• I Found an Abandoned Baby Bird….

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    Photo credit to Eddy Van 3000

    On Wednesday morning I left the house at 5:00 am to go to my exercise class.  When I arrived home at 7:00, there was a nestling on the ground next to my door.  It was rather large, mostly naked, and just starting to get its feathers – and it was very alive; moving around and breathing.  I left it there and ran inside to start Googling what I should do.  Ultimately, the best advice I could find was to leave it and see if the mother comes back.  If not, call an expert.  So I left it – for three hours.  I would open the door and peek to see if the mama had come to take it back to the nest, but while I saw many birds, none approached this baby bird.

    In most cases, if you find an “abandoned” animal, your best bet is to leave it alone. Chances are that the mama left to find food (or lead a predator away) and will be back.  If you are standing around the nest waiting for the parents to come get their baby, chances are – they will stay clear until it is safe – in other words, when you leave. The BEST advice when you find a baby wild animal is to leave it alone.

    But what if you do that….and the mama doesn’t come back?  Then what?  Then, you need to call in an expert.  That doesn’t mean that you pick up the poor thing, put it in a box and carry it to your favorite veterinarian.  Why?  There are many reasons but the most important are:

    1. Many wild animals are protected.  That means that by picking them up and moving them, you could be in violation of the law. There are plenty of stories like this one where a mother was fined because her kindhearted daughter tried to help a bird about to be eaten by a cat.
    2. Your veterinarian is trained and experienced in handling domestic animals.  That means dogs and cats, maybe cows and horses, possibly the random hamster or guinea pig.  But not a wild animal.  These animals require special handling and care that can only be given by a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
    3. Your dog or cat’s vet usually does not have the necessary equipment to properly care for a wild animal.

    So what do you do?  Well, after I watched that poor little bird for three hours, I called the Arkabutla Lake Wildlife Rehabilitation and Nature Center. Here in Desoto County, these folks are the experts.  They are in the process of building a nature center and conservatory for educating people and rehabilitating animals. Ms. Valery Smith, Executive Director, came to my home and picked up my little bird.  Because the nest was in the eves of my house, we could not put him back, so she tucked him gently in a little box to be rehabilitated. So if you find a wild animal that appears injured or abandoned, don’t touch it! Instead, call the experts at 662-429-0044.  If you don’t live in Desoto County, MS, visit The Wildlife Rehabilitation Directory to find a wildlife rehabilitator near you.

     

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