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Can Birds Pick Up Their Babies From The Ground?

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Can Birds Pick Up Their Babies From The Ground? Yes, birds can pick up their babies from the ground. Bird parents are very protective of their young, and they will do anything they can to keep them safe.

Birds are amazing creatures, and their parenting instincts are remarkable. Many bird species have unique ways of caring for their young. While some birds lay their eggs in nests on trees or bushes, others may nest on the ground. However, when baby birds leave the nest, they are vulnerable to predators as they may fall or get lost.

To ensure the safety of their young, bird parents may pick them up from the ground and transport them to a safer place. This behavior is known to occur in species such as sparrows, robins, and even in some raptors. In addition, some bird species, like pelicans, have an extra brood patch on their breast that allows them to carry their young while flying. The efforts of bird parents show that family values are not just limited to humans.

Grounded Baby Birds: Can Their Parents Rescue Them Safely?


Reasons For Grounding Of Baby Birds

Baby birds (fledgling stage) are often found on the ground due to natural causes, such as illness or injury. Sometimes, habitat loss, window strikes or predation threats can also cause grounding. It is a myth that parent birds won’t accept babies back after touching them.

The truth is, that birds have a very limited sense of smell and act on instinct. So, it’s safe to return baby birds to their nests or place them in a protected spot for their parents to pick them up. Avoid keeping them for long, as their parents may not be able to provide the same level of care as humans.

Can Parents Rescue Grounded Baby Birds Safely?

Research shows that birds have a strong bond with their young, making it difficult for them to abandon their offspring, even when they are in danger. The maternal or paternal instinct in birds is so strong that they will do everything to save their babies.

However, there are instances when parents are not able to rescue grounded baby birds, threatening their survival. In such cases, it is important for humans to intervene so that the young ones are safe. Before you attempt to help, it’s crucial to evaluate certain factors such as the bird species, habitat, age, and whether it is injured.

If the parents are unable to help, you can carefully pick up the baby bird by placing it in a container. Keep it warm and safe while you seek assistance from a wildlife center or licensed rehabilitator.

The Safety Of Handling Grounded Baby Birds By Humans

Handling grounded baby birds can pose risks to both the birds and humans. Although it may seem like a compassionate act to retrieve these fragile creatures, there are precautions to take. For example, baby birds that are not fully feathered do not have the ability to regulate their own body temperature and may become chilled easily.

Furthermore, handling baby birds can traumatize them and cause them to imprint on humans, leaving them unable to function in the wild. Additionally, there is a risk of transmitting diseases between humans and birds. To provide the best chance of survival for these helpless creatures, it is essential to contact licensed wildlife rehabilitators for assistance.

They are trained to handle these situations and ensure that the welfare of both the birds and humans is protected.

Steps For Safe Handling And Rescue Of Grounded Baby Birds

Identifying a grounded baby bird is essential for determining if help is needed. If you come across one, first check if it’s a fledgling or nestling. Fledglings are partially feathered and can hop or flutter, while nestlings are mostly featherless and stay in the nest.

Next, assess injuries, dehydration, and if the bird is cold or lethargic. Wear gloves, and handle them gently, placing them in a secure, warm, and dark box. Provide warmth, and do not feed them without advice from professionals as it may cause harm.

Transport the box to a rehabilitation center carefully, making sure it’s quiet and dark, and the bird won’t get jostled around. Seek advice from local wildlife rescue services if needed. Handling grounded baby birds with care can ensure their safe return to their natural habitat.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Can Birds Pick Up Their Babies From The Ground

Can Birds Pick Up Their Babies From The Ground?

Yes, some bird species can pick up their babies from the ground. However, not every bird can do this as it depends on their physical characteristics and age.

How Do Birds Pick Up Their Babies?

Most birds pick up their babies by grasping their necks or scruff with their beaks, and they carry them to safety in a nearby tree or bush.

Do Birds Abandon Their Chicks If They Touch Them?

No, it’s a myth that birds will abandon their chicks if humans touch them. In fact, most birds have a poor sense of smell and won’t detect human scent on their young ones.

What Should I Do If I Find A Baby Bird On The Ground?

If the baby bird is not injured, the best thing to do is to leave it alone. Its parents are likely nearby, and they will continue to care for it. However, if it’s injured, you can contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center.

How Long Does It Take For Baby Birds To Fly?

The time it takes for baby birds to fly depends on the species. Most birds learn to fly between 10 and 15 days, while some can take up to several weeks. It depends on their size, weight, and physical abilities.


Birds are fascinating creatures that have a unique way of raising their offspring. Although it is not common for birds to pick up their babies from the ground, some species can do it. However, it is important to note that most birds are not capable of picking up their young ones once they have left the nest.

Moreover, the baby birds may be in danger if they are handled by humans or other predators. Therefore, it is best to leave them alone and let the parents take care of them. The best way to ensure the birds’ safety is to provide them with a safe nesting place in trees, shrubs, or nesting boxes.

While some birds may pick up their young ones from the ground, not all of them have the ability to do so. It is always important to let nature take its course and let the birds take care of their young.

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Eva N. Russell

Greetings from Eva N. Russell, a devoted mother to all birds. For the past few years, she has dedicated her time to working with the Bird's Welfare Organization, driven by her love and passion for these beautiful creatures.

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