While birding Wine Street Memorial Park on June 14, 2018, I spotted an American Robin with food in its beak. I was watching it when I heard a young girl ask a young boy if he still had the baby bird.
I looked over at the children and saw that the young boy was hunched down by the ground petting something. I walked over and asked if they had a baby bird. The girl replied yes and they showed me a nestling robin on the ground in a large leaf. They said that the bird was injured. The bird was shaking. I picked it and it immediately stopped shaking and perked up. It opened its eyes and looked up at me. I told the kids that we should back away and see if the parents would come down to the baby. Meanwhile, I asked them to tell me what happened.
The children brought me to the edge of Mountain Run which passed through the tiny park. They said that they were fishing when they saw the bird fall into the water. The girl told me that they scooped it out of the water in a plastic bucket they had with them. They were planning to bring it to a wildlife rehabilitator at some point. They said they tried to feed it bread and then fed it an earthworm. I told them that bread is bad for birds, though the earthworm was a good idea. I then explained to them that the baby would be best off if we could reunite it with its parents.
After a while two adult American Robins moved to the electric wire above the baby. We all moved further back to give them some space. One of the adults flew down to the baby. Seeing the parents interest, I informed the children that I would set up a temporary nest and put it in a tree as the parents were still there trying to feed their baby.
From my car, I retrieved a box I keep for potential wildlife rescues along with some string. I found an old shirt that I placed in the box. I put the nestling in the box and hung the temporary nest in a tree. I showed the children what I had done and told them I would be back to check the nestling in a couple of hours. I also praised them for rescuing the bird. I let them know that I would monitor the baby to ensure that parents were taking care of it. They agreed with me and went back to fishing.
While away from the park, I purchased a small basket to replace the box as a better temporary nest.
When I returned to the park, the children were gone. I carried the basket to the tree and was dismayed to see that nest box with the robin was also gone. I do not know what happened though I assume that the children or their parents took it down. I only hope that they took the robin to a wildlife rehabilitator rather than home.