Help - I found a baby bird

Baby birds do not always need our help
This quick guide may help you decide if he does or not
If in doubt, please call 610 0400 anytime to talk it through with us

PLEASE do not try and care for any wildlife yourself. It’s a difficult job and must be done correctly if the bird or animal is to survive in the wild.  

Is he obviously injured?

  • Did you see him get hurt?

  • Is he unable to stand

  • Is he unable to fly?

  • Can you see blood in his mouth or anywhere on his body?

  • Are his eyes closed or squinty?

  • Are there lumps or bumps on his face or body?

If yes, you need to get him to a veterinarian or to Belize Bird Rescue very quickly. Bird metabolism is fast and he needs help immediately if he is to survive. Call us on 610 0400 right now for help!

Q. Is he is fully-feathered?

A. He’s a fledgling!!


Fledglings have all or most of their feathers and leave the nest just before they can fly. The parents are usually nearby and will still be feeding the bird. Fledglings can walk, hop and flap, and attempt short flights, but are still being cared for by the parents.

  1. Make sure he is not injured

  2. Leave him alone and watch from a safe distance for the parents to return

  3. If he's in danger from predators, put him up as high as you can and watch from a distance. Keep pets and people away!

  4. If you can see a nest, you could try replacing him, but likely he will just jump out again

  5. You may be able to hear the parents calling and the baby will answer them

  6. Do NOT take him far away - the parents may not be able to find him again.

Many species spend a day or two on the ground before they fly. This is a normal part of the young birds' development.

While they are on the ground, the birds are cared for and protected by their parents and are taught vital life skills  like finding food, identifying predators and flying.

Owl babies are particularly ‘bad’ for being on the ground. If you find a young owl on the ground, try placing it on the highest nearby branch you can find. They will frequently make their way back up the tree.

REMEMBER: A healthy baby's best chance of survival in the wild is with his parents.

Please do NOT ‘kidnap’ healthy birds!!

Q. Does he have fluffy down or missing feathers? 

A. He's a nestling!


  1. Check he is not injured

  2. Look around for a nearby nest

  3. If you can, please put him back in it – the parents will be around and will feed him.

  4. Birds do not abandon a baby because you have touched him. They don’t have a good sense of smell – that is a false tale

  5. If the nest has been destroyed or is unreachable, you may be able to make a substitute nest. Check our leaflet for details, or call for advice.

Most “abandoned” baby birds are perfectly healthy fledglings whose parents are nearby and watching out for them.

If in doubt - call us. You can ask the operator to place a collect call, or call on the Digicel Wildlife Advice Hotline: 0800 822 8888 for free