While camping at Cook Forest State Park in PA, we found a fledgling bird on the road in front of our campsite around midnight on a rainy night, 08/09/09. It was laying with its head turned to its back, eyes closed, shivering every few seconds, and was right in the path on the road where a tire would hit it. When we approached it, we shone the flashlight on it and made noise but it didn’t respond.
We don’t know the first thing about birds, but I decided we should at least move it and see what happens. (If the risk from a car wasn’t enough, I figured that Cook Forest’s extremely bold raccoons would get it.) I picked it up, wrapped it loosely in paper towels and held it close to try to warm it a bit. When I opened the paper towels it would open its eyes a bit and shiver, but when I covered it, it would lie still and seemed calmer.
After a while I again opened the paper towels and this time it stood up with its eyes fully open and tried to get out of my hands. I let it go but it fluttered straight to the ground. I picked it up again, this time in my bare hands (maybe a mistake) and after a few moments it once again tried to fly. We were sitting under our awning - it made it to the top of our wood pile, paused there, then up to our picnic table, then up to the frame of our awning. Then it moved to another part of the awning frame where I had draped a blanket. (See second attached photo.) At that point we figured he should be able to make it to a nearby branch and out of harm's way, so we left it alone.
I hope we did the right thing by picking it up and warming it. Please help us identify this little guy. The pictures taken with a cell phone are terrible. It was a dull grayish color with a yellow patch behind (not above) each eye. I thought he might be a yellowthroat warbler or a gold-crowned sparrow, but all of the photos I found on the Internet do not match.