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What to do when spring winds scatter baby birds and nests to the ground

Nesting and hatching season is an exciting time for birds and bird watchers. But what’s the right thing to do when spring winds knock baby birds or nests to the ground?

Liberty Wildlife has some answers. 

The mostly volunteer education, conservation and rehabilitation nonprofit cares for upwards of 7,000 animals annually but needs the public’s help on such an extensive problem.

People should return uninjured birds to their nests and use a small basket to secure any fallen nests to their trees, then watch for the parents to return.

If that’s not possible, or if the bird is injured, Liberty asks that people bring it to their Phoenix campus at 2600 E. Elwood St. between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Due to limited staff, volunteers can only retrieve special cases, like animals with dangerous talons, teeth or claws, or that need to be physically rescued. The rescue has a hotline for such cases at 480-998-5550.

The notion that birds will reject their young if humans touch them is a myth.

Nicholas Gerbis joined KJZZ’s Arizona Science Desk in 2016. A longtime science, health and technology journalist and editor, his extensive background in related nonprofit and science communications inform his reporting on Earth and space sciences, neuroscience and behavioral health, and bioscience/biotechnology.Apart from travel and three years in Delaware spent earning his master’s degree in physical geography (climatology), Gerbis has spent most of his life in Arizona. He also holds a master’s degree in journalism and mass communication from Arizona State University’s Cronkite School and a bachelor’s degree in geography (climatology/meteorology), also from ASU.Gerbis briefly “retired in reverse” and moved from Arizona to Wisconsin, where he taught science history and science-fiction film courses at University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is glad to be back in the Valley and enjoys contributing to KJZZ’s Untold Arizona series.During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gerbis focused almost solely on coronavirus-related stories and analysis. In addition to reporting on the course of the disease and related research, he delved into deeper questions, such as the impact of shutdowns on science and medicine, the roots of vaccine reluctance and the policies that exacerbated the virus’s impact, particularly on vulnerable populations.