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jerry jackson
Photographed by Bette Jackson

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Source: Baby Birds 5

Length of Segment: 00:01:12

Hi, I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson, out with the wild things. It's that time of year: the feathered kids are on the streets. Baby birds are out of the nest, and many will be encountered by humans. What do you do when you find a baby bird? First of all, most baby birds found out of the nest are not abandoned. Mom and pop know right where they are and will be looking after them. The best thing to do in most cases is to leave them alone. That's the only legal thing to do, also, since our native birds are protected by both federal and state laws that say that you may not take them home. Birds such as our northern mockingbird normally leave the nest two to three days before they can fly. Sometimes, they leave much sooner. If you've got a mockingbird nest in your neighborhood, listen for those babies. When they near time to leave the nest, they begin periodically giving a high-pitched note. You can never quite tell where the sound is coming from, and neither can most predators. But the parent mockingbirds know it's the baby's location call saying, “Here I am, come feed me”. Give the feathered kids a break, enjoy them from a distance, and watch how well they're cared for.

 'With the Wild Things' is produced at the Whitaker Center in the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida Gulf Coast University. For 'The Wild Things', I'm Dr. Jerry Jackson.

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