Birds don’t have it easy. They face a number of problems on a day to day basis; among them are pesticides, window glass, wind turbines, feral cats, habitat loss and sometimes, human intervention. With the weather warming up, it’s common to find young birds on the ground, without any sign of their parents. That’s because spring and summer are nesting seasons for birds. The good news is, it’s normal. Fledglings, as they’re called, need to leave the nest in order to learn how to fly and survive on their own.
While it may seem like they’re alone, there’s a good chance their parents are nearby, keeping a close eye on them. In spite of good intentions, human intervention often leads to unnecessary deaths among fledglings. So the next time you find a baby bird on the ground, leave them alone unless they need help. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to help baby birds this summer.
1. Don’t Pick Up Baby Birds
However appealing it may be to pick up a baby bird, you shouldn’t do it. Leave them alone, unless they need your help. Despite good intentions, picking up a baby bird and trying to rescue them often leads to unnecessary death. In most cases, the parents aren’t far away and only they know the best way to care for their young. So if you find a baby bird sitting on the ground, resist the urge to grab them and take them indoors. Their parents are teaching them how to fend for themselves so please respect their wishes and leave the baby alone unless, they are visibly injured. In that case, take him straight to your local wildlife rehabilitation center.
2. Avoid Giving Them Food or Water
Baby birds have specialized diets and kitchen scraps or birdseed aren’t part of it. Offering them inadequate food can lead to a range of health problems and choking, so the best thing you can do is leave the feeding duties to the parents. Obviously, if you see a fledgling for days without any signs of parents, you can then take them to your local wildlife rehabilitation center, but you must be sure they’re orphaned prior to doing so.
3. Do You See a Cat Nearby?
Free-roaming cats kill billions of birds annually and unfortunately, fledglings tend to be the most common victims. If you have a cat, make sure you keep them indoors through the summer to prevent them from killing fledglings and if you see a cat nearby to a baby bird out of its nest, try to keep them away. Alternatively, if you can locate the nest (you MUST be absolutely sure it’s the right one), return the bird to it to ensure safety.
4. Love Your Neighbors, as Thyself
Many homeowners get annoyed when nests appear in garages, eaves, and porch lights, often scraping these nests off the wall because they consider their neighbors ‘’pests.’’ Whatever happened to loving your neighbors? C’mon, they’ll be gone in a few weeks. In the meantime, why don’t you admire their handiwork and observe the beautiful birds in it? Besides, birds eat hundreds of insects every day, including mosquitoes, so they’ll be doing you a favor. Only remove the nest once you’re certain that the birds are permanently gone. It may take a few days to be sure.
5. Don’t Cut Down Your Trees
If you can, avoid or at least minimize tree trimming and cutting this summer to prevent disturbance to nesting birds. Trees provide shelter for birds throughout the summer so, for the sake of the wildlife, don’t go cutting them down.
8. Steer Clear of Pesticides
Pesticides have devastating consequences for birds. Even products labeled as ‘’Safe to Use’’ are still deadly to birds. They also have negative effects on bees so if you can, stay away from pesticides as they can be lethal to wildlife.
9. Turn Off Your Outdoor Lights
Make sure you switch off your outdoor lights, for the sake of your electric bill and for the sake of birds. Bright artificial lights can disorientate birds, causing window collisions. Opt for steady burning lights on motion sensors or blue and green LED lights instead, as they’re less distracting to birds.
Birds play an important role in our local ecosystems and there is nothing better than waking up to happy chirping outside your window! Remember, if you find an injured bird you should always contact a wildlife rehabilitator before taking action, for a list of some that might help, click here.
Image Source: baileyg