This is the time of year when many young birds are beginning to fledge from the nest. As they do they often times end-up on the ground, much like the first time we tried to walk and fell down. Although these birds may seem to flounder, you can bet the parents are nearby to protect, and encourage then. Too many times people will pick these youngsters up with good intentions thinking they are in trouble. However it is best to leave them alone unless they are in immediate peril from a cat or other eminent danger. You may place them back in the nest if you can safely do so. Unlike mammals, handling young birds will not lead to their abandonment by the parents, a common misconception. If you must retrieve a young bird that is in danger, or if it becomes orphaned or injured, you can contact a licensed rehabilitator in your area who will care for them and, if at all possible, release then back into the wild. In Lincoln, NE call Wildlife Rescue, Inc (402)473-1951 or Omaha call Wildlife Rehab, Inc (402)341-8619 for songbirds, mammals and reptiles. For birds of prey contact Raptor Recovery Nebraska, (402)994-2009.