FLEDGLING SEASON - DO'S & DON'TS
I HAVE BEEN GETTING LOTS OF CALLS REGARDING BABY BIRDS – RECENTLY FLEDGED IN GARDENS. SO HERES A BRIEF RUN DOWN ON THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF HELPING THIS SEASONS BABY BIRDS
I have been receiving a vast number of calls over the last few weeks regarding young fledged British birds.
This time of year it is very common and totally normal to see baby birds in your gardens this time of year – many baby birds fledge (leave the nest) before fully able to fly and will sometimes spend a few days to even a week or more hopping around on the ground before their flight feathers on their wings fully develop – so please do not rush to the conclusion that these birds are injured, abandoned, fallen from a nest or in need of help.
Fledglings, as I have said, are often seen without their full flight feathers and may still have tufts of their baby feathers still visible.
Some species continue to receive food and nourishment from their parents after leaving the nest so please try to avoid the temptation to ‘rescue’ these birds – as despite how helpless they appear – it is extremely uncommon for parent birds to abandon their offspring before they are ready.
Birds are much better equipped to look after their offspring than humans ever will be. Human intervention should be a last resort in the case of an injured or truly abandoned bird.
If you are concerned that you may have found an abandoned baby bird, please observe the bird from a distance – if a parent is watching it will not approach the youngster while humans are present. If you find a youngster that cannot fly and is in a compromised, exposed or unsafe place such as a road or garden full of prowling cats – it is OK to move the baby bird to a nearby bush for coverage.
Only once you are certain the baby bird is in need of human intervention should you call a rescue or helpline for advice.
If you do find a baby bird that has been injured or abandoned and despite your efforts does not survive please do not feel disheartened. Birds, especially babies, are fragile and prone to injuries and infections.
For instance, only around 30% of the common British garden bird the Blue Tit survive through their first year, they have adapted to this by producing large broods of 8-13 eggs per season to increase chances of some making it to adulthood.