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nestling ,Fledgling & injured birds

nestling birds

Nestling birds are defined as such if they are still very much dependant on staying within the safety of a nest. ​

To the Left, (A) are two nestling pigeons. As you can see their feathers have not formed, their eyes are still shut, and look very much vulnerable. If these are found on the floor, action needs to be taken. 
These need to be taken to a reputable wildlife rescue center immediately. As birds have an extremely quick metabolism and require frequent feeding but also require artificial heat in order to be kept at a suitable temperature.  (B) Are nestling sparrows, feathers are not developed but eyes are open.

DO NOT give any 'Nestling bird' water or food. Many species require different specialist food items, supplements, and vitamins in order to aid in the development of their growth.


DO NOT attempt to put the nestling back into a nest unless you are 100% sure it's the correct nest. 

Get this wrong..  it will prove fatal for the youngster.


DO NOT delay, time is crucial to the patient and the sooner it gets the correct help required, the better its chances of survival. GET THE ANIMAL TO A WILDLIFE RESCUE CENTER IMMEDIATELY.

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Although you may wish to attempt to look after these young in your own home yourself, please consider this carefully. As they require specialist facilities and different care regimes throughout different stages of their development that are not normally found in your own home. Also, it should be considered, that the young would thrive far better with others of their own kind. 

An established wildlife rescue center is the place for these little ones to stand a chance. As they can provide the experience and knowledge required in order to help them. They may also have others of the same species, which is crucial for the bird's social development and to avoid imprinting (friendly and trusting of humans) 

fledgling birds

First things first .. Birds are by far the BEST parents in existence, think about it.. normally we are likely to give birth to a single offspring at a single time. Many species of birds have between 3-6  youngsters and some species as many as 5-8!  They tend to their young by feeding frequently from dawn until dusk, after a period of the tireless building of a robust, warm, and comfortable nest made from only what they can find in the area chosen. .. they are simply amazing creatures.  This is why it's extremely rare for a fledgling bird to have become supposedly orphaned. 

The only time a fledgling bird should be rescued is the following : 


  •  It's been caught or suspected to have been caught by a cat. (Even if there are no obvious injuries, cuts, puncture wounds, scrapes, or abrasions) * Pausterullau bacteria is a killer and is found in every cat's mouth and paws. If the bacteria from the salvia of a cat has contaminated the bird's feathers in any circumstance, the bird will require a covering antibiotic from a vet.   ​

  • The bird has become entangled from the garden or sports netting. PLEASE DO NOT RELEASE. What may not seem apparent straight away, bruising and swellings can cause all sorts of problems for birds down the line. This can also cause skin tissue to become narcotic and will prove fatal for the bird if not treated.  



If the bird has flown into a window, it may be just stunned. In this situation, the bird should be placed into a cardboard box (NOT PLASTIC)  with a towel laid on the floor of the box. DO NOT place the bird on newspaper, as the bird will be unable to grip or stand properly causing it stress. Place the box in a safe place, away from cats, direct sunlight, and any wind or draft. Water and food should NOT be provided, as the bird may be suffering from a concussion and could consequently drown itself.


Leave for a maximum period of 1-2 hours, if the bird does not come round properly or shows signs of injury, it will need medical attention.   Please contact your nearest wildlife rescue.  


The most common call we recieve is the following " There is a baby bird in my back garden and it cannot seem to fly, I think its wings are broken" 

Now, if the bird is hopping around the garden and chirping (calling for its parents) or is perching on a low branch or bush... the bird is very likely to be fine, and we should not be intervening here. Fledging the nest is perfectly normal and a very important part of any young bird's development. Before learning to fly, most garden birds learn to forage on the ground (this doesn't include birds of prey or waterfowl ). This is their time to learn from mum and dad, what's good to eat and what's not to be on the menu. It also teaches them vital survival skills against predators ... (Including Cats). 

If we were to remove a fledgling bird from its natural environment and its natural behaviors.. this could well prove to serve problems for the bird later on in its life. Therefore, we always insist to leave fledgling birds well alone unless obviously injured or sick. 

A sick bird will look puffed up in appearance, it will be lethargic, gasping, or laying down on its side. In this situation, pick the bird up and place it in a box (instructions stated above), and get the bird to a rescue center. 

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