Baby bird gives up food to feed nest mate with broken leg

Rare moment caught on video at Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center

ROANOKE, Va. – It was a rare sweet moment in nature, as a baby bird gave up its own food to feed another younger, injured bird.

The Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center is caring for a nest of cedar waxwings. Center officials said the moment shared between the two baby birds is one of most amazing things you'll see in wildlife rehabilitation.

When one young bird is offered food, instead of eating it, it brought it over to feed an even younger bird with a broken leg.

The small bird is unable to move because of his injury, but its nest mate makes sure it's getting enough to eat.

“This is actually very commonly seen in Cedar Waxwings, but we have also seen it occur in a wide range of other bird species. Is it a sign of altruism, of giving to those in greater need to benefit the flock? Is it play behavior, letting young birds practice the skills they'll need in adulthood when they raise their own babies? Could it be both? There are lots of mysteries we have yet to unlock about wild animals we share the world with and who knows what amazing things we have yet to uncover,” the center said in a Facebook post.

Typically, birds in the same nest are in competition, so it's a mystery why these birds are behaving this way, but it is a good reminder for us all to put the needs of others before our own.

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