Types of Baby Birds and How to Identify Them?

Types of Baby Birds 

The pleasant chirping sound of tiny birds at dusk and dawn makes our days special. Every moment, we observe a variety of them flying and hopping charmingly. Some birds have nests, and they travel from miles to miles, searching for food for their babies. The baby birds in the nest are completely dependent on their parents for nourishment. But do you ever wonder how many types of baby birds are there?

Well, if we talk about birds, then thousands of species we can recognize easily, and they vary from one region to another. However, baby birds can be identified by their generic names or by their species type.

Here we will address the baby birds’ types according to their life stages; after hatching to become adults. Further, some bird groups have separate appearances and names for their litters. So, we will explore those kinds of baby birds lately. And finally, you will know what to do if you find a little bird out of its nest. So, let us dive right in.

Types of birds (generic names for baby birds)

At least once, we came up through a baby bird who fell from its nest and wandered for its parents. That time our heart calls for its help. And if you observed that bird, you might know it can be with or without feathers.

Yes, baby birds have a very different look than that of their adult parents. And thus, several names are given to those small chirping birds according to their stages of life. We can grasp them as the types of baby birds. So, let us know what they are.

a.      Hatchling

Hatchlings are those chicks that just hatched from eggs and may not have opened eyes yet. So, these are dependent on their parents for food and protection. Even most of the hatchlings are without feathers, which means almost naked.

b.      Nestling

Nestling is the stage of a baby bird or chick a few days after hatchling. They may have down features (a layer of fine feathers), and eyes opened. Yet, they are unable to live without their parents. This is also considered as a type of baby bird beside the hatchling and most common fledging.

c.       Fledging

Fledgling is the most common form of baby birds you might be familiar with. These are the litters with most of their features developed but cannot fly properly but hop willingly in the ground. They are ready to leave their nests. Still, they remain in parental care for some time and then depart forever. Mostly we have come up with the fledglings.

d.      Juvenile

Juveniles are the immature bird stage after fledgling. These have characteristics similar to the adult birds but still do not mature sexually. After this stage, some baby birds show another type that is subadult. Some birds take a long time to show their distinct fields. And these two stages are very confusing to identify from the adult one.

Kinds of baby birds according to species.

Further, according to various species, there are several kinds of baby birds. Otherwise, we can say, they have several other names rather than most usual “chick” or the above-said hatchling or fledgling. So, let us see the baby names of some families of birds.

Dove or Pigeon belongs to the Columbidae family, and thus the baby birds or chicks found in this family have the name Squab or squeaker.

Likewise, the colt is the name of a crane, or similar birds belong to the family Gruidae. Ducks are called as a duckling in their baby form.

Chicken, Goose, Falcon, Loon, Owl, Guineafowl, Grouse, Puffin, Turkey, Sandpiper, and Swan have chick names Poult, cockerel (male), pullet (female); Gosling; Eyas; Loonlet; Owlet; Keet; Cheaper, squealer; Puffling; Poult, jake (male), jenny (female); Peep; and Cygnet, flapper respectively.

Besides these, all other types of birds have common baby names, i.e., “chick.”

How to identify types of baby birds?

As we understand before, there are various types of baby birds, and two of them are most prominent, such as nestling and fledgling. Some adult birds have a similar appearance as juvenile birds. Still, there are a few characteristics that will help you identify its type.

Besides appearance, knowing the perfect species or kinds of baby birds will help recognize whether it is safe and what you should do. Here are a few steps to identify the baby birds;

1.      Observe the types of baby birds

While wandering in a tree dense or jungle area, you should always be aware of getting a juvenile bird with or without danger. That time the first step you should take is to observe it for a few minutes to understand if it is really a juvenile or an adult bird.

Various key features to identify a baby bird are;

a.       Feathers

To understand whether they are nestling or fledgling, observe their feathers first. Nestling wholly depends on their parents, and they may be fully naked with no feathers or may have a pin or down feathers.

The features of feathers are similar to adults in fledglings. Yet, their wings or tail regions have shorter feathers than that of their adult parents. And for us, that is the identifying character. Further, fledglings have fluffy, unorganized feathers in their breast, abdomen, and flanks, and thus we can easily recognize them as young ones.

b.      Colour

Many species of birds have different colors at their young age and in the adult stage. The color becomes shinier and develops with further maturity. Baby birds usually have dull coloration in their feathers. However, by event, their colors catch shine, and for keeping themselves out of danger, young birds blend themselves in the surrounding (camouflage). So, if you want to identify a baby bird, notice its color.

c.       Behavior

Behavior is another excellent identifying character of recognizing a baby bird. Young birds are adorable and try to capture the attention of their parents for food. They usually scurry in the ground and keep their mouth wide and let their parents know about their feeding time.

Fledglings do not know how to fly; they only try to fly by spreading the small underdeveloped wings and, as a result, fall down and hold a twig strangely. They pray for food when their parents are nearby.

2.      Find out the kinds or species of the baby birds

Finding out the baby bird species is often challenging as chicks are having distinct characters than their parents. But if you identify the species, it will be easier for you to help it in need or to transfer into a bird rescue center. Follow these tips to determine its species or kinds.

a.       Observe the nest

If the litter is found near the nest, you can recognize the nest type. Several species of birds make nests in different ways. For instance, owls make their nests in wood cavities of trees, sparrows near the ground, and some other species in small trees or bushes.

Further, the material through which the nests are made is also another characteristic feature of several species. This way, you can quickly identify the types of baby birds.

b.      Look at their other physical appearances.

Physical appearance can show the difference between adult and juvenile birds. However, through this knowing the species of chicks is critical. You can still look for some markings, plumage, bill, or color to understand the variety as an adult has very specific features than their early stage.

c.       Use a picture database.

Besides, you can go for a more comfortable way that is searching for species in a picture database. Some of those websites are such as

You just need to visit these websites and upload the pictures of that baby bird to identify its species. Otherwise, you can search for bird ID in a particular region to identify baby birds’ types.

d.      Know the surrounding

Another great way to discern the family of birds is to observe their surroundings. Usually, the same birds remain in a community or a particular geographical region. Either by discovering various similar birds or by asking the geographical aspects, you can determine the baby bird species.

What to do after getting a juvenile bird?

Finding and identifying a baby bird may be fun and exciting, but know whether the baby needs your interference.

Sometimes, fledglings do not desire help, but with a kind heart when we try to be good at them, it worsens the situation. Thus, if you identify a baby bird with its species, now take care of a few things.

Fledglings usually go through awkward situations of falling down from their nests. They often hop from one side to another and do not need help. If you get such a chick, place it onto a twig or perch. In case you get a nestling, discover its nest and put it again into the nest.

If both parents of that baby accidentally found dead and you can see injury in any part of the chick, call the veterinarian or wildlife rehabilitation center. Ask them for preventive measures as long as they come. Never try to over care for them that may lead to their death.

Make a temporary nest with a small cardboard box with a hole for its breathing. Keep some tissues and a heated pad for keeping it warm. Then either wait for the rehabber to arrive, or you can go to the nearby center as soon as possible.


Birds are so delicate, and their care should be taken attentively. Identifying a baby bird through knowing its types or kinds is more comfortable through a few observations. But interfering with its natural habitat or processes is not acceptable.

Further, never try to keep a wild juvenile bird with yourself, as it is illegal, and you may be punished for this. Temporarily take care if they need your help. Then take them to the bird rescue or rehabilitation center as soon as possible. This way, we can genuinely help wildlife with good intentions.



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