While I was sitting in the reception area at the emergency vet clinic, waiting on the results of the lab work on Miss Mouse (although I already knew the outcome), I listened to the receptionist field phone calls from several people who had found baby birds and wanted to know what to do with them.
I could hear the exasperation in her voice while she tried to convince her callers to just leave the babies alone, that this was all the process of them becoming adult birds.
"No, they are quite alright. The parents kick them out of the nest when they get big enough. At that point, they are called fledglings and they may spend the better part of a couple days on the ground. But don't worry, Mom and Dad birds are close by. No, don't touch them. No, don't pick them up. You might want to look this up in Wikipedia."
Yep, when all else fails, look it up in Wikipedia.
I had a close up view of this a few days prior to my rushed trip to the vet. The grey catbirds had kicked their fledgling out of the nest and he ended up in my small garden looking somewhat worse for the wear. Mom and Dad were close by, encouraging the youngster to try flying instead of hopping around the bushes squawking at the top of his lungs. He did manage to make it to the cast iron bell holder before I left to go back to work. I took this snapshot while he teetered on the hook pondering his next move.
He and his parents were gone by the next day. I read in the Smithsonian Magazine that almost 90% of grey catbird fledglings never make it past their first summer. I hope he was one of the 10% who actually do.