A fledgling is a young bird that is old enough to leave the nest, but may be a few days or even weeks away from flying successfully. As the bird begins to grow the appropriate feathers and train the muscles that it needs to FLY, it is common for it to “fall” out of the nest. Because of this, springtime often brings many young birds into the Wildlife Center.
If you spot a young bird on the ground, you need to assess the situation:
- If the bird appears to be injured, it needs to be brought in for medical attention and care.
- If there is the possibility that the bird on the ground may be attacked by a cat or dog, it needs to be brought to the rehabilitation center for evaluation.
- Can you spot a nest? If you can spot the nest from which the bird fell, see if it is possible to return it to the nest. Birds will not abandon a baby that has been handled by humans. However, if the nest can be reached by cats, the bird needs to be brought to the rehabilitation center for evaluation.
- If you cannot spot/reach the nest, but the bird is safe from cats and dogs and appears to be unharmed, observe it for a day or two. It is common for the parents of the bird to continue to feed it on the ground while it learns to fly. If you find that the bird is alone and no other birds appear to be feeding it, then it could be lost from its parents and require care.
If you need to bring a bird into the center, we are located at P.O. Box 1134, Morro Bay, CA 93443. Or you can give us a call to schedule an animal pickup by dialing 805-543-WILD.