Woman Spots 'Huge Toadstool' — Then Realizes It's A Rare Baby In Need

“She almost stepped on it” 😳

This past summer, Nicole Taylor was walking through her yard when she noticed something strange in the grass.

“[It] looked like a huge toadstool,” Taylor’s mom, Marcia Woody, wrote in a Facebook post.

Moving closer to get a better look, Taylor realized the toadstool was actually a fluffy baby bird, who appeared to be all alone. Unsure what to do, she texted her mom for help.

bird in the grass
Marcia Woody

“She almost stepped on it,” Woody told The Dodo. “Then, realizing it was an animal, she took a picture of it and texted it to me right away.”

Woody and her daughter assumed the wayward bird was an owl. However, when they sent the photos to a local wildlife rehab center, they realized the visitor was someone much rarer — a Mississippi kite, a raptor native to the Southeast.

baby bird
Marcia Woody

The rehab center didn’t have room for the bird, so wildlife experts told Woody and her daughter exactly what to do. With help from Woody’s partner, Mike Taylor, the group moved the bird into a makeshift nest and placed him on the lowest branch of a tree closest to where he was found. The wildlife carer told Woody and her daughter that the bird’s parents would soon return to the nest where their baby was. So Woody and her daughter watched and waited.

bird in nest
Marcia Woody

A few days later, they heard the bird calling from his nest. One of his parents had returned. Soon, the other parent came, too. Woody and Taylor watched in amazement as the parents began to bring food for their baby.

“It was such a relief to see them,” Woody said.

bird in tree
Marcia Woody

The mother-daughter pair watched for weeks as the baby bird slowly got bigger, thanks to his parents' continued support and food drop-offs. Day by day, the baby gained strength, eventually climbing out of his nest and onto the tree limbs, slowly ascending the tree. For a while, Woody and Taylor noticed the baby and his parents flying through the air, looking for insects to eat. But one day, they were gone, off to continue their life in the wild.

Marcia Woody

Woody will surely never forget watching this little bird grow up.

“I felt such pride in knowing that I had helped save a wild living creature,” Woody said. “My daughter did too. We both really bonded over those birds. It was a real feeling of accomplishment, pride and teamwork.”