If it is NOT feathered please do the following:
• Gather it up in a towel or soft cloth and put in a box somewhere very warm (body temperature).
• If you are not local please find a rehab or rescue ASAP or ask your local vet if they know a local rescue, or ask on your local community pages online for any rehab or rescue centres nearby. If you cannot find one, please visit www.helpwildlife.co.uk or British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and search for your nearest rescue centre.
• Keep the bird in the box inside as warm as you possibly can. Use a warm bottle of water or similar under some towels to create heat and cover over with a towel, so the baby is completely dark and warm. Baby birds with no feathers need heat up to around 36 degrees centigrade and cannot tolerate the cold. They cannot digest any food when their temperature is too low.
• Please keep the bird quiet and do not cuddle or handle it and, we cannot stress enough, please DO NOT FEED IT ANYTHING – not even water. They need a special diet or formula depending on its age and species. Too many baby birds have come in aspirating (putting liquid down the wrong hole) or having sour crop, blocked crop and other ailments, usually resulting in death, by being given milk, pasta, bread, and uncooked rice or food that is not right for that species – do not even feed a worm! It is far easier for us to fix hunger than it is poisoning or alleviating a blocked crop, which usually results in a very painful and unnecessary death.
• Time is crucial to its survival so please do all you can to get it to a rescue asap.
Young/baby bird uninjured. Lively but can’t fly
• If it is young, alert, and cannot fly properly, but feathered, this means it is a fledgling, and you should leave it where it is if it is safe to do so. The parents will be around to feed and teach it how to survive.
• Please DO NOT hang a box from a washing line with it inside as this just makes it vulnerable and will become a “happy meal” for predators (hawks, corvids etc). If you are concerned pop him in a nearby tree or bush off the ground. The parents WILL be around to look after it and teach it how to survive far better than any human, so please give nature a chance to do its thing naturally.
• Please know that unless there is a genuine issue with the bird, it is actually illegal to remove any wildlife from it’s natural habitat and you can be prosecuted. Some species can take from a couple of hours to a few days to get off the ground. “The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (WCA 1981) protects wild animals, plants and habitats. It prohibits certain methods of killing or taking wild animals”.
• If you are concerned about dogs or cats accessing the young bird or fledgling, please keep your cats in for a day or two, or protect the area where it is so your dogs can’t get at it. There are lots of predators everywhere, that is nature! It should manage to fly very soon!
• If it is feathered and healthy, just grounded, then please let its parents do their job, leave it alone, and monitor from a far distance. If no parents have been to see the baby for a few hours then get in touch. Fledglings can take a few hours to a couple of days to learn to fly so please give them that chance naturally.
If the bird is injured or sick
• Please gently gather up in a towel and put in a secure box with air holes and place some soft tissue/toilet paper on the bottom of the box so it doesnt slide around, and please keep it quiet. If it is a nestling bald baby then keep it very warm as above. Contact a local rescue.
• Please DO NOT ever try and feed the bird or treat any illness/injury yourself. You can do so much more harm than good despite with good intentions. Birds have a very sensitive body and the usual remedies you may have at home for you or your pets are actually very toxic to birds, even in small quantities.
• Most injuries will need antibiotics and pain relief as soon as possible. Only a vet or a proper rehabilitation rescue with vet support can administer these.
• If you are not local, please visit www.helpwildlife.co.uk or British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council and search for your nearest rescue centre ASAP. If you cannot find a rescue easily, phone round local vets if they know of a local rescue or ask on your local community pages online for any rehab or rescue centres nearby.
• If you are still having an issue, please take the bird to you nearest vet, do not hold onto the suffering animal – this is actually illegal to do so. Vets do have a duty of care by law to see wildlife. Some may put to sleep, but many will treat it and get in touch with a local rescue.
• Any bird found with badly broken legs or wings or exposed organs, should be taken to an emergency vet immediately.
Thank you for caring!