Out into the Big Wide World

Well, it's that time of year again and we are busy each evening and weekend with calls/text/emails for assistance with what to do with fledgling birds found on the floor...


In reality, often NOTHING needs to be done, as a huge percentage of birds don't simply leave the nest and fly away - but will often have limited flight and spend between 24 hours to 5 days hopping around on the floor and low bushes until they are capable of sustained flight.


Alas, this does mean that they come into conflict with cats and dogs - and to a larger degree 'humans'! However, in the majority of cases, simply leave them alone, or if in direct danger pop them into the nearest bush or behind a tree.


Many of the callers report that they are 'abandoned and alone', however the parent birds will only return to feed them every 3-4 hours, and not the minute-by-minute feeds they received whilst in the nest. This gets them hungry and helps them onto the next stage of feeding for themselves. For birds such as robins/wrens/blackbirds/thrushes, the parents will split the brood up on leaving the nest, so if a predator found one, it would not find the whole brood. Again, these sometimes appear orphaned, but in reality the parents are nearby and simply waiting for you to go away. These four species in particular WILL spend 4-5 days on the floor before taking to the skies - PLEASE DO NOT be tempted to put them onto a shed/garage roof 'away from cats' - if they do not fall off and (often) break a leg or wing in doing so, there is no shelter there and they make easy pickings for the nest magpie/crow/sparrowhawk that passes by. Far better to pop it into/under a bush or conifer, keep your cat in, or if troubled by other cats; cut up some citrus fruit (oranges and lemons work fine) and scatter the pieces around the part of the garden to keep cats out of.


The jackdaw on todays photo was on our Home Reserve yesterday morning having come out of the nest with its siblings that day; four were flying well, one could flutter, and this was was a definate late starter. I had a quick check to ensure all was well, and popped it back on a log within the woodland - its parents were alarm calling in the treetops above. Late on that day I popped down to see how the family was fairing, and found the other jackdaw now flying well, but this one was only part way up a tree. However, clearly it had been fed, and so making a note of where in the reserve it was, I decided to leave alone and see how it was first thing in the morning; to my delight, that following day found it up in the treetops with the rest of the family - thankfully there is dense cover on the reserves at this time of year, and so the stormy weather forecast for this week should cause few problems.


Nigel


 


 


 


 

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