The following is an article provided by Fauna Rescue of South Australia:
Every year thousands of baby birds are rescued by well-meaning members of the public when they are found on the ground unable to fly. In the majority of cases the “rescue” was not necessary because it is normal for young feathered birds to fall from the nest to the ground before they learn to fly. Once on the ground they spread, flutter and strengthen their wings over a few days, generally under the watchful eye of a nearby parent. Within that time the fledglings gain sufficient strength to flutter upward into the safety of a nearby bush or tree. If you see a baby bird on the ground this Spring:
Unfeathered birds should never be on the ground. If possible, return the bird to its nest. The parent will not reject the baby if it has been handled. If the baby cannot be returned to its nest, it needs to come into care urgently.
Feathered fledging birds may not have fully developed tail feathers, but the body and wings should be fully feathered. If a feathered baby bird is found on the ground, wait for up to an hour if you can to make sure parent birds are returning to feed and protect the fledgling. If the parents do not return, something may have happened to them and the baby bird will need to come into care.
Keep your domestic pets inside or securely in a different area while birds are fledging. It is only for a few days while the bird learns to flutter up into trees. If feral cats are circling the fledgling, place the bird into a plant pot or plastic container with drainage holes in the bottom, insert sticks and leaves for their feet to grip, and place out of reach of cats. Check to make sure the parents locate and continue to take care of the baby. Returning fledglings to their nest is not recommended as they are likely to immediately jump out again.
Only orphaned, unfeathered or injured baby birds should be rescued. Place the bird into a tissue lined margarine container sitting on top of a hot water bottle filled with hot tap water (not boiling), and put into a box to keep it contained. Contact Fauna Rescue to arrange a carer. It’s Baby Bird Season! Help us prevent human-made orphans this Spring. Fauna Rescue of South Australia Inc 24 Hour Hotline: 8289 0896 www.faunarescue.org.au