It’s spring time, and baby animals are everywhere! It’s also the time of year when Veterinary clinics get an influx of young birds, and wildlife carers are inundated. It is a common misconception that if a baby bird is on the ground, it has fallen out of its nest and won’t survive. However, it is exactly where it is supposed to be.
If the baby bird is still a little fluffy and seems to have the start of feathers, they are called a fledgling and have left the nest. They learn to fly and survive from the ground up. Their parents are never far away, and continue to protect and care for them until they can fly. A healthy fledgling will hop around, may vocalise and are often gaping for food from their parents. They are cute and clumsy and these are all normal behaviours and means the bird is healthy. If you are concerned about a fledgling’s safety, you may be able to move them to a safe place such as a close by bush or off a busy path. Although, it is important to understand that they are learning how to live in the real world, so if they are close to a road or a busy bike path they need to watch their parents and learn how to survive there.
A baby bird’s best chance of survival is with its parents in the wild. If you find a fledgling that is injured you can take it to the nearest vet, it doesn’t cost anything and there is no need to make an appointment. Most clinics do appreciate a call letting them know you are coming down, and the extent of the bird’s injuries so that they can prepare for your arrival. If you are ever unsure you can always contact Wildlife Victoria on 8400 7300.