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How to look after fledgling birds

Written by Liz Means



Spring is now here, and we will very commonly have baby birds (fledglings) brought into our clinic after they have fallen from a nest. These birds can do well under the care of an experienced bird handler, but they have a much better chance of survival if they are left in the care of their parents.

If you find a baby bird outside of the nest, take the time to assess it before rushing off to a vet clinic. Most of these baby birds will have parents close by who will continue to watch over and feed them, until they are able to fly themselves.

“If you find a baby bird outside of the nest, take the time to assess it before rushing off to a vet clinic.”

Healthy baby birds will:

• Have all of their feathers.
• Be active, vocalising and reactive to their surroundings.
• Have no obvious injuries.

If a baby bird appears healthy you can help increase the chances of survival by allowing its parents to continue feeding and caring for it.

• If the bird is able to perch, place it on a branch near where you have found it.
• If you can see the nest it fell out of, replace the baby bird in the nest.
• If the bird is unable to perch and you cannot see the nest, you can make an artificial nest using an ice-cream container lined with leaves. Cut the sides of the container down by half and put some small holes in the bottom for drainage. This container can be hung in a tree or on a clothesline, close to where the baby bird was found.

If the baby bird appears sick or injured it will need to be cared for by an experienced bird handler. The bird rescue website www.birdrescue.org.nz/rescuing-a-bird has the contact details for bird rescue centres through the country. You can also call your vet clinic for advice.



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