Spring has arrived and so have many different animals including birds, who are beginning their nesting season.
Birds will be busy carrying their young from March through July and there may be many situations where the hatchlings are found on the ground instead of inside their nests.
BC SPCA Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (Wild ARC) manager Andrea Wallace suggests that if anyone comes across a bird that seems out of place, to give them a call.
Wallace said sometimes, birds that have just left their nests for the first time can seem like they don’t belong but are actually just learning how to get about in the world.
“If the bird is very young and doesn’t have any feathers then it’s too early for it to be out of the nest,” Wallace said. “When they grow up a little and they’re first leaving the nest they look quite awkward… because they don’t know how to fly and they’re fumbling around on the ground but that’s actually quite normal so it just sort of depends on what stage that bird is at in its life.”
Wallace also said to try and keep dogs and cats away from nests during breeding season. She said if possible, to keep cats indoors as well so they’re not raiding nests.
“Cats can cause a lot of problems for these little birds that don’t quite know how to fly yet,” Wallace said.
If a bird is out of its nest and shouldn’t be, Wallace said the best course of action is to put on a pair of garden gloves, cover the bird with a piece of fabric and place it back in its nest.
She said because humans are considered to be giant predators, covering the bird so it can’t see what’s going on can help it calm down.
Wallace also strongly advises to not feed the birds. She said wildlife have specialized diets and the Wild ARC facility puts time and effort into determining what diet is for each of species.
“It’s not something humans can replicate so I’d advise not to feed them,” Wallace said.