Found a baby bird out of a nest?

In the warmer months, it's often common to find baby birds on the ground. If you find a baby bird out of its nest, keep your pets away and follow the advice below.

Click here to see the difference between Nestlings and Fledglings

How to protect a baby bird from danger

If the baby bird is out of its nest and in immediate danger, then you can pick it up (using gloves) and move it a very short distance to somewhere safe - no more than a few metres away. Look for somewhere with shelter for the bird, and where the parents will still be able to find them easily.

How to tell if a baby bird has been orphaned

You should only take baby birds into captivity as a last resort if:

  • They're sick or injured
  • You know for sure that the parents are dead
  • You've continuously monitored them from a distance for more than two hours and the parents haven't returned.

In these cases, you should contact your local wildlife rehabilitation centre or vet as soon as possible.

What to do if the baby bird is visibly injured

An injured baby bird will need specialist care and rehabilitation to survive, so the best thing to do is to contact a local wildlife rehabilitation centre or a vet as soon as possible. You may be asked to take the bird to the centre yourself. If you need to handle the bird, follow this handling and boxing advice. If the wildlife centre or vets are unavailable, or you're unable to transport the baby bird, please call 0300 1234 999

Leave eggs and nests alone

Birds are at their most vulnerable when nesting. Any disturbance could kill or hurt the wild birds and their young - or cause them to abandon their nests, eggs and young. Birds' eggs are also legally protected, so please don't touch or move them even if you want to help the birds, as you might be breaking the law. If you've found a nest that you think needs to be moved, check that you're legally able to do so.