it cause its mother never came for it

  8. Can someone please offer me some advice? I found a baby mynah about a few days old with some injuries and no feathers yesterday on the road. There were no signs of any nest and mother but I left it there for a few minutes. In the end I ended up taking it to the vet when the mother didn't came. The vet suggested to put it to sleep but I couldn't do that so after some oxygen therapy I brought it back home. It had difficulties breathing every njow and then opening his beak. I feed it glucose the vet gave me every two hours but after he licked it he couldn't breathe properly with saliva-like liquid at his beak so I used some tissue to clean it up. I left the man-made nest near the window with more oxygen and plants and its condition stabilised. (PS: I have no incubator and am using warm water in a bag to help keep it warm at 33 degrees celcius, there is no rehabber in my area that wants to help) So can someone please help me? I would not bear to see it die:/

  9. Sadly, the little birdlings I found fell from a tree 30 meters tall, so I can’t get them back up there. What should I do?

  10. Successfully rescue a bird falling from the nest

  11. I had to do this with one small bird and I could only make a small temporary nest. And I put it up in the tree next to where the baby fell. What are the chances the baby will be ok?

  12. Really helpful. Was just doing yard work and heard a bang! Realised that it was a baby bird that just hatched.

  13. Thank you for posting this video. Used it yesterday when we found featherless baby doves on the ground and the basket nest totally worked!❤️

  14. Thank you! Just found a baby mocking bird that fell outside his nest. I have two cats that go outdoors and I needed him back in his nest so he could stay safe (I am leaving my cats inside until he grows though). Unfortunately I couldn't reach his nest, so I made a new one. It looks like momma bird is warming up to it. Cross your fingers friends!

  15. I found one that fell out of its nest but that nest was in my garage and it landed on concrete. It has a broken wing but it seems like all of its other body parts are doing good. There was bird poop on the place it landed on so it has maybe softened his fall. I tried to put it back to its nest but it was too small and crowded by other baby birds. They have all developed feathers and are only featherless on their stomach. I dont know what to do because there are cats outside that might eat him. i put him on a safe place but cant feed him because his parents need to. Please help!

  16. A baby blue jay fell onto our cement and died ??? until there was another one that was going to fall and so my sister and I grabbed a towel and held it out while my dad was getting the bird out of the tree and the bird fell in our towel but it was injured… can someone help me? What should I feed it? How do I care for him??

  17. He forgot to mention most parents of baby bird's are ready for war let's out a destress call that all species of birds answer too when someone is trying to touch their babies ,they have their squadron procedures down packed and will attack on site I have experienced this several times and you will literally have to run for your life

  18. Thank you for this excellent advice. We came home to discover the bird's nest above our front door had fallen to the ground and smashed. Out of 4 chicks one survived. We followed your instructions and the parents returned and are caring for the chick.

  19. Recently found a bird in the middle of the road. It was hopping around because the hot asphalt was burning its feet. Th nearest tree was 50 feet away and behind a barbed wire fence. It was probably 5 days old and only 70% covered was the feathers. Reluctantly I took it home and fed it dry cat food soaked in water. Then crickets, mealie worms and eventually seeds, grasses and flowers.
    After a month I released him but he comes back. I've released him about a dozen times but he wants to be with us. He's had a close call with a hawk, snake and 2 cats. The other birds attack and have hurt him. He stays the n our big sunroom and he has a huge flight cage that I open in the morning and close at night. The windows are open and he often sits in them and looks out but goes no further. I don't mind. He's good company

  20. I had a nest fall with two hatchlings. I grabbed the nest and out it in tge bush next to where the best had been up higher. The mother returned for the night however ine of the hatchlings got tangled in a hole in the bottom if the nest I didnt notice before and died overnight. After coming home and discovering this the motger had left the remaining hatchling and has not returned after i removed the deceased hatchling. The other hatchling is still alive. I dont know what to do except that it is a introduced species of blackbird and nost wildlife wont deal with introduced species that I know if. I did an emergency feed chopping up and garden worm with some filtered water. Not sure it will last the night though in the nest without the mother. 🙁

  21. i accidently scarred a bird sitting on her nest(eggs) she just flew away and now its almost 2 hours she havnt return to her nest.. will she get back ? i feel so bad? please somebady do reply if they know about birds habitual or nature..

  22. I was always told that smell thing as well. That's really great to learn that I can make a positive difference, and even help prevent a nest from falling with a better support structure. Great post!

