Unfeathered or barely feathered baby birds will need your help, as they cannot survive by their own. You need to act swiftly, as they will get cold very quickly. Put them into a secure, padded and well ventilated carrier or card board box.
What shall I do now?
Keep the bird warm and bring it as soon as possible to an experienced bird rescue. If you are sure that the bird is warm, healthy and uninjured, and that you can get him or her safely back into the nest where it came from, then you can try this first. Do not forget to watch the nest closely from a safe distance to make sure that the parents are still in attendance and continue to care for the rescued bird. If there is any doubt, do not waste time and contact your local rescue immediately to get advice how to proceed.
Please do not...
...put any food or water into the box. Please do not attempt to feed the bird, as birds cannot digest food when being cold. Hatchlings and nestlings are prone to aspirate and can easily suffocate. They will require a specialist diet to thrive, to be given after being sufficiently warmed up and rehydrated.
Have you found a bird which has been attacked by a cat or dog?
The saliva of cats and dogs contains Pasteurella multocida bacteria, which cause fatal infections in birds, mammals and reptiles within a few hours, if not treated with appropriate antibiotics as soon as possible.
What shall I do now?
Keep the bird safe and warm and get in touch immediately with your local wildlife rescue or rehabber. Please do not release a bird without obvious signs of an injury. A tiny scratch or puncture wound is enough to seed the potentially fatal infection.
As this year’s nesting season is already in full swing, it seems appropriate to address some common problems wildlife rescues and rehabbers encounter every year. Most importantly it is worth noting that due to the small size of our sanctuary and our work commitments we are unable to attend wildlife rescues or to give timely social media, email or telephone advice in ongoing emergency or rescue situations.
However, if you have a question regarding bird or specifically corvid rescue, care or rehabilitation, then please check out our Corvid Care page or alternatively go to our Forum. Both sources contain a multitude of information about wildlife and bird emergencies in general and will also give detailed information referring specifically to corvids. For your convenience we have provided a few especially important links here in this blog post. These links will give you access to blog posts containing essential pieces of information about who to rescue and who to leave alone and how to recognise and catch a poorly or sick bird. Furthermore, these links will also provide you with detailed information about general life saving first aid measures focussing in particular on injuries inflicted by freely roaming unsupervised pet cats, which will save lives and will increase chances of survival aimed to bridge the time gap until a patient is being handed over into the care of an experienced wildlife rescue or rehabber.
So called silent firework displays, which are in fact not silent at all, unless they are replaced by laser shows, are increasingly praised as the ultimate solution when it comes to addressing animal welfare concerns. At the first glance silent fireworks seem to be a logical solution, as reduced noise pollution is addressing one of the best known problems in this context. However, as it is commonly the case, there is the bigger picture to consider, and that is where the controversy starts, at least for people who feel very strongly that fireworks are part of their cherished traditions and well deserved rights, and of course for people, who have some sort of financial interest in the business of producing, selling or using fireworks.
Most people would agree that we should not do any intentional harm to other sentient beings, be it directly or indirectly. Fireworks have a proven negative impact onto our shared environment, and are therefore potentially harming other human and non-human animals, who are unlikely to have given consent to being harmed, neither in the short nor in the long term. This simply means that by using any type of firework, intentional harm is being done to others, which is ethically not justifiable. Therefore we could actually stop at this point, but for the sake of the argument, let us look a bit more in detail into the threats and problems caused by fireworks.
We would like to use this opportunity to give our condolences to Sophie’s family. We would also like to thank Sophie’s family and carer for all the hard work they did and for taking good care of Sophie, enabling so many people to become part of Sophie’s life. Last but not least we would like to thank Sophie’s family for nominating us as a worthy cause to support and for all the subsequent kind and generous donations, which are greatly appreciated by us and the birds in our corvid sanctuary.
Sophie has been an ambassador in a world, where animals are mostly regarded as objects or possessions, where magpies and many other animal species did not make it into the worthy group of animals enjoying preferential consideration and treatment. Also, many people often think of a species as a large body of ‘others’. Sophie has helped people to understand, that a species is made up of unique beings, as she gave us the opportunity to get to know her as an individual, a sentient being, not any different to animals humans tend to love and admire more frequently, such as dogs or parrots. Please do not forget, the next magpie you see in the woods or in the garden is an individual like Sophie. She made us realise that every individual of a species matters, and without any doubt, Sophie did.