Yesterday, while taking a walk at work, I came across this hummingbird fledgling on the sidewalk.
It couldn't get more than 2" off the ground when it tried to fly and I didn't see any parents around. The sidewalk was reasonably well traveled, so someone else would eventually come across the little guy. I called a friend who takes in raptor chicks for Project Wildlife and she recommended I take it in to the local office.
In retrospect, that might have been a mistake. While I was at the Project Wildlife office, I found that bird parents will frequently kick fledglings out of the nest to teach them to fly. They will feed their children while they are on the ground trying to work things out. In all likelihood, I had gotten in the way of the natural progression of things.
The folks at Project Wildlife took in the tiny dude and will raise him to flight (probably about a week) and then will release him near where I found him. In the end, no permanent harm was done, but I'm sure I made a couple of hummingbird parents very unhappy.
The moral of the story is that fledglings on the ground aren't always in trouble. Your best bet is to back off and watch for a while to see if the parents are around.