Our Address is: 8626 SW Citrus Boulevard - Palm City, Florida 34990
772-286-6200 voice   772-286-6220 fax     click here for a map

TCWH is a 501(c)(3) charity. One hundred percent of your contribution goes to TCWH. Zero percent is retained by professional solicitors. Our Florida Department of Consumer Services registration number is SC06659. Our Federal ID number is 59-2410883. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the division of consumer services by calling toll free 1-800-435-7352 within the state. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval, or recommendation by the state.

See our HOURS for patient drop-off times

Babies - Usual best answer: Put it back! Leave it alone!

Very young babies are sometimes dislodged from their nests by storms or other interferences. Hairless (or featherless) babies with eyes closed should be replaced into their nest. If you cannot locate the nest, put birds or squirrels in a wicker basket with some dry leaves and hang it in a nearby bush or tree. Other animals can be placed in a basket or shallow box on the ground in a shaded spot. In almost all cases this will keep the younster safe until the parents return or is mature enough to get around on its own a little better. Once this is done, be sure to leave the area; Mom will not approach with you nearby.

Do not worry--the old tale about a mother animal not accepting her baby back after it has been touched by a human is not true; most birds have no sense of smell, and other animals are almost always happy to see that their babies are safe. Once a young animal can move around, it begins to explore its surroundings. This clumsy time for young birds is called the "brancher" stage. These and other young animals frequently fall from their lofty perches, sometimes ending up in our yards or porches. The parents will continue to care for the young even on the ground, so it is usually best to simply leave such youngsters alone.

While this is indeed a dangerous time for babies, it is also an important step in their development. Baby birds do not need to "learn" to fly; instead, they must develop the necessary physical maturity and strength. The exercise they get hopping and fluttering from place to place serves this end. Babies do though need to learn what food looks, smells and tastes like in the wild. After all, once Mom stops feeding them, such knowledge is critical. Babies also learn to avoid predators and take shelter from the elements by noting the reactions of their parents. These lessons are clearly very important to the future survival of the youngsters.

Trying to raise a baby bird or other animal yourself may seem like a great idea at first, but it is much more complicated than you may think. Each species requires a different diet and feeding regimen to ensure proper development. In the wild, animals are adapted to these different diets and schedules to allow them to coexist without competition from other types of animals. These conditions must be duplicated, or the babies will not thrive. In addition, babies can become imprinted onto humans all too easily. This only creates a confused animal that will be unable to relate to others of its own kind when released back into the wild.

If you find a baby animal and are truly unable to reunite it with its parents, please take the time to bring the orphan here or to another wildlife care facility near you. There it will receive the proper diet and be raised with others of its own kind, so it can become a successful wild animal. A darkened cardboard box is perfectly acceptable accommodation for the trip. While in your care, please do NOT feed or force water upon the animal. Home concoctions such as sugar water, bread and milk, and peanut butter are inappropriate and will harm the baby! Giving the wrong diet is far worse than giving no diet at all!

See Hours for additional information about patient dropoffs. Click here for printable info in PDF format.

Injured animals - more detailed info here  <|> Return to Help! For an animal









Raising baby wild animals is not a home project!

Some, like this Mockingbird, require a diet of insects

while this otter will not survive on cow's milk

Click here to view/print specific information about dealing with animals you have found (PDF)