Taking Care of Wildlife Babies

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First off Thank you so much for caring for the well being of these babies.

Allot of times babies are thought to be abandoned but really their momma is around but hiding from you. So it is always best to try and reunite the babies with their momma.

For baby birds,

If a nest has blown over or the babies have fallen out of their nest this is what you should do.
If you can reach the nest you can just simply put the babies back and make sure there parents are still taking care of them (more on this later)
It is an old wives tale that if you touch a baby there moms wont take them back. If you give them the chance they will take them back.

If the nest is down or you cannot reach where the nest is you can simply get a basket or other container and hang it near the area the nest is. (on tree or such) parent birds should be drawn to their babies cries for food.

If The parents don’t come back by night fall. (watch from a safe distance to be sure nothing harms the babies) generally the parents will sleep with there babies so when it gets dark you can take a flashlight and see if the parents are with them.

DO NOT leave them outside all night without there parents. Also if attacked by a cat they need meds ASAP as cat saliva is toxic to them.

If the parents do not return please take the babies in and place them in a container with a heating pad set on LOW. Please do not feed the birds. They do not eat raw or cooked meat. They do not eat canned cat or dog food. and they cannot digest dairy products so no milk!!! and baby bird food from pet stores do not have enough protein or calcium. . And it is very easy to aspirate a baby. If babies bellies are crinkly meaning they are dehydrated you can chop up a grap and give them a few pieces. (older babies eyes will be squinty if they are dehydrated.

For Squirrels.

If their nest has blown down or they have fallen the momma normally will retrieve her baby given the chance. Set them in an open shoe box or something similar at the base of the tree and watch from a distance.

If babies are screaming in their nest they are starving and crying for food. Call a Rehabber. Or if they have been attacked by a cat they need meds ASAP!
Note: If the baby is injured, is having trouble breathing, has fly eggs on his fur, or is very skinny or dehydrated, he needs emergency care by an experienced rehabber or vet.

Well you get a hold of a rehabber
Don’t try to feed the squirrel.
Don’t handle him more than you have to.
No loud voices, TV, music, or bright lights.
No children or pets in the same room!

1. Warm the Baby
Quick Methods:
-heating pad set on low
-Cup the baby in your hands or under your shirt next to your skin.
-Fill a plastic bottle with very warm water. Wrap in a cloth, place next to baby, and cover him. Reheat every 2 hours.
-“Rice Buddy”: Fill a sock with 1 cup of rice or dried beans and microwave for 30 seconds. Place next to baby and cover him. Reheat every 2 hours.

2. [b] Find a Box or Container[b]
A shoe box will do for small babies. A baby that can walk will need a larger box with a lid (with holes). Put a clean baby blanket, flannel shirt, or piece of fleece in the bottom of the box. No towels or terrycloth. Squirrels can get tangled in the loops. Place baby on the material and cover him with one flap. If you have a heating pad, turn it on low and place it under half of the box (not IN the box!) so baby can move away if he gets too warm. You can use the plastic bottle or rice buddy described above, but these are only temporary methods until you get a heating pad, since they must be reheated every 2 hours and won’t keep baby warm all night.
NOTE: Monitor his temperature so he doesn’t chill or overheat. His feet should feel warm to the touch.

Baby Deer or Fawns.

Fawns are one of the most “kidnapped” wildlife.
Mom leaves the babies and returns just to feed them so that they don’t draw attention of predators. If you find a fawn please dont take the baby unless they are injured or need medical help. If they are covered in flies and are not “fighting” them they may need help. Watch and see if mom returns. If mom doesn’t come back or if fawn is by dead mother call a Rehabber. Please keep the babies away from dogs. Keep them in a quiet place.

For Skunks, foxes and Raccoons.

Please keep contact limited and use gloves. If babies are eyes closed you can set them where you found them in a shallow box. If eyes open you can place a laundry basket over them that there mom can easily tip over. Once again just watch for mom to come get them. IF they are injured or you found them b.c they are crying call a Rehabber. If they are older and act aggressive please just right away call a rehabber or animal control. these species can carry parasites and also Rabies. Keep away from pets and children.

For Possums.

They are the one of the only babies that if you find them wondering around by themselves that you instantly take in b.c their mom doesn’t retrieve or go looking for lost babies. Also it is good to check possums that have been hit on the side of the road b.c possums are marsupials. So they carry their babies in a pouch. And though mom is dead often some of the babies are still alive in her pouch. Get them help ASAP b.c They will continue to drink their dead moms spoiled milk and need meds!

For Rabbits.

If you come across a nest while mowing or if there pets find the nest often ppl think that the mom will not return.
She normally will. place 2 strings in an X over the nest and check to see if the X is disturbed. Mom only feeds in the early morning and at night.
If mom doesn’t return seek help. If babies are open eyed and wondering outside the nest and are the size of a fluffy baseball, they are weaned and can survive on their own unless attacked an animal.

If any babies have been injured or attacked by any animal get help ASAP! If they have been attacked by a cat they need meds right away b.c cat saliva is toxic to small animals.

To find a Rehabber near you here is a list by county of rehabbers.


Thanks again for caring

Mandy T Wildlife Rehabber
417-924-9248 or 417-741-2353

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