SSPCA alert on at-risk baby birds

The public are being urged not to disturb baby birds
The public are being urged not to disturb baby birds

The SSPCA is receiving dozens of calls about at-risk fledglings, and hundreds have already been taken to a rescue centre near Falkirk.

But it’s urging well-meaning people not to cause still more serious problems by taking the wrong kind of action when they think a baby bird is in danger.

The charity is asking the public to be “fledgling aware” as part of this year’s #SSPCABabyBirds campaign.

Last year the SSPCA cared for more than 5,000 fledgling and nestling birds, and 2018 is looking set to be even busier.

However although some young birds are rescued because they are injured, others are in good health but were picked up by worried passers-by when they should have been left alone.

Rescue centre manager Colin Seddon said, “It’s understandable for people to be concerned when they come across a young bird on the ground that appears clumsy and unable to fly.

“However, this is a vital part of the learning to fly process. “The parents are very likely to be nearby, watching their young making their first efforts to take to the skies.

“We would ask anyone who has concerns to try to monitor the fledglings from a distance to see if the parents appear.

“If it does seem a baby bird has been abandoned or orphaned, they should call our animal helpline for advice.”

Colin advised members of the public to intervene immediately only if a fledgling is in danger.

If a fully feathered young bird is in harm’s way, on a road or somewhere it could be vulnerable to predators, then it may be possible to move it to a safer spot in a nearby hedge or tree.

The SSPCA says under no circumstances should anyone who discovers a nest try to touch or move the fledglings inside.

This could cause the parents to abandon them - and it is also illegal.