If You Touch a Baby Bird will its Mother really Abandon it?

How many times as a child, have you heard that if you touch the new born baby bird, their mother will abandon it. How many times as an innocent child, you wanted to hold the baby bird in your hands, when they used to house in your balcony or your window?

Our parents have always warned us not to touch them, as their parents otherwise would reject and abandon them.

How did this Start?

This myth was derived from the belief that birds can detect your humanly scent. This myth made many of our parents not let us touch baby birds – and this has passed on through generations.

Is it true?

Of course Not!! contrary to what parents have told us mother birds do not abandon their little ones if they are touched by humans.

Baby Bird Touched by Human

Credit Creative Commons

Actually, birds have relatively small and simple olfactory nerves, which limit their sense of smell. Their lousy noses and their olfactory systems (system that relates to the sense of smell) are too weak to sniff out human scent.

Meanwhile you should not disturb a birds nest, merely touching a baby bird will not harm the maternal bond.

There are mostly two types of bird you might encounter on the ground – nestlings and fledglings.

Nestlings are the featherless or the fuzzy birds who are too young to leave the nest, these birds would probably require a helping hand. You can pick them up and put them back in the nest, their parents would not think any less of them and disown them.

Fledglings should be left alone, they have feathers on their back and are old enough to leave the nest and be on the ground, they will probably sit for two three days outside their nest unless their flight skills develop – trained under the watchful eyes of Mum and Dad.