Birds & Fledglings
If you find an injured wild animal, watch it first to see how badly hurt it is. Then if you think it necessary you should preferably take it to a nearby vet. It’s often faster to take an animal to a vet yourself as our nearest volunteer collection driver may be out of the area attending other calls and it may take us some time to arrive.
Each year we were overrun with nestlings and fledglings that require round the clock feeding and attention. Please note that not all of our patients need to be with us as the advice below is often not followed. Please make sure you read the below information before you take the bird to a vet or call us for advice.
Some fledglings leave their nests and spend some time on the ground before they are able to fly. Their parents will continue to feed and protect their youngsters, so unless they are in obvious danger, there is no parent present or they are clearly sick or injured, the advice is to leave them to their parents but continue to keep an eye on them from a distance. If the parents should not return for at least 3 hours then contact a wildlife centre.
Nests may become exposed due to hedge trimming or trees falling, if it is possible to find a suitable site for the nest close by it is worth a try as the parents may continue to care for their youngsters, this is not always possible and in this case a wildlife centre should be contacted. Nests built in farm machinery or cars that have been unused for a while which are then put into use and nestlings discovered are unlikely to be accepted if moved to another site and so the birds should be kept warm until they can be delivered to a wildlife centre or collected.
Ducklings can become separated from mum; often a single one is lost and will not survive alone. The bird should be picked up and the area checked for anymore. If you listen carefully you may be able to hear duckling calling for their mum and family which can help you locate them.
Birds that have been caught in a storm and are wet and cold, need more help than the parent can offer, sometimes after a night in care it is possible to put them back into their nest and the parent continue feeding them. If you are unsure of what to do please call us.
The most common issue we have is the fledgling caught by the cat, even those uninjured and apparently well cannot be returned unless the exact location it was found is known and then there is a risk of septicaemia from the cats’ teeth to be considered. Some of these fledglings are older and juveniles can become very stressed, so there may be no other course of action than to retrieve it from the cat and if active and protesting, lock the cat in and release the bird. All these cases should be judged on an individual basis, as nothing is ever black and white when it comes to fledglings. Please call us if you are ever unsure of what to do in a wildlife casualty situation.