When is it Right to Rescue a Young Bird?

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4 Responses

  1. Pendlecurl says:

    Thank you for posting this I have found it very useful as have a couple of nests near to my home so could be in the position of coming across a fledgling.

  2. mary russell says:

    A very good article and sound advice. It may be worth doing something similar in winter. Occasionally in winter I have come across an adult bird which is immobile because of hunger and cold. My first approach is to put a small amount of food very close to it (and a small dish of water unless there is snow which it can use). That is usually all it needs. If it does not respond to that, a good solution is to pick it up and put it in a pocket close to my body. When I feel it move, having warmed up a bit, I return it to the ground with some food next to it. That usually works 🙂 We live in a very cold spot and I do come across the odd bird which, despite all the food I put out, needs a bit of help.

  3. Rita Hollington says:

    We have bluetits nesting in a nest box in our garden and have noticed the adults coming backwards and forwards to a feeder we have with fatballs (suet) in and seemingly taking it back to the nest box. Should we remove the feeder while the birds are nesting or is it OK for the chicks to be fed suet?! (They seem to be ignoring the seed feeders at the moment so that doesn’t seem to be a problem. Never sure whether to remove feeders in nest time?

  4. Jenny Cooper says:

    A couple of years ago I noticed a young blue tit on the grass in my garden. I was alerted to it by a very agitated parent making a lot of noise in the tree next to it. In the light of this article I am sure that my subsequent actions were completely wrong, but it did end up providing nearly an hour of entertainment for all concerned (just to be clear, this is myself, the fledgling and its parent). I knelt down by the baby bird up and put my hand near it. After some hesitation it clung on to my finger so I picked it up and put it on the wall. This generated a flurry of very alarmed noise from the parent. The fledgling jumped down from the wall, possibly in a half-hearted attempt to fly and the whole exercise was repeated. After a few repetitions I had created this ridiculous situation where the fledgling clearly thought this was the best game it had ever played – I suppose it probably was. Every time I deposited it on the wall, it jumped straight down and came chasing after me, even when I retreated. It would then jump onto my hand, hang on to my finger and wait to be put on the wall again. If I refused to pick it up it just started looking at me and squeaking (or whatever you call the noise baby birds make) and the only thing that shut it up was if I gave in to its demands. I just couldn’t resist. The whole process then began all over again. Even the adult blue tit had stopped sounding alarm bells by this time and just sat there next to us and watched. Eventually the fledgling lost its balance on the wall and went over into next door’s garden so I made a hasty retreat – you can have too much of a good thing!! My method of teaching the young bird to fly was clearly a dismal failure. The parent presumably will have made a much better job of it.

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