No, the idea that a mother can smell or otherwise sense that you’ve touched the baby bird and won’t return to it is a myth. The parents will generally come back to the baby regardless. You should feel free to help out a chick that’s fallen from its nest and put it back. Even if you can’t find the nest, you can make a makeshift nest with household items, put it close to the place you found the little bird, and sometimes the parents will return to their babies there.
This is an oft contested issue. According to ornithology.com, birds’ sense of smell is not very acute, they rely more on their eyesight, and birds are reluctant to abandon their young. More often than not, baby birds jump from the nest rather than fall so it is better not to disturb them unless they appear to be in real danger.
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