Help! I Found a Wild Animal!

AIDA HOTLINE:  208/367-1026

Do not give food or water to any wildlife until you have spoken with a rehabilitator.  If an animal is cold, dehydrated, injured or ill; any food or improper hydration could kill it.  Never, ever give a wild animal any cow’s milk or human infant formula. Please contact a rehabilitator for the correct procedure to follow.

Please let us help you help the animals by calling us  at  AIDA HOTLINE: 208/367-1026.  It is much easier for us to save an animal before innocent, well-meaning mistakes have been made by someone trying to keep and raise them for a few days or even a few hours.

Baby Bird:  Immediately Contact the RMBC at 208/338-0897 

Find a small cardboard box or carrier and line it with a small towel.  Next roll a second small towel into a doughnut like nest for the baby birds.  This would prevent the babies from flopping or rolling around during transport.  Immediately take them to the Ruth Melichar Bird Center at 4650 N. 36th in Boise.



In nature, young birds sometimes become separated from their parents and need help. If you have determined after watching for a long period of time that the bird is in fact orphaned or otherwise ill, injured or cold, intervention is necessary. In many cases, however, when baby birds appear to be orphaned they actually have parents in the vicinity that are caring for them. A very large percentage of young birds are picked up by humans unnecessarily.

Baby Bird

If you see a baby bird in the spring/summer season that is clearly helpless and featherless or partially feathered this is a hatchling or a nestling bird. If the nest can be located please put the bird back into the nest. The parents will take over from there. Please watch for a period of time to make sure you see the parents go back to the nest. If you’ve touched the bird, this will not deter the parent bird from tending to their young.

Make Shift Nest

If you cannot locate the original nest you can make a make shift nest.

Use a plastic berry box, basket or a planter with drain holes. Use non absorbent material for the bedding. (Imagine a birds nest in the wild) Do not use grass or anything the birds can get tangled up in. Secure the nest in the shady part of the original tree, a tree nearby or a shrub close to where you found the bird.

Parent birds will biologically respond to their baby birds food calls and will locate their young to feed them.

Observe for the day to make sure you witness activity between the parent bird and the baby.

Parent birds will come to the nest to feed their young and in a flash they are gone. Make sure you are watching diligently. 

Fledgling Bird

If you see a youngish looking bird in the spring/summer season that presents with downy immature feathering and has short tail feathers it is a fledgling. You will notice most times that the bird is grounded and wandering around. To the observer the bird may appear injured or orphaned. The parent birds are close by and will go to their young to feed them. The parent birds are also teaching these young birds how to fly and forage. These young birds should be left alone. Put your cats and dogs inside!!!!!

It should take no more than 3 days for the birds to start learning how to fly and be safely off the ground. In the interim of their education you can place the bird up in the crotch of a tree or somewhere safe off the ground to help protect the bird from predation.

Baby Ducks

Baby ducks found alone are just that..alone and orphaned.  Larger numbers can be orphaned ducklings croppedalso, which takes a little more doing for successful capture of all of them. If you find yourself with a duckling or ducklings, do not put them in water, but keep them dry and warm and call our bird center immediately (208/338-0897).  As cute as they are, baby ducks are extremely fragile to raise.

Baby Squirrels

Misc July - Sept 2011 096 cropped ABaby Squirrels open their eyes between 4-5 wks.  In the wild, they continue to nurse until they are about 10-12 wks old.  At that time, they are pretty much on their own and will return to the nest for safety and rest.  Baby squirrels require a high calcium formula and various amounts of fat throughout their development. If fed improperly, they can develop metabolic bone disease. Newborn squirrels (born with no fur and blind) are called pinkies.  If you find a baby or young squirrel with an obvious injury or has been brought to you by a cat, dog or child or one that is obviously alone with no mother or nest in sight; you should help by putting the baby in a warm and quiet place and get in touch with a rehabilitator for advice.  Contact Toni Hicks at 208/345-0559.

Cottontail Rabbits

Cottontail rabbits leave their nest when they are about the size of2011 Bunny Eastern Cottontail your fist.  They may seem too small and fragile to survive without their mother, but they are not.  If you find a nest of bunnies and don’t see the mother around, this is normal.  Mom only feeds her babies twice a day, this is for their protection. Please do not move the babies and keep domestic pets away from the nest.  If the nest appears disturbed or you are in the slightest doubt, please contact Mady at 208/344-0468.

Baby Raccoons

P1010649 cropped lg web ABaby Raccoons:  If you find an injured or orphaned raccoon, it is best to call a rehabilitator.  Injured adults can hurt you in the process of trying to protect themselves.  We will always try to get babies back to their mother when possible, but it takes some doing.  Call Mady at 208/344-0468 for information regarding perceived orphaned raccoons.


A fawn may appear to be abandoned; however, its mother is usually not far away and will return.  Before you ‘rescue’

Two fawns hide among the rocks for hours. Concerned homeowner contacts AIDA
Two fawns hide among the rocks for hours. Concerned homeowner contacts AIDA

a fawn, you must be very sure that its mother has been either injured and unable to care for her fawn or is deceased.  When in doubt, call a rehabilitator and they can help you determine if it is truly orphaned.

NOTE:  It is against the law in Idaho to have a wild animal in captivity unless you are a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

Please call us with any questions or concerns you have regarding injured/orphaned wildlife.  AIDA HOTLINE: 208/367-1026 

Wildlife Rescue