Guidelines on how to help a fallen nestling bird

Guidelines on how to help a fallen nestling bird

Finding a fallen nestling: what to do

Whether you’re an experienced bird watcher, a casual nature enthusiast, or a concerned citizen, it’s possible that at some time, you’ve come across a young bird fallen from its nest. Regardless of how often this might happen, it’s always heartbreaking to see a helpless creature in such a predicament. Your first instinct might be to adopt this lost bird and care for it yourself—a noble gesture, but not always the best option. Here’s why.

The urgency to intervene is not always justified

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that the urgency to intervene isn’t always justified. While you may have the best intentions at heart, you may inadvertently cause more harm than good when you intervene. Sometimes, the fallen bird is not actually abandoned—its parents may be nearby, waiting for you to leave before attending to their young. While this might be difficult to wrap your head around, especially if you’re an animal lover, it’s crucial to remember that you’re not equipped with the knowledge or skills needed to take care of a wild bird correctly.

Knowing when to step back or intervene

Let’s say you’ve found a bird laden with down feathers and unable to fly. Even in this state, there’s a chance that it hasn’t fallen from its nest, but rather, its parents have intentionally ousted it. This practice is common amongst certain bird species, which inspire independence in their offspring by vacating them from the nest.

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However, there are exceptions to this rule. If you find a bird without any feathers or if it’s bleeding, these could be signs of distress, a clear indication that the bird requires help. If this is the case, it may be wise to contact a wildlife rescue center or a veterinarian who specializes in birds. They will be better equipped to handle the situation, as they have received specific training and have access to facilities designed to care for these types of creatures.

How to effectively help a fallen nestling

There are still things you can do to help a fallen nestling without risking its health. If the bird is in immediate danger—for instance, exposed to predators or in a high traffic area—you may choose to move it to a safer location nearby. Opt for a safe and quiet place where the parents can find their offspring with ease. When handling the bird, remember to wear gloves to prevent passing on any diseases to it.

In the event you can’t reach a wildlife rescue center or a specialized vet, you can put the bird back in its nest if it’s within reach. Remember, the old wives’ tale about birds rejecting their offspring if they smell like humans is a myth.

Caring for a fallen nestling in a controlled environment

Lastly, I strongly advise against adopting a fallen nestling unless absolutely necessary and directed by a professional in bird care. Caring for a fallen nestling in a controlled environment requires a specific diet, heat source, and medication. All these measures are tricky to recreate without the necessary expertise. Furthermore, raising a wild bird in captivity often leads to imprinting and dependency issues, ultimately making it more challenging for the bird to be released back into the wild.

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Despite the challenges, it’s always wonderful to see people taking an interest in the wellbeing of our wild feathered friends. The key takeaway here should not be one of helplessness, but compassion pair with wisdom. Understanding and respect are the best things we can offer wild birds in need. From being conscious about not disturbing their habitats, to making sure that educated professionals handle any necessary intervention, we all can play a part in ensuring these beautiful creatures continue to inhabit our world.

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