A baby bird may be blown out of a nest by wind or rain, or even dropped after a failed predatory attack. If the bird isn’t hurt, you can place it back in the nest. Unlike mammals, birds have a poor sense of smell and will not reject babies touched by people.
Watch the nest for one to two hours to confirm the parents are coming back to feed the baby. If the parents don’t return, or the baby bird is hurt, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation centre or call the BC SPCA Animal Helpline at 1-855-622-7722 for advice. Sometimes parents will reject baby birds if there is something wrong with them, or they are too weak.
In the spring and summer, you may see healthy-looking birds on the ground that can’t fly. These young birds are called fledglings. Birds at this age are just learning how to fly.
The parent birds are usually close by for protection, but will not feed the fledglings as often. This makes the young birds hungry so they hop out of the nest to explore.
Try to keep the area safe while these birds learn how to fly. Keep cats and dogs inside or on leash, and leave the area undisturbed.
If the birds are in an unsafe area, like a road or parking lot, call the BC SPCA Animal Helpline for advice at 1-855-622-7722. Read our care sheet found a baby bird (PDF) and find out more about what to do if you find a baby bird.
Gulls often nest on the flat roofs of commercial or apartment buildings. Most times, the young gulls will fly off with their parents when they are ready. As the young gulls are learning to fly, sometimes they jump or tumble from the roof before they are able to fly well. When this happens, they often land in an unsafe location and are unable to fly to safety.
If a young gull is stuck in an area without food for more than a day, and you do not see adult gulls coming down to bring food to the baby, it might need to be rescued. In this case, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation centre or call the BC SPCA Animal Helpline for advice at 1-855-622-7722.