What to Do If You See a Baby Bird or Animal That Appears To Be In Trouble This Spring

If you see a baby bird or mammal that appears to be in trouble this spring, you can get help from the Umpqua Wildlife Rescue and their licensed, expert wildlife rehabilitators, who can be reached at this hotline: 541-440-6895.

Our local wildlife rescue can help rehabilitate baby or injured birds or wild animals. The nonprofit’s primary goal is to return birds and animals to the wild.

May be an image of hummingbird

Today, a local resident spotted a tiny baby hummingbird sitting motionless in a highly trafficked area outside City Hall doors. The bird was alive, but not walking or trying to fly, and was in danger of being trampled. A City maintenance employee had recently come across the body of another hummingbird – possibly a parent – that is suspected to have flown into a glass door and died a few feet from where the baby bird was found today.

City staff contacted Umpqua Valley Audubon Society and Umpqua Wildlife Rescue, who sent a hummingbird expert to collect and rehabilitate the chick with green and ruby-colored feathers back into the wild. The chick could be an Anna’s or Rufous hummingbird, which both live here, but is not the bird shown in this photo.

Longtime Umpqua Wildlife Rescue member Brenda Weber, who specializes in songbird rescues, said not all baby birds need help. Some young birds may be on the ground after leaving the nest while learning to fly. There’s a difference between a young bird that is hopping and moving around, and one that is featherless and/or helpless.

“If it’s a young one that’s hopping around, the best thing is to just move it under a bush. If it’s just laying there or not moving, that would be a sign there might be an injury or it’s been without its parent too long,” Weber said.

If you see a young bird that is feathered and can hop, keep your pets away and put the chick in a nearby bush or other safe place so the parent birds can feed it. If the bird is naked and/or helpless, call Umpqua Wildlife Rescue, who can advise you to gently pick up the bird with your hand and place it in a covered cardboard box or paper bag lightly lined with a cloth or paper towels.

Contrary to what many of us believe, it’s OK to touch a baby bird very briefly with your hands if you need to place it in a box or bush – although you need to be very gentle and perhaps use hand sanitizer beforehand. The advice to not touch birds is believed to be an old folk tale to keep children from bothering nests.


“Most birds don’t have a good sense of smell,” Weber said. “The parenting instinct is very strong.”

If you have to watch over a baby hummingbird for very long, the chick does need food. Sugar water applied gently with a syringe would be best – mix a quarter cup of sugar with a cup of water, but don’t just place sugar water in a bowl, Weber added.

“It’s definitely baby bird season,” said Umpqua Valley Audubon Society President Diana Wales, a rehabilitation specialist with Umpqua Wildlife Rescue who helped track down a hummingbird expert Tuesday.

The City of Roseburg would like to thank Umpqua Wildlife Rescue, Umpqua Valley Audubon Society and the sharp-eyed resident who first spotted the baby hummingbird outside City Hall.

Learn more about Umpqua Wildlife Rescue, including what to do if you find an injured or baby bird or animal and how to help by donating or volunteering: umpquawildliferescue.org

May be an image of rhinoceros and text that says 'Umpqua Wildlife Rescue, Inc. Hotline: 541 -440-6895'



Suzanne Hurt – Communications Specialist

City of Roseburg

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