Will the mama bird take her baby back if you touch it?
We are planning on redoing our landscaping, and a volunteer bush on the corner of the house needs to come out. However, my husband Snapchatted a picture to me of a robin, and she decided to make her nest right in the bush.
Needless to say, that bush will not be going anywhere for the time being.
We keep an eye on the mother, and she eyes us steadily when we come close. She squawked her displeasure when my husband had to mow underneath the bush the other day.
With so many nests around this time of year, people often ask about what they should do if they see a baby bird. An article I read yesterday put the answer in pretty simple terms --- if the baby is cute, leave it alone; if the baby is ugly, put it back in the nest.
Basically, if the baby bird is old enough to have feathers and is adorable, it's old enough to be out of the nest. It might not be able to fly well yet, but if you put it back in the nest, it will probably hop out again.
If the baby is ugly, naked and featherless, it isn't old enough to be on its own and you should carefully try to return it to its nest. The mama will take it back just fine, because songbirds don't identify their young by smell.
(A quick guide to finding a baby animal.)