This was a few weeks ago…I came across this baby bird early in the evening before a very cold night. He was alone and helpless looking, and I knew without his adult feathers, he was unlikely to survive the night.
See the little shafts around the bill? Those are where the adult feathers are beginning to emerge. And he still has those little baby feathers like a crown around his head.
I knew that he had probably fledged too early and he obviously couldn’t fly yet (he sat quite calmly in my hand actually). And in general, it’s best to leave baby birds like this alone, but I didn’t want him to die on that cold night, so I brought him inside and put him in a shoebox lined with cotton and fresh hay. I provided a couple of different food types (bird seeds of a few varieties, fresh grass seeds, freshly cut hay) and water and kept him in my room overnight. My roommate was grudgingly okay with this as long as the bird stayed in the box and didn’t get lose (like the last baby bird I brought into the house).
The next day, I brought him to the field with me, and tried to feed him various forms of insect life (I still haven’t figured out what the little guy is! let me know if you know in the comments), like bee larvae and worms, but he exhibited no interest in any kind of food.
Because he wasn’t interested in any of the food I could provide, I decided his best chance at life would be if I returned him to where I found him, in the hopes that he would know where and how to find his own food.
At least it was much warmer when I released him the next day.
Hopefully, I just gave him a fighting chance.