Don’t pick up fledglings, let them fly

March to July is nesting season for birds and local vets are seeing a spike in unnecessarily rescued fledglings. - Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS
March to July is nesting season for birds and local vets are seeing a spike in unnecessarily rescued fledglings.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS

If you find a baby bird tossed out of its nest, don’t scoop it up and take it to a vet or the SPCA.

March to July is nesting season for birds and the B.C. SPCA is once again seeing a spike in unnecessarily rescued are fledglings, so are local vets.

Since spring arrived, the Dewdney Animal Hospital has cared for 10 fledglings, one baby raccoon, four starlings which were attacked by cats, a stellar jay caught in bird netting and three baby ducks, one who was abandoned and two whose mother was run over by a car.

“As per every year, we are receiving tons of baby birds that are learning to fly,” said Dr. Adrian Walton who owns Dewdney Animal Hospital.

“They spend three to four days on the ground with momma watching so it is really important not to pick them up .. but rather keep your cat inside and let them learn to fly.”

Since the majority of bird species nest on the ground, dogs running off-leash can have a huge impact on waterfowl and shorebirds.

The SPCA only recommends intervening if you can tell if the bird is a nestling.

A nestling is a featherless, downy, or incompletely feathered bird. If you find one, look up and see if you can find the nest - it may be in a nearby tree, shrub, or on the outside of a building.

If the nest has fallen to the ground or been blown down, try to get the young and the nest back in the original position, securing it in place if necessary. If you cannot find or reach the nest, contact your local wildlife rehabilitation centre

Fledglings are older, nearly fully feathered birds that are learning to fly and live out of the nest. They are often clumsy and may appear to be hurt when in fact they are just developing their flying skills.


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