Try to return baby bird to nest
Question: I saw a baby bird in the park that might have been abandoned. I didn't want to handle it in case its mother returned, but should I have brought it to the Humane Society?
Answer: A wild bird can generally care for itself. If you find a baby bird away from its nest, the best way to help is to gently place it where it belongs, because the mother bird cannot.
If the nest is too high, put the bird on a low branch or a shady fence post off the ground. Also know that it is a myth that adult birds will shun their young if they carry the scent of a human.
After several hours, check on the bird again. If it is still in the same place, not being cared for by an adult bird and unable to fly on its own, call Oahu's Wild Bird Rehab Haven, a team of wild-bird caregivers sanctioned by the state. Dedicated to helping Hawaii's orphaned, ill or injured birds, the Rehab Haven works to re-release healthy birds into the wild or provide a permanent home for those unable to survive on their own. Their 24-hour hot line is 447-9274.
Abandoned birds can also be brought to the Humane Society.
Q: At what age do birds become independent from their mothers?
A: Birds are able to fend for themselves when they are 3 to 6 weeks old, depending on the species.
Until then, mother birds provide care and often leave their babies alone for four to five hours while in search of food. They will return, so it is best to leave baby birds alone, even when they appear to be abandoned.
In some cases, if the bird is able to fly a little, adult birds are probably nearby.
The Hawaiian Humane Society welcomes questions by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org
. Indicate "Pet Ohana" in the subject line. Or, write "Pet Ohana," Hawaiian Humane Society, 2700 Waialae Ave., Honolulu 96826.