Should You Help A Baby Bird That's Fallen Out Of Its Nest?

Some handy guidelines.

It's now the time of year when people are starting to enjoy the great outdoors. 

Now is also the time when it's common to see baby birds hatching. But sometimes they're found outside of their nest. Some people will always try to intervene and put it back in the nest, while others never touch a baby bird, wrongly thinking that the mother bird will reject a baby that smells like it has been touched by a human.

Just because a young bird isn't in its nest doesn't necessarily mean that it's in trouble. As baby birds grow up and begin to learn to fly, they might not always get it right, but that's part of the process. But there are some circumstances when the bird would benefit from a helping hand.

Slate has put together a short video that lets you know when you should intervene and when you should just let the little bird be.

Check it out here:

But what should you do if you come across other baby animals?

As with baby birds, people also want to help baby bunnies, deer, foxes, and other animals that look like they may be in danger. There are some differences when determining if mammals are in danger, but a general rule is not to assume they are orphaned unless you see the dead parent nearby. Unless the babies are injured or in immediate danger, it's probably best to leave them alone.

With some species, like rabbits, the mother leaves her babies during the day, returning to the nest at night. Not only does this give her a chance to go get food, but it also lures predators away. 

The recent incident with a young bison at Yellowstone is a somber reminder that wild animals aren't always as helpless as we may think they are. If a young animal looks like it may be in danger, contact a local wildlife rehabilitator before interacting with the animal.

(H/T: The Audubon Society)