Monday, May 16, 2011

When Helping Hurts

It is not uncommon for outdoor enthusiasts to come across grounded and seemingly helpless baby birds this time of year. Unfortunately the best of intentions can often do more harm than good. The best advice for people who stumble upon baby birds is to simply leave them alone.

Humans who decide to care for a baby bird may not completely understand the amount of care required for the animal to live. Young birds need to be fed every 15-20 minutes from sunrise to sunset. They also require essential skills to survive in the wild. Learning to avoid predators and where to search for food are abilities only a bird’s parents can teach. Perhaps the most obvious con to raising a bird is the fact that the animal will form a close bond with humans instead of their own species. Such animals are no longer fearful of humans once released back into the wild.

If the amount of work and potential harm are not enough to deter humans from attempting to “help” baby birds found out of the nest, there are a few more facts to consider before allowing guilt to affect our actions. A bird’s nest is a dangerous place for the youngsters as it is practically an open buffet for any predator. Therefore, the baby birds will try to leave the nest as quickly as they can even if they are not quite ready. It is common for them to fall to the ground and spend several days there as they continue to grow and prepare to fly. If you spot one, keep in mind that the parents are most likely very nearby and simply waiting for you to leave. For further reading please visit:

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