sbic56 & BranRN,
Thanks for the opening for this public service message on behalf of your wildlife friends:
This is spring, love is in the air and there will be lots of wildlife babies about. Here are guidelines for anyone who finds an orphaned or injured wild baby:
1. If you find a baby bird nestling (not yet fully feathered/ not yet able to fly) if at all possible place the bird back in its nest. There is a common perception that bird parents will reject a baby that has been touched by humans, and "smells" like humans. This is not true--most birds, with the exception of vultures, have very little sense of smell. If the parents are alive and well, they will care for babies placed back in the nest.
2. If the baby is a fledgling (fully feather, can fly, but is perhaps clumsy) - if the fledgling is hopping arund on the ground, they can be left alone--the parents are probably watching over the baby. Please keep any pets (dogs, cats) inside and away from the baby.
3. If you find a fawn alone, it may not be an orphan--for the first 2 weeks of the baby's life the mother deer will leave the baby hidden while she forages for food. If you think the baby may be an orphan, but is uninjured, if possible watch from a distance for a while to see if the mother returns.
if you find an orphaned (parents dead or bird that's nest cannot be located or reached) or injured wild animal, contact your local licensed rehabilitator--
if there is no rehabilitator nearby, contact your local game warden or a veterinarian for assistance. Many wild animals have very specific diet and care requirements beyond what an individual can provide.
On behalf of the animals--thanks for caring!