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What to do when baby birds are found on the ground

Published: Tuesday, July 8 2014 4:21 p.m. MDT

Ron Stewart, regional conservation outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, said young birds often leave their nests before they're able to fly.

The Peregrine Fund, Cal Sandfort, Associated Press

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SALT LAKE CITY — If you find a baby bird on the ground, what should you do with it?

Ron Stewart, regional conservation outreach manager for the Division of Wildlife Resources, said young birds often leave their nests before they're able to fly.

"They usually spread out along the branch of a tree and call for their parents to bring food to them," he says.

While the birds are spread along the branch, it's not uncommon for a strong wind to blow the birds off the branch and for people to find them on the ground.

Stewart said the best thing to do is get the bird out of the reach of cats and dogs by placing it on a safe branch.

"The baby will squawk and the parents will find it," he said.

Stewart also said people shouldn't feed the bird before placing it back in the tree, as birds have a specific diet. He said the best thing to do is let the bird's parents feed it.

If a nest is found, Stewart said the best thing to do is leave the nest where it is. But if that's not possible, relocate it in a nearby tree or another safe place.

"Birds are extremely good parents," he said. "They'll almost always find the spot where the nest is placed by following the sounds of their young."

More information is available at www.wildawareutah.org.

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