Care for a bird that has fallen from the nest

Rescuing a bird can sometimes be more complicated than adopting a stray dog ​​or cat, since birds tend to be distrustful of people, do not accept help easily and require much more specific and delicate care in order for them to survive. In addition, if it is a chick, it may be counterproductive for you to try to help it, because usually the mother is nearby and taking it with you takes it further away from its nest and leads to the rejection of the mother..

However, if you do not observe its mother nearby or you already have the bird at home and do not know how to help it, AnimalWised presents this article about care for a bird that has fallen from the nest.

You may also be interested in: Goldfinch Care Index
  1. When to pick up the bird?
  2. Nest preparation
  3. Feeding
  4. General tips
  5. Release

When to pick up the bird?

If you come across a bird that seems to have fallen from the nest and for one reason or another seems unable to fly (it is a chick or it is injured) your instinctive reaction will be to pick it up and take it home. However, sometimes this can be counterproductive.

In general, most birds perceive humans as dangerous beings, possible predators, so don't be surprised if the bird gets nervous when it sees you around it. If you observe that it is injured, whether it is injured in its legs, wings or some other place, unable to fly or jump, then you should take it home to cure it, although if it is a protected bird it is recommended call the forest agents so that they themselves take charge of rehabilitating it. If it is a pigeon or a house sparrow, probably the forestry agents will not act and then we can rescue it and take it to the consultation of a exotic vet.

On the contrary, if the bird is healthy, there are several variables. If it is a chick, it is possible that its nest is close and that even the parents observe the baby from where they are. It is best to try to locate the nest and return the bird to its nest. Don't be afraid to take it with your hands, as the belief that parents will reject it because of your human scent is just a myth. Mind you, try to be very careful.

If you cannot locate the nest, you can place the chick in a box and hang it from a tree so that its parents can find it. At the same time, you will be protecting it from potential predators, such as cats and dogs. If after a few hours nobody takes care of the little one, you will have to take him with you. Remember that this should be the only option, especially when the bird is unable to fend for itself and does not have others of its kind to help it, as it is often difficult for them to live in freedom after being raised by humans..

Nest preparation

If the bird must stay with you while it heals its wound or learns to defend itself, you need to provide adequate space.

In the case of the chicks, prepare a nest ands the most recommended. At that age they need a lot of heat, so a cardboard box with holes for it to breathe or a basket will be fine. Place absorbent paper in the bottom so it's easy to clean, and place the box in a corner. You can add an artificial nest (which you can buy at any animal store) or make it yourself with coconut hair or similar.

Bring the nest to a safe space in the home, away from cats and dogs and drafts. Nor should it give direct sunlight, although a little indirect light is required for the plumage of some species to develop..

The nest temperature It is important so you must have an electric mesh (in winter) so that you do not get cold. If your chick is trembling, it will need more heat, and if on the contrary it is panting and seems tired or suffocated, you are giving it too much heat and it can die quickly if you do not lower the temperature. Being attentive is essential.

If it is a adult bird that you have rescued for being hurt, a cage It will be perfect for her, if it is big the better so that she can fly. Put newspapers at the bottom to remove debris, keep a feeder, a waterer and a bowl of water so that he can wash up The best thing in this case is that the cage can be in the garden or near a window, so that the bird does not lose contact with the outside world. This, of course, without exposing it to strong currents or direct sun..

In both cases it is recommended avoid touching them as much as possible and force an interaction with humans. If we do, in the future in freedom, he will approach strangers and strangers who may harm him. It is imperative that you continue to be afraid of people in order to survive.


feeding it will depend on the species and the age of the bird, for this reason it is essential to investigate the species we are preparing to feed. In general, the chicks will need soft food, such as pasta, which we can find in any animal shop or veterinary center for exotics..

Moisten it with warm water so that it softens and you get a not too thick paste. Then take some small tweezers or a tipless syringe and bring it close to the chick's beak, touching one side. By instinct, it will open to be fed but if it does not you can simulate a hiss to open its beak. Add a small portion and allow him to swallow before offering more.

The chicks have to eat a little every hour, from sunrise to a little before dark. During the night they sleep, so you should not disturb him. Before feeding, check its body temperature: if the bird feels very cold, do not feed it, offer it heat and wait for it to stabilize before feeding it.

You will know that you have offered enough food when the bird's crop is full. Remember that the crop is a small "bag" that birds have on one side of the neck and that it is especially visible in chicks. As you offer food, the crop will grow.

With the adult birds You have several options, according to the species, but in principle the food can be made up of small insects (or insectivorous paste, sold at any exotic vet) and seeds in the case of granivorous birds. Informing us about the species will again be essential to know what to offer it as food..

The food is placed in the feeder so that the bird can feed itself; If she refuses to do so, you can approach the beak to stimulate it, but never try to force her to eat. A container with clean and fresh water cannot be missing. Food is offered two to three times a day. You can combine these foods with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as endemic plants of the area on which it feeds.

General tips

  • If you have rescued a chick, as it grows you should vary your diet to eat adult foods similar to what you would eat in the wild.
  • Avoid touching or lifting the chick more than necessary, Well, he could consider that you are his mother and that way it will never be possible to free him.
  • The cage or box should be cleaned every day to remove waste and debris.
  • Clean your hands after touching the bird, to avoid contagion of diseases or infections.
  • Never try to force feed them. If the bird does not want to eat, perhaps you are not offering the right menu. Get advice from a specialist.
  • If it is a insectivorous, You can leave the cage near your garden to eat the insects that the wind brings. Put a light nearby to attract them.
  • When feeding the chick with the porridge, avoid getting the feathers dirty, feathers stick together and cleaning can get tricky; Similarly, be careful not to fill your nostrils or eyes with food.
  • If you observe impoverishment of the color of the feathers, apathy or narrowed eyes, probably some health problem is affecting your bird, check its plumage to detect possible parasites and if so deworm externally and internally to improve your health.
  • Consult a specialist whenever possible, remember that birds are very delicate.


When your chick has grown or the wound from the bird you rescued recovers, it is the moment to release her back in their natural habitat. It is best to choose the same place where you found it to do it, since it is likely that others of the same species live nearby.

It is not correct to force the bird out of the cage, Well, you will not feel safe. Ideally, open the cage and allow him to step out and explore his surroundings, until he feels safe enough to fly..

When it has decided to leave and take flight, you can stay for a while watching that it does not return to the cage. Your work will be done.

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