Common Baby Birds  

 It's tough enough to identify the adults, but the babies confuse everyone. Here are some photographs we have collected over the years to help you. Remember, it is unlawful to care for wild birds and other animals without permits from the state and federal government, even if you plan to release the animal into the wild. For more information on what to do if you believe an animal needs your help, see our "How To Help Without Hurting Guide."

Wood Duck and Mallard:


Here's a tough one right off the bat. Try to tell the difference between...


A wood duck and...


...a mallard.

European starling:

Note the yellow mouth lining.Starlings are non-native and compete with native cavity nesting birds for nesting sites. Rehabilitators normally do not accept them

Make birdhouse openings 1.5 inches in diameter or smaller to prevent starlings from using the house.


Around 200 million European starlings have spread out across the U.S. since being introduced in New York City in 1890.

cedar waxwing

Note the orange tip on its tail and the neon colored mouth lining.


These two can be tough to identify because nighthawks are seldom seen, and mourning doves don't resemble their parents very much at all.

                         mourning dove

Note the hooked beak and coins used for scale.


common nighthawk

The wide mouth is for catching insects.

northern cardinal

The young chick, right, is notable for its bulging eyes. The more mature chick in the far right picture is developing the cardinal's well-known crest. Also, the inside of the mouth is red and they have a habit of licking their lips!


This is a nestling and...

this is a brancher.

chimney swift

Chimney swifts can cling to anything, especially the inside of a chimney. You could say they are a sort of living velcro!



They can also be seen along the shorelines of lakes and ponds.
Killdeer are our most common shorebirds, but are often found in farm fields and along roads.



Notice how tiny the goldfinch is compared to the robin. Goldfinches nest later in the summer.


American robin and goldfinch


 Orioles make a bag-like nest.


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