What to do if you find a fledgling?

What you can do if you find a fledgling in your garden


Springtime brings about a fresh flurry of activity in our gardens, with birds chirping, flowers blooming and nature awakening from its winter slumber. It’s also the time when you may stumble upon a baby bird, known as a fledgling. Whilst your first instinct might be to intervene and help it may not always be the best thing to do. Therefore, it is essential to understand and explore what the best course of action may be to ensure a fledgling’s well-being. This blog will explain and suggest a few things that we can do to help…

What is a fledgling?

Before we go into what to do when encountering a fledgling it’s good to understand what exactly a fledgling is and why it might be in your garden. Fledglings are young birds that have recently left the nest and are learning how to fly. At this stage they will often appear awkward and will have feathers still developing. Because they are still leaning to fly and have limited ability, they will spend time on the ground or low branches as they navigate their new environment away from the nest.

What to do initially?

It is best to initially just observe from afar when you first discover a fledgling in your garden. Fledglings often leave the nest before they are fully capable of sustained flight, and their parents continue to care of them during this crucial learning period. In many cases the parents are very nearby keeping a watchful eye on their offspring.

Access the fledgling’s condition.

While observing the fledgling we can assess its condition from a distance. Healthy fledglings will have feathers covering their bodies. These feathers may still appear fluffy and juvenile. The fledgling should be alert and responsive to their surroundings, moving around and even occasionally vocalising. If the fledgling appears injured, lethargic or in distress it may require some assistance.

Keep Pets indoors.

If you have pets such as dogs or cats, its essential to keep them indoors or away from the area where the fledgling is located. Even well-meaning gentle pets can pose a threat to a fledgling and cause them stress.

Provide Shelter

If the fledgling is in an unsafe location, you could gently move it to safer spot nearby. We must avoid handling the fledgling excessively so this may not be necessary and cause unnecessary stress. To minimise stress, use a shallow container or piece of cardboard to carefully move the fledgling to a nearby bush or sheltered tree.  Ensure that the new location offers protection from predators and the elements.

Monitor from Afar.

After providing shelter for the fledgling continue to monitor it from a distance. Keep an eye out for any signs of distress or change in behaviour. If the fledglings condition deteriorates or if it has not been attended to by its parents after several hours, it may be necessary to seek assistance from a local wildlife rehabilitator.


Encountering a baby fledgling in your garden can be a fascinating experience, giving us a glimpse into the wonders of the nature in our gardens. By understanding how to responsibly handle the situation you can try to help ensure the fledglings well-being while respecting its natural instincts and parental care.

For further advice we recommend taking a look or contacting the RSPB or your local Wildlife Hospitals. These often do a wonderful job of caring for sick, injured or abandoned wild birds and are usually more than happy to offer further advice if you have found a fledgling and you are certain it needs help.

Most of us will not find any abandoned birds and will enjoy watching the fledglings emerge into our gardens and enjoy knowing that we have helped by providing a good source of food to assist the adult birds nesting nearby raise a healthy brood.

Here at Brinvale we offer a wide range of bird seed and mixes to keep the parents well fed along with our specially formulated fledgling mix which helps with their growth and keeps them healthy.

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