  23. One time I was at Lake Ray Roberts on the trail and I saw a baby bird fallen and I am so glad I did EXACTLY what this video said

  24. I just found a baby bird without complete feathers inside my house, I think it broke one of its wings… it couldn't move much and its breathing is beginning to weaken, and I knew it was dying… its just so sad. I tried finding the nest and making an alternative nest, making it warm…. but…

  25. What if I can not locate the nest? Do I put it in another species nest. Do I put it in a egg incubator? I just want to know Incase it happens in future, it happened once and the baby bird died 🙁

  26. Have a bird in it it's dead for my cat I do not like my cat I slapped her on the head and she killed Black and Yellow and white it is injured on its peak in it Claus is is red at the end of the clock they're like showing out if I can't open the beak of the bird I want to see what and it's in its mouth and I can't even open the beak I have it right on my bed right next to me laying around and I got an area for it Evie has a little rags and little toy cup hello and this bird is so injured I need help with it I don't know what to do Hobart food with and I was not ready like this!

  27. Thank you for this. I just found a baby rock pigeon that fell from a nest that’s too high for me to get too. I followed your advice (actually, before I even saw the video!!). The baby bird is in a new nest, filled with grass and clippings. Hopefully the parents, who were watching all, will come to feed it. Now is the hard part….not watching over it and being patient.

  28. I thought the small egg look like a rock but i kick it seconds of realization… My boots was cover in yellow yolk… It just happen today… ?? omg im soo sorry… Rip Unknown egg i kick onthe ground 2019-2019

  29. i found a baby bird when i was 7 and my brother and i ran inside to tell our grandpa what we saw but when we came back tge baby wasnt there looking back on it a bigger bird must have eaten it

  30. Have a tiny burd in a box with some paper towels in it. It seems maybe a few weeks, it is feathered and is chirping. I feel bad for it and I my family is finding our ladder to put in the nest

  31. Baby bird(Sparrow) fell from nest yesterday decided to take care of it put it in a bowl and used natural wood shavings as his bedding and I woke up the next day to it being dead and idk how I think he freezed but it wasn't even really cold In my room…I mean I even wrapped him up in a sock and he somehow froze I was so mad…


  33. I saw an egg drop out of a nest and it survived but I don’t know if it is alive or not and I really need help, look on my Instagram account (Kooper_kirks) to help me, there are afew nests in my garden and I don’t know wheather I should put it in that nest, or keep it and I don’t know how to identify when it’s going to hatch, or if it’s alive…? ?

  34. I live in an apartment and a pigeon came and laid an egg on my balcony. She kept the egg warm until she had laid another egg. Then both of them hatched and they were just little hatch lings and. While she had laid her eggs i was able to go outside onto the balcony without her flying away and then one day when she was feeding her FLEDGLINGS she got scared when i looked through the window and flew away…………. she never came back and when i go up to the little fledglings they stand up and bite like they want me to go away and the other one chirps…. But my grandma told me it was because they wanted me to feed them because they were hungry so i make them food in a little squirt bottle and all thy do is sit there and when i put it up to their mouth they BITE it and then i realized that the are scared and thy want their mom back but if no one feeds them their gonna die so WHAT DO I DO?? Pleas ehelp me if you can i really don't know what to do and i don't want them to die.

  35. I found a baby bird with part of the shell stuck to his head. It had fallen out of the nest. Thought it had a possible head injury. Took 2 q tips with warm water and gently got off the rest of the shell. Amazingly enough his head was not damaged. So relieved but it's so small. I have it in a tissue box with a heating pad under it. Feeding it mashed up egg yolk, a tip I got online, every 2to3 hours. It's been over 24 hours, seems to be doing OK. I would welcome any advice for feeding tips. The nest is too high to reach, I can't seem to locate it visually. Just doing what I can for it.

  36. I once raised a Robin from a baby. I put water in dry cat food and slightly warmed it up to where is got soft and fed the bird that. I flipped rocks when it got older and watched as he ate the bugs I even thought it how fly. The bird would land on my shoulder and one day he just flew off and never returned

  37. So 3 baby birds fell out of a tree about 2 hours ago and we made a nest and it’s about to storm but the mom hasn’t came back, any tips?

  38. If anyone is there to help, a nest fell out of a tree and there was 2 baby birds and there was previously a nest from another bird is it ok if we put them there and the baby’s are not the oldest so idk should we feed them or take them in

  39. I have lil ones trying desperately to fly away from me, while i was cleaning my gutters, let them go or build a new nest?? Please help quick

  40. Hi!
    Thank you sooo much for this post! I found a fallen nest today, put the chicks back in it and put it back on the ledge. I’m worried it will fall again.

    Long story short it was under our deck and a rotted board. My dog pulled it up and moved the nest. I’ve covered it so my dog can’t get to it, but should I hang a planter on the post and put the nest in there for security?! I’m worried it will fall again.

