If you touch a baby bird, will its parents reject it?
If you touch a baby bird its parents will abandon it, outraged by the Evil Stink of Man.
Birds have little or no sense of smell, and will be unaware of your molestation. Besides, they will not lightly abandon their offspring. When it comes to other animals, the question is more controversial. Some experts suggest that, by the time young animals are in a position to be pawed by humans, their parents have too much invested in them to dump them.
Others insist that certain animals – rabbits, for instance – will interpret a whiff of human as meaning that their kids are being staked out by a predator, and will therefore get on their bikes. More importantly, when you find a young bird on the ground, it almost certainly hasn’t fallen – it’s jumped. This is part of its training, and you would do it a favour by minding your own business.
From Fortean Times .