Don’t be a birdnapper

| 18/04/2010

(CNS): Cayman Wildlife Rescue is asking the public to take care when they see what they think are baby birds in trouble. The wildlife activists are asking people to watch closely before handling the young creatures. The organization which has a rescue helpline for injured birds pointed out that at this time of year some birds could have fallen from a nearby nest or others could be fledglings (left) that are learning how to fly. Offering details on how to spot the difference the organization is also asking gardeners to watch out when pruning trees.

If a bird is hurt the public can call the Cayman Wildlife Rescues Emergency Hotline 917-BIRD (2473) and a volunteer will pick it up for veterinary care. If the bird is not visibly hurt, but cannot fly next look to see if it is fuzzy or feathered. If the bird is fuzzy, not well feathered and lying on the ground it is a nestling and belongs in a nest so look around to see if you can find one.
“Put the bird back into the nest gently,” a spokes person for CWR said. “Don’t worry about the parents rejecting the baby bird. most birds have a poor sense of smell.”
The bird experts added that there is not a nest one can be made out of baskets or plastic containers drilled with holes for drainage. Line the new nest with pine needles, dried leaves and parts of the old nest if possible – making an indentation in the middle. Firmly attach it to the tree where the nestling fell from and gently place the nestling inside.
“Do not offer the baby bird food or fluids,” CWR said. “Watch for the parents to return, if they do not return in 2-3 hrs notify Cayman Wildlife Rescue.”
If the bird is well feathered and hopping on the ground it is a fledgling – a baby bird learning to fly. The parents should be nearby and will feed it on the ground. If the young bird is not in a safe place it is OK to move it into a nearby tree or bush away from cats and dogs and watch for the parents to return. If no parents come back within 2hrs notify Cayman Wildlife Rescue.
The organization advised the public not to attempt to care for wild animals but to always notify Cayman Wildlife rescue for expert care.
CWR also asked gardeners to be extra cautious when pruning tree or shrubs and to be a responsible pet owners. “Cats and dogs running free can easily kill baby birds learning to fly. Keep you dog safe in your yard and your cat inside to protect Cayman Wildlife,” the CWR said.
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