    Please advise so hopefully these chicks and mama can reunite safely. ♥️

  41. I I honestly need help because I can’t put the nest back where it goes because it was under our deck I can’t reach it and if I could you can’t put the nest back because it won’t stick so what should I do

  42. I actually watched this after I rescued some Robin babies to make sure I had done the right thing. A strong storm knocked the nest from a tree in my yard. I put on gardening gloves and picked up the two babies and one unhatched egg (mom or dad Robin was actually keeping watch over them in the yard!! The nest was still intact, so I put everything back in the nest (2 babies and one egg) and braced it a little better in the tree in almost the same spot. Mom or Dad was back on it in 15 minutes or less! Whew!! Crisis hopefully averted. Lol!

  43. What if a baby bird has feathers, but is injured. We just saved a baby cardinal from our outdoor cat. I don't know what to do with it.

  44. I found a dead baby bird but the nest fell with it and now stupid snails are crawling all over the nest ?

  45. I found an empty nest on the ground. It looks like the sparrow just built it, as it was clean and ready for laying eggs. I picked it up and put the nest in a new protected spot. I hope they use it??!!

  46. My mother and 2 other kids are stupid. 3 fatherless birds are in my lawn because they fell. 2 kids went on a website and mistakenly thought that its at an age where they can take care of themselves; they aren't. They are nestling. I persuaded my mother to do something, but she said its fine. The next day, I say 1 nestling dying and 2 other hungry for food. My mother said that its nature's job. I hated my mother's attitude because of her stupidity. Its literally in our lawn and the day I saw that bird was the perfect opportunity to help. I tried to help, but my parents forced me not to. They are heartless to nature. I will not text on what happened, but I really need to say, it ended really badly.

  47. The bird I found has feathers and hopping around but not flying but I took it up and place it in a box on something high enough because if it has been left on the ground the cat would've ate it. Not sure if I did the right thing but the momma came and fed him and I can't reach the nest

  48. Thanks hat if they do have fethers mom was watering the plants and the baby birds fell out the mother went after them but there's only one left in the nest the mother came back but then left again she hasn't been back for a while what do I do then

  49. I found a nestling on the road and could not reach the nest to put him back. I put the nestling in a hanging basket, but the basket still had a few flowers in it. I figured the flowers would protect the baby from sun and wind. I hung the basket on a branch in the same tree as his nest. I didnt see the parents feed the baby, but they were definitely watching me and staying nearby the whole day. The baby was chirping and opening his mouth. This morning, I went to check on him and he appeared to be dead 🙁
    I cant help but feel horrible. I shouldve done something more. Is there anyway the mother couldnt have found the baby in the hanging basket? Like I said , the baby was chirping and the parents were nearby and seemed protective.

  50. I have a robin's nest by my back door. We had a bad rain storm the other night and i now see a good size hole at the bottom of the nest and 2 days in a row i have found a baby Robin under the bust they have nested in. Should i do something like this for them?

  51. Ty I'm in tears. I didn't know who believe and I'm exhausted. I'll do this tomorrow. The momma bird you showed at the end, is the same as the one that is missing this little precious bundle. This started at dawn yesterday. The baby I have does not have all it's feathers. I started researching immediately on what to and when to feed it. It's asleep now and I found the nest at dusk. I'll put it back in the morning. Tysm

  52. Can you tell me what kind of adult bird that was at the end. I named the baby Sky. I can't wait until Sky can sort through the sky. ❤️

  53. What if the nest and nestling fall and you don't know what tree it came from and had to put it in the lowest tree near you that you could reach? Will the parents still find them?

  54. There’s one in my backyard, I saw inside and the chicks were dead, I could see the skull of one. I haven’t touched it.

  55. Well, it’s September. Most birds are migrating to the south now, my friends found a bird that fell out of a 10 foot tree. Luckily it lived. We gave it food, water, proper bedding, and shelter. The nest is in my friends garage because his grandma won’t allow it to be in the actual house. The food was homemade extra protein dog kibble bird food, with some grass seeds. And it drinks out of an Aquafina bottle cap. It has feathers, but still can’t open its eyes yet. But it’s pretty active. Will it live or not? (We live in the northeast and it’s turning September, so it’s mother probably isn’t coming back anytime.)

  56. i still don't know why people believe that If you touch them the mother will abandon them because of your scent.birds have terrible noses.unless it's a vulture,the mother won't care.

  57. I found 4 baby birds their parents had died they where outside in the cold I took care of them until the point they got bigger I realized they where parakeets and I kept them

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