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Wild Babies

Hatchlings & Nestlings

Safe Handling

Bird feathers are very delicate and the natural oils on humans hands can strip them of their weatherproofing. Avoid handling and wear gloves.


Baby songbirds are altricial, which means they are defenceless without parental support. They are born naked without feathers, but sometimes with downy fluff. Their eyes are closed and they’re barely mobile.

If one is found on the ground, it may have simply fallen, been rejected, or poached from the nest by a predator or competitor. If you can locate and replace the baby back in the nest, this is the best; make sure it is warm first as a cold baby will be rejected. Songbirds learn who they are from their parents’ song; without this they may not develop and mature properly.

If you cannot locate or reach the nest, follow our Wildlife Capture Guide and contact an Authorized Wildlife Custodian equipped to raise baby songbirds.

What you are witnessing may be perfectly normal behaviour. Look For:

  • Weakness or unconsciousness
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Discharge from the ears, eyes or nose
  • Large patches of missing/damaged feathers, fur or shell
  • Foreign objects stuck to or wrapped around the body
  • A deceased parent or siblings nearby
  • Bleeding
  • Open wounds
  • Fly eggs or maggots
  • Cat attack - even without visible or obvious wounds
  • Broken, injured or missing limbs – hindered movement
  • Non-stop shivering or crying

If you see any of these signs, the animal needs immediate help

As a volunteer powered charitable organization, we do not have the means or resources for pick ups or field rescues. We must rely on finders bringing animals in need of care to our facility.

Please do not bring animals to the centre without first confirming an intake time with a wildlife volunteer.
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