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Identifying the bird


If you have concerns about a bird the first thing you need to do is establish whether the chick is a nestling or fledgling and if the bird is injured.


Nestlings are easy to recognise as they have no or very few feathers. If you find a nestling on the ground this should raise concerns as they are much too young to be outside of a nest.

Contrary to popular belief a bird won’t reject a nestling if they have been handled by humans. If the nestling is healthy and you can identify the nest that it fell out of the best idea is to place it back into the nest. You should do this with clean hands, and only if you are able to reach the nest safely.


If the nestling does not look healthy or is injured, you should take it to a local wildlife hospital. If you are unable to find its nest, the next best thing you can do is take it to a specialist wildlife hospital.

To do this place the nestling into a cardboard box that has been lined with paper towels.


A fledgling is a baby bird that has most of its feathers. It is very common to find them on the ground and this is rarely a sign of concern as they are generally being watched by their parents from a distance.

Unless the fledgling is visibly injured, then it is best not to touch it – leaving it where you have found it is often the best course of action. If you find a fledgling near a road or a place that could be deemed as dangerous then gently pick up the fledgling and place it somewhere nearby that is safe.

Of course, if the fledgling is obviously injured, you should transport it to the nearest wildlife hospital.

Transporting birds

Find a cardboard box, and line the box with paper towels. Make sure that the box has breathing holes, big enough to allow air to circulate.


Help us continue our work to rescue and care for injured, abandoned and orphaned wildlife.

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