Fledglings – what to do
In the late Spring and early Summer many baby birds, known as fledglings, make early attempts to fly that may result in them being separated from their nest and their mother. Here are three simple methods of helping these vulnerable young birds:
Fledgling rescue method 1:
- Try to locate the nest and place the youngster back in.
- If the nest has fallen out of the tree, wedge it securely back into place.
Fledgling rescue method 2:
- Place the young bird on top of a thick hedge. This will be hard for cats to climb up onto and also gives a good platform from which to eventually take off.
- The youngster will call out for its parents and should be fed by them until it's time to take that first major flight, hopefully within a week or so.
Fledgling rescue method 3:
- Cut an ice cream or milk container in half and discard the top part.
- Punch small holes in the bottom (for drainage) and holes in the side (small enough to feed string, thread, or wire through) and hang it from either a tree branch or clothesline. (The clothesline is preferable, as cats have difficulty climbing up clothesline poles.)
- Put bark shavings, leaves, etc, in the bottom of the container.
- The bird should call out and be fed by the parents until it gets its full flying wings and is ready to leave.
Ensure that there is as little human handling of the fledgling as possible. It is always better for the young to be raised by their natural parents rather than by a human carer. Whatever action you take remember to keep a watchful eye open from a distance in the hope that the mother or father will return to be reunited with their young.
If you find a bird in need of care, please contact SPCA Auckland on 09 256 7300.
If you are seeking advice on birds, you can contact our dedicated volunteers below:
- Sylvia Durrant – 09 478 8819
- Lyn Macdonald – 09 816 9219
- Robyn Sampson – 09 233 6681