Parents of young songbirds come back to the nest to feed their young often throughout the day—at least every hour. Beginning in early summer, you may notice fledglings (young birds that are just learning to fly and have just left the nest) on the ground or even perched on your patio furniture. These birds may look abandoned but their parents are most likely nearby, either watching for danger or finding food. If you watch quietly from a distance, shortly you will probably see a parent come to the young bird with a tasty morsel or softly call it beneath a nearby bush for safety. Other than keeping pets away, this bird does not need our help.

If the bird has not moved in hours, if you have not seen its parents return, or if it is injured, the bird most likely needs our help.