Precocial Birds are “self-sufficient” because most of these babies can find and eat food on their own often within minutes or hours of hatching. However, these babies are defenseless and cannot regulate their own temperatures. Therefore, they require protection and warmth from their parents.
Precocial babies also rely on their parents to supply the oil they need to waterproof their feathers and keep themselves dry. A precocial baby on its own is an easy meal for a predator.
It is important to take some time to determine if the baby, or babies, is truly orphaned or is just temporarily separated from its parent. Look and listen to try and detect if the baby’s parents are in the area. Watch from a distance for at least an hour to see if the adult returns to claim the baby. It is best to keep your distance so that the parent will not be frightened from returning.
Baby birds have the best chance for success in the wild when they are raised by a parent. When you find a precocial baby bird, please take the time to stop, look, and listen… you just might reunite a family!
If a precocial baby’s parent does not claim the baby within two hours, or if the baby’s parent is known to be dead, please call Greenwood Wildlife at (303) 823-8455 to discuss what you observe and to decide with a rehabilitator if the animal you see needs help.
If you determine that an animal needs to be brought to our facility, please follow these instructions for capturing and transporting animals.