Yes, it’s that gloriously verdant time of the year when new life seems to be bursting out everywhere. It’s also a time when young birds are leaving their nests and may appear lost, in need of help. Last week a tiny long-tailed tit fledgling was found on the cycle path. Rather than risk it getting squashed, a well-meaning couple picked it up and brought it to the Environment Centre.
The staff around on the day were not entirely sure what the best course of action was so we sought advice of our Wildwatch. The RSPB offers a whole page explaining why it is best to leave young birds where found and only move them away as the last resort. While not being able to fly very well yet, they are unlikely to be abandoned. Their parents are probably nearby, either collecting food or watching out for you to go away.
The little bird was clearly healthy and very vocal about being stuck in our office so we followed the advice and took it back to where it had been found. Sure enough, an agitated adult couple of long-tailed tits was spotted nearby and we believe the youngster was reunited with its parents. It may well be flying on its own by now.
If you find a fledgling bird, please watch it for a while before taking any action. If it is in danger from moving vehicles, just move it away from the riskiest area but within earshot. Unlike mammals, birds can’t smell very well so you don’t need to worry about parents rejecting it due to your handling. All being well, you will soon see its parents making a fuss. Enjoy the show!