What should I do if I find a nestling/fledgling bird?

What to do if you find a Baby Bird

Spring is about to arrive and this means lots of baby birds around in parks and gardens; however not all of these are injured or need to be “rescued”.  Some of them have just fledged which means they have left the nest, are still being cared for by the parent birds and are learning the skills required to become a thriving adult bird.

What to do you when you find an injured baby bird

If you have found a baby bird that appears to be sick or injured it will need to come into care even if the parents are still tending to it.  Put the chick into a small box with a towel and call Sydney Wildlife on 9413 4300.

What to do when you find a healthy baby bird

Nestling (should still be in the nest, can’t stand or perch):
If the nestling is feathered and vigorous and the parents are around, place the bird back in its own nest, or if that isn’t possible, place it in a substitute nest in the same or a nearby tree with foliage cover (the substitute nest can be made from an ice cream container, with holes punched into the bottom and lined with shredded newspaper or leaf litter). Observe and ensure that the adults are coming back to feed it. If the adults are not sitting with it overnight, cover it with a washer, or if it is cold or raining take it inside and place it in a box in a warm dark place and take it back early the next morning. Keep an eye on it during the day to check it has not been abandoned by its parents, ie they are still feeding it. If the parents abandon the bird, it will need to be passed onto a Sydney Wildlife carer.

NB this applies mainly to birds such as noisy miners and magpies.  Other birds such as rainbow lorikeets and kookaburras nest in hollows and will probably not tend to a chick in an open false nest.  Please call for advice.

Fledgling (out of the nest, can perch and flap but not necessarily fly well):

If the fledgling is in good condition, vigorous and begging and the parents are around, leave the bird and observe for a while to make sure it is being fed.

If there is an injury or the bird seems weak and is quiet it will need assessing by a wildlife carer or a vet and in this instance you should call Sydney Wildlife for advice.

NB  If you are a Sydney Wildlife member you will find specific advice on reuniting in our weebly website.

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