There is a chance that you see a young bird on the ground. It is easy to assume that the tiny bird needs help but this is not always the case. Sometimes, trying to rescue a bird can do more harm than good. You can avoid this mistake by knowing the right way to rescue birds. Here are some signs that you need to check to know whether the bird needs rescue.
- Its wings are drooping unevenly
- It is shivering and weak
- It is unable to flutter its wings
- It has been attacked by an animal or human
The next thing you need to check is whether the bird is a hatchling or a fledgling.
- Hatchlings – They are still featherless and are pinkish in color. They cannot move around much and they need to stay in the nest so their parents can feed them. They usually fall off the nest when the wind is blowing hard.
- Fledglings – They are still young but they already grew their feathers. These juvenile birds instinctually fly to the ground but they have not yet fully developed their taking off skills. They actually spend several weeks hopping on the ground to learn hunting and foraging. The parent is still watching and feeding the fledging during this period so no need to panic when you see one.
Pest control may also affect birds in this stage so try to ensure that harmful pesticides are not present where they live. You can visit website for more information about pest control products.
You need to identify the stage where the bird is to know the proper way to rescue it. If you found a hatchling, please remember that it needs its parent to survive. It is not true that the mother will abandon the bird if it has been exposed to human touch so the best rescue is to return it to its parent. Here are the things you need to do when you found a hatchling.
- Try to look for the bird’s nest. If it is intact, safely return the bird there.
- If the nest is already broken, you can make a makeshift nest using a plastic container. Just put nesting material, such as dried twigs and leaves, to make it warm for the bird. You can also use a clean cloth or paper towel if you cannot find enough twigs and leaves.
- Place the makeshift nest back on the tree closest to where you found the hatchling. Secure the nest with a nail to prevent it from falling again.
- Observe if the mother bird has returned to the nest within the day.
If it is a fledging, the best way is to just leave it where it is. The parent may be closely watching it and may attack you if you try to go near it. Just keep animals and children away to keep the fledging safe from disturbance.
In rare instances that the bird is really hurt or the parent is no longer feeding the young, you need to retrieve the bird and carefully place in a shoe box. Bring the injured bird to a veterinarian, animal rescue organizations or a wildlife rehabilitator so that the proper treatment can be given. Please never attempt to feed it because the bird may be poisoned if the wrong food is given.
You may be tempted to keep the rescued bird but remember that birds are meant to fly and not kept in cage. They will be happier in the wild where they belong.