How Do You Nurse a Baby Bird?

To help a wild baby bird needing emergency assistance, veterinarians and wildlife rehabilitation specialists recommend placing the bird in a shoebox containing soft nesting material, and placing it in a quiet location until it can be taken to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. If it's not possible to take the bird to a rehabilitation center, the bird can be fed specific foods with the guidance of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Nestlings require diets high in protein, require small bites of food that are easy to digest, and may need to eat every 10 to 20 minutes for 12 to 14 hours. Moist dog food, raw liver, and hard boiled eggs are foods that may be appropriate temporarily for baby birds. Baby birds have different care and feeding requirements depending on species. Water, bread, whole bird seed, milk, pet bird food, and worms should never be fed to baby birds.

Foods fed to baby birds should be spongy in texture and fed in small bits. Foods that are dripping water could cause the bird to drown.

Fledglings, which don't have a lot of experience flying and finding food, are often mistaken for injured baby birds when they are seen hopping on the ground. Wildlife experts agree these birds should be left alone because their parents are usually nearby.

Wild birds cannot legally be kept as pets. Keeping a baby bird could inhibit its ability to learn necessary survival skills.