Australian Citizens advised to leave wild baby birds alone unless they're at risk

Citizens advised to leave wild baby birds alone unless they're at risk
Credit: University of Queensland

Well-meaning people could do more harm than good by 'rescuing' baby birds they find on the ground, warn University of Queensland veterinarians.

UQ School of Veterinary Science experts say that – as difficult as it may be – resisting the urge to save a baby bird found on the ground is often the best thing you can do.

Associate Professor Bob Doneley of the UQ VETS Small Animal Hospital said summer storms often blow trees and branches down, unceremoniously dumping in their nests on the ground.

"If you find a fallen nest, the best thing to do is put it back in a nearby tree or shrub so the baby birds are out of harm's way and the parents can find their offspring," Dr Doneley said.

"Sometimes baby birds land on the ground while they're learning to fly, so in these situations just observe the bird for a short time to see if its parents return to feed it.

"If the bird is alone, injured or in danger from cats, dogs or road traffic, then take it to a vet or call a carer to look after it.

"They'll need to know exactly where you found the bird so they can release it in this spot later on."

Associate Professor Doneley said well-intentioned people sometimes removed the chicks of ground-dwelling birds such as masked lapwings (plovers), as they considered them abandoned.

"The parents are coming back to their chicks, so please leave them where you found them," he said.

Wildlife work is not paid for by the government, so if you find injured wildlife please consider leaving a donation for the care organisation or the Wildlife and Emergency Care Fund.

"We are always grateful for donations to care for our native animals," Dr Doneley said.


Explore further

Even snakes get spinal aches

Citation: Australian Citizens advised to leave wild baby birds alone unless they're at risk (2016, December 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-12-australian-citizens-wild-baby-birds.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
11 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more