Unless you are convinced the baby bird has been abandoned by his parents or is in imminent danger it’s best to leave the little one where it is. Babies do flutter out of the nest and wait a while to get their feathers and their parents will not come to it while you are around.
Sometimes picking the baby up and putting it on the inside branches of a bush is the best course of action. Hopefully, cats won’t be able to get to it and it will have the instinct to keep fluttering higher and higher.
Putting the baby bird back in the nest (if you can find it) doesn’t usually work, it will just flutter out again. Parent birds will come and feed even if on the ground if you leave well alone.
Your scent won’t put the parents off, they will find their baby by the noise he makes. You may not see the parents, they won’t come out while you are around but will locate and fetch their offspring when you are out of the area.
If you are certain that the baby bird has been orphaned then you may have no option but to attempt a rescue. A box with high sides is best, make a nest inside, with dried grass, hay or shredded soft paper – kitchen towels are perfect.
The nest should be baby bird size, it needs to be soft and so the little one can feel secure. If you can bring the bird in to us as soon as possible that gives it the best chance of survival. Keeping them warm is essential and feeding them is an expert and time consuming job. We make up special diets depending on the type of bird, chopped up meal worms, finely minced boiled egg and Purina poultry cat food is a good standby. We use plastic tweezers for song birds and syringes (cut open) for pigeons and doves.
A nestling with eyes closed will need feeding every 15 to 20 minutes. If his eyes are open and there are signs of feathers, you will still have to feed every 30 minutes. It’s not until the baby is hopping around that you can spread the feeds out to every hour.
Avoiding stress is one of the most important factors in the survival of these fragile little lives so keeping them quiet and in natural (but not bright) light is best for them.
We’re open every day between 10.0am and 4.0pm – please ring direct to the sanctuary – 01246 455777 – to let us know if you are on your way.