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‘Orphaned’ birds

OK.  You’ve found an orphaned baby bird, now what do you do?  The first thing to do is figure if the bird is truly an orphan that needs help.  Most of the time, the baby bird is a just-fledged or prematurely fledged bird and mama is probably nearby.  Walk off some distance and observe the baby for awhile to see if a parent shows up to feed and take care of it.   Fledglings typically have rounded bodies and a short tail.  Many can’t fly at all and just hop around like the Brown Thrasher baby in the photo.  This guy ended up hiding in a cluster of rose bushes in my yard and the parents have kept him well fed.

Most of the time baby birds don’t need to be rescued.  The exception is when there are no parents present or you know they are no longer alive.  Or if there are dangers like roaming or feral cats around. If the baby is injured, then it is a candidate for rescue.  Then it’s best to quickly get the orphan to a qualified wildlife rehabilitator.  In most cases it is not legal for you to possess the bird and care for it yourself. If it is going to take some time to get the bird to a rehabilitator, call one and ask what you need to do to keep the little one alive until they are with a rehabilitator.  You can find a dirctory of licensed Oklahoma rehabilitators at http://wildliferehabinfo.org/Contact_N-Z.htm

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