Expert: Best way to help young birds is leave them alone

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — If you want to be helpful this spring as birds hatch and raise their young, the best thing to do is leave them alone.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says it’s common to find bird nests in gardens, flower boxes and landscaping near office buildings. Mallard ducks often pick nesting sites that people might consider unsafe.

Wildlife communications coordinator Holly Vaughn says mother ducks will make quiet neighbors while waiting for their eggs to hatch.

As soon as the ducklings are born, the mothers lead them to the nearest body of water.

Canada geese behave similarly, and adults sometimes chase people who get close to goslings.

Vaughn says if you see a baby bird on the ground, you should steer clear — and keep your pets away as well.