It is well and truly spring now here in Woodend which means it is fledgling season! This is a great time to remind yourself of what to do if you’re worried about a bird in your garden or by the side of the road. Magpies are particularly common in this area so if you spot one that is very fluffy, or feathered with a dark beak, be aware that these are young birds that have just left the nest or are in the fledgling stage. They may be hanging around on the ground, but this is part of the process of leaving the nest and learning to fly so the best thing to do is not intervene. Even if you can’t see any adult birds nearby, that doesn’t mean they aren’t watching, or may have gone temporarily to collect some food for their young.
If you are out walking the dog, make sure to keep a good distance away and keep your dog on a lead. If there is a bird in your garden, keep your dog inside until it has gone. If you are worried about how long a fledgling has been alone on the ground, keep an eye on it over the course of the day and give us a call if you think it may be orphaned. The most important thing to remember is not to take a young bird unless it is injured, as you may be separating it from its parents. When injured or orphaned young birds are brought into the clinic, we treat their injuries and where possible pass them onto a wildlife carer for rehabilitation and release.
We love the impulse to help animals in need, but don’t forget that the best thing to do at this time of year is usually to let nature do its thing!