What should you do if you find a baby bird?
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
People who find baby birds should leave them alone unless it is obvious they are in danger, a top rural police officer has said.
Sergeant Brian Calver said although they may be well-intentioned, rescue efforts for young birds are often more damaging than helpful.
A young bird alone on the ground has not necessarily been abandoned, and the young of many birds will fledge after they grow feathers, but before they are able to fly.
They spend a day or two on the ground before their feather development is complete, and the parents will be close by and come to feed the bird as soon as it is safe.
If the bird is in a vulnerable position, it can be moved to shelter but people should not move it too far away as the parents will then be unable to find it.
Removing a fledgling from the wild reduces its chances of long-term survival to a small fraction, and should be done only as a last resort if the bird is injured or has definitely been abandoned or orphaned, according to the RSPB.
Sgt Calver said there might be certain rare circumstances when people will need to take a bird in, but they should seek professional advice.
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He said: "There's plenty of birds that have already fledged but it's that time of year when people might find what looks like a young bird that's been abandoned.
"But the key message is: unless it's in extreme danger and it's obvious then leave it alone, take a step back and watch and wait because the parent bird is not going to be far away.
"It's likely they are going to be causing a bit of din, making a noise to say, 'get away from my chick'.
"If it becomes evident that that bird has been abandoned or something's happened to the parent then by all means, do the right thing, recover it but contact a professional."
More advice on what to do if you find a baby bird is available on the RSPB website here.
The Help Wildlife also website has further details.