Nestlings (naked or partially feathered chicks):
If a nestling is found on the ground, the first thing to do is look for a nest it may have fallen out of. In the event that no nest is found that has the same species and similar-sized young, the most important thing to do is to keep the bird(s) warm. At this stage it is unable to thermo regulate and if its body temperature decreases too much it will become too weak to eat or digest food. Contact our wildlife hotline at (780) 914-4118 for more advice.
If a nest and young are found on the ground, having fallen out of a tree, keep the babies warm and either repair the nest or replace it using a margarine tub. Using a margarine tub poke holes in the bottom to allow for water drainage, place it securely back into the tree, return the babies, and then monitor for the return of the parent(s). If the parents do not return after a couple of hours, please contact our wildlife hotline at (780) 914-4418.
If a tree is cut down and a cavity nest is discovered with young still inside, you can attempt to reconstruct the nest site as best as possible – preferably using the same nest cavity. You can then monitor for the return of the parents from a distance. Once adult birds are feeding young they are very loyal to a nest site and will generally tolerate even this level of disturbance.
* Please note: Many people believe that leaving your scent on the baby will cause the parents to reject it, this is not true. Birds have a very poor sense of smell and this is not a concern.
Fledglings (wing and tail feathers developed, out of the nest and hopping about):
Many bird species spend several days practicing before they are able to fly. It is at this time in their lives when most well-intentioned humans bring them to us.
If the bird is obviously injured (i.e. bleeding, dragging a leg/wing), we do ask that you contact our wildlife hotline at (780) 914-4118. If there are no obvious injuries, observe the bird from a distance and watch if other bird(s) attend or call to it.
If it is in imminent danger (i.e. being stalked by a cat) it is all right to pick up the bird and place it in a tree out of reach. Watch closely as it only takes a few seconds for an adult to feed the young bird and this can easily be missed. Please do not feed the young one as it is their hunger calls that tell the adult where they are.
We appreciate your care and concern; if you do find a baby bird please call our wildlife hotline at (780) 914-4118 for advice before you intervene.