Please think of the consequences of your actions

June 8, 2019

It is now the busiest month of the year for fledgling birds and, just as in the human world, there are frazzled parents with a million and one things to do, and youngsters exploring and getting into trouble.


Ranging from the tit family whose babies should all emerge from the nest early in the morning, and be flying well by the following evening; the robins and wrens, magpies and crows who need up to five days on the floor before they can fly properly; to the young owls who leave the nest a full 3 weeks before they can properly fly and are often sat at the base of trees, on walls/pathways or in a garden simply awaiting the following night when they will be encouraged by mum and dad to re-climb a tree/wall for their evening meal.


Then, we have the mother duck and ducklings who are often found in people's gardens and on occasion on a busy roundabout. Simply put; we have encroached on their living area so much, there is no safe place near to the waterway for mum to nest so she seeks the safety of people's gardens, and even on flat roofs if well drained. These nests can be up to a mile away from the waterway, and means a perilous journey for mother and her brood which will only be around 24hrs old. If they are 'stuck' and cannot get out, then occasionally assistance is required and mother duck needs catching first and putting into one box, the babies catching 2nd and putting into a 2nd box. Upon reaching the safe waterway, release the babies first, and the mother afterwards. If released in the wrong order, there is a high chance she will desert and you have a box full of orphaned ducklings. Although rescue centres will do their best; generally mum is the much better parent.


Canada goslings can usually be returned to an area where other canada goslings of similar size are resident, as they live in large creches with a number of adult geese looking after them; not necessarily their own parents.


Finally for this month we have all the migratory birds which have come over from Eastern Europe to breed here in the UK. It was heartbreaking this year to hear that at a local stables they had put fly papers up in the barn and within a few hours of the swallows arriving, one had got caught on the paper strip. The glue by design is very sticky and soon destroys the birds plumage, and is very difficult to fully remove without destroying the birds feathers and natural oils in the process. Often the bird will panic to such a degree in trying to get free, that it breaks a wing or leg, meaning a likely death sentence for the bird - and often for any chicks in the nest due to starvation. Though I have managed to mend broken wings and legs in the past on migratory birds, it is sadly only a few and the bird goes through a huge amount of stress as it knows it should be flying and struggles to adapt to hospital life during recuperation. For any migratory bird to survive, it is essential they are 100% fit, and especially with swifts, they are only over here a matter of weeks before returning so the timeframe for repairs is especially short.


Please do read the information on this site before moving a bird unless it is in the road or a cat's mouth; it may simply be doing as it should and mum and dad are simply waiting nearby for you to go away.


Nigel

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