Advice on what to do with baby birds found in the garden
Very young birds that ’fall’ from the nest may have do with a little 'help'. Parents can eject un-feathered youngsters that they feel are sickly. These birds can be safely handled and popped back into the nest, although they may be ejected again. If you find a young bird that is feathered - a fledgling, they usually leave the nest when they are able to fly a short distance. They will literally have ‘flown the nest’. Parents feed these young birds on the ground as they master the art of flying and should be gone in a day or so. Cats are a threat during this time and the best that you can do is to is to keep an eye out for them. They can be placed higher into a bush to allow a little more security but please do not 'kidnap them' by taking them in or taking them to a vet or rescue centre. Nests and fledgling birds may be abandoned if you pay them too much attention, so it is always observe from a distance. If an adult does not return to feed them within 3 hours, or the fledgling is not making much progress with its flying, you can gently check them over for injuries and consider taking them to a vet or animal rescue. Rescuing these birds is not always a success however, as many taken from the wild to be hand-reared do not survive. Some will appear to thrive for a short time only to die suddenly. If you are going to attempt to hand-rear a baby bird, never feed bread and milk. The diet should closely resemble that which the bird would eat naturally. Research on the sort of bird that you have rescued will help to determine what it should be fed. Hand-rearing is not easy and is really best left to the experts to give the fledging the best possible chance of survival.Vets will see wild animals free of charge and those that are uninjured are often transferred to a local wildlife centre. These centres are charities that are run on donations. If you are leaving a baby bird, or wild animal with a us, perhaps you could help by leaving a donation for the charity to go towards its care. We have charity boxes available should you wish to do this.