What to do if baby birds are abandoned
As spring gets into full flow and summer approaches, there is an increased likelihood that you will start to hear and see fledglings in your garden, so if you find a baby bird, what should you do?
It is normal to see young fledglings (baby birds) alone, although some fledglings can appear to be helpless and distraught, it is not a good idea to immediately assume that they’ve been orphaned. If you see a fledgling that is calling out and is reluctant to move much of a distance, the most likely explanation with most wild birds is that the fledgling is simply waiting for its parents to bring some food back. If this is the case then moving the fledgling any considerable distance away from where it’s waiting can be harmful as its parents will not know where it has been moved to and will not be able to give it the food it requires, it will also cause the parents a considerable amount of stress and grief. If you absolutely do have to move a fledgling because it’s in immediate danger, you must make sure that you only move it a short distance.
It is best to observe from a distance for several hours to be completely sure the chick has been abandoned before you consider intervening, both parents of many species of wild birds care for their chicks, so even if you know one of the adults has been harmed or killed then it is likely that the other parent will continue to raise the fledglings. In this instance, the best way to help would be to ensure you provide a continuous food supply for the remaining parent.
For advice you can all the RSPB or The Leicestershire Wildlife Hospital do a wonderful job caring for sick, injured and abandoned wild birds, they are more than happy to offer advice if you have found a fledgling you are certain is in need of help.
If you are watching a nest with a nest box camera and you think it has been abandoned, observe carefully for at least 2 hours before rescuing, parents can fly in and out within seconds while feeding so it is important to be cautious and be absolutely sure the parents have not returned.
Removal of a fledgling from the wild has to be a very last resort - then only if it is injured or has definitely been abandoned or orphaned.
The majority of us will not find any abandoned birds and will enjoy watching the fledglings emerge into our Gardens and enjoy knowing we have helped by providing a good source of food to assist the adult birds nesting nearby raise a healthy brood.
Check out the video below of some Mistle Trush Fledglings!