What to do if you find a wild bird

Baby Birds

It’s common in spring and summer to find young birds sitting on the ground or hopping about without any sign of their parents. This is perfectly normal, so there’s no need to be worried.

Fledglings are extremely unlikely to be abandoned by their parents. Parents will often seem to be absent but are just hiding close by whilst humans are around. Baby birds should be left where they are, in the care of their own parents. Removal of a fledgling from the wild has to be a very last resort, and then only if it is injured or has definitely been abandoned or orphaned. If the bird is on a busy path or road, or other potentially dangerous, exposed location, it makes sense to pick it up and move it a short distance to a safer place. Make sure you leave it within hearing distance of where it was found so that the parents can return to it. 

For full details and more information, see www.rspb.org.uk/makeahomeforwildlife/advice/helpingbirds/health/index.aspx.

Sick/Injured Birds

As a nature conservation organisation, the RSPB has no expertise in animal welfare matters and we don’t have the equipment or facilities for rescuing/treating sick or injured wildlife.

Consequently, our staff will not be able to assist with wildlife that needs veterinary or captive care. Other organisations are experts in this area – the best people to contact are the RSPCA in on 0300 1234999. In addition, many vets are often able to treat sick/injured wildlife. Local specialist wildlife rescue centres can also be found on www.helpwildlife.co.uk