Do any birds typically pick up their wayward little ones?

I heard someone telling a story once about having witnessed a bird flying down out of its nest to pick up a hatchling that had fallen out. The bird picked up the hatchling, and carried it safely back to the nest.

Now, the story was a parable, and I took that part to be just for dramatic effect, but the question. . .

Do any birds commonly pick up their young-uns when they fall out of the nest, or is it more like “Sorry, but, but you’re on your own now.”

Pick them up with what?
They don’t have hands. Except for the raptor types, which have claws, most birds have feet which are evolved for holding onto branches, not picking up stuff.

Hmmm…that’s a good question. Having the opportunity this year to see Owls nesting in our back field I can say that those little owls that fllew out of that nest…just floated/parachuted down and then climbed back up…The did it again and again until they figured out how to flap and fly…even then they lumbered along…not very graceful. I got some shots of them in the nest, saddly non of them trying to fly. Check it out.

I don’t think burds who nest in trees or on clif faces have much recourse if their fledge falls out. If they are brand new born survival most likely goes to zero percent.

Have you ever seen that National Geographic documentary about those birds that nest above the pihrana infested waters? If you hit the water then you are gone.

Sorry that should be “Piranha”

Thank you! Consider ignorance fought.

(I omitted the point in the OP that the parable specifically mentioned picking up the little one in its beak.)

It could grip it by the husk.


Other than a pelican I can’t think of a bird that could carry a fledgling in it’s mouth area.