One day in late August, my husband noticed a tiny bird on our driveway. Our garage was in the process of being built, and so the open access meant that swallows had been nesting in the high beams all summer. My first thought was that this was an early fledgling (it had feathers), and so to not disturb it. We kept a periodic watch from the kitchen window, but no parent ever seemed to approach it, nor did the little bird move. I eventually moved it to the inside of the garage, underneath the beams where I knew was a nest. Night was falling and the bird needed protection. My brother-in-law even set up a video to see if a parent was paying any attention. Nothing! By late evening, it was clear that the bird was very weak, no longer peeping, and would certainly die overnight. Fledglings should not be put back in the nest, yet this one was such a young one that I was sure he had just fallen out prematurely.
I had enough! I took him inside the house, put a clean soft dustrag in the bottom of a tiny basket, and placed him in there. I put him in our warm utility room. Then I did some research. The advice is to feed baby birds with mealworms soaked in water. Luckily I had a bag, so I threw some in a small dish of water, got some tweezers and started tempting him to open his beak. He was so weak, but after a while, got the idea what I was trying to do. I kept feeding him until he stopped opening his beak. In the morning, I thought he was too weak to survive, but I kept feeding him hourly. And by the end of that day, he was peeping every time he wanted worms! I changed his bedding daily, keeping him warm in his basket, and moved him into our kitchen. I named him Robert, after the quail in my favorite childhood book "That Quail, Robert."