April 29, 2020 — ODFW biologists have been responding to an increased number of calls about nesting birds. April through July is a critical time for most bird species as they care for their young.
ODFW reminds Oregonians that taking and keeping an animal from the wild as well as moving or destroying an active nest is not only against the law, but may harm or kill birds.
Please consider these tips if you do encounter a nest or baby bird:
If you see one on the ground, leave it alone and keep your distance. Bring your pets under control and indoors if possible.
The bird’s parents will feed it for several days on the ground until it can fly. Some fledglings such as great horned owls spend up to several weeks on or near the ground as they learn how to fly.
Owl parents protect and feed their owlets during this time.
It is a myth that a nestling touched by humans will be abandoned by its parents.
If the nest is out of reach, place the bird on an elevated branch or fence, or in a nest made from a small box, out of reach of children and pets.
Leave the area so the parent birds can return. Similarly, if you find ducklings near a road or other hazard without an adult, they should not be taken home, but left in a safe location (like a water body with other ducklings) near where they were found.
Be proactive and exclude wildlife from these attractive nesting sites by using chicken wire or hardware cloth outside of the nesting season.
Keep it in a quiet and cool place, outside and away from pets. Check on the bird in a couple of hours. If the bird has recovered, it will have flown off. If not, contact your local ODFW office or your local ODFW-licensed wildlife rehabilitation facility. Keep in mind that many of the state’s wildlife rehabilitators are experiencing limitations on animal in-take capacity from operational changes due to COVID-19. If a bird can survive in the wild it needs to be left alone now more than ever.