Wild ARC and the BC SPCA highlighted ways we can keep baby birds safe this spring, as nesting season is in full effect from March to July. (Photo from the Wild ARC Facebook Page)

Wild ARC and the BC SPCA highlighted ways we can keep baby birds safe this spring, as nesting season is in full effect from March to July. (Photo from the Wild ARC Facebook Page)

B.C. wildlife groups hatch tips on keeping baby birds safe this spring

Your guide on what to look for when you encounter a stray baby bird

Baby birds are bursting into to life all around B.C., and wildlife groups are reminding people to take a cautious approach if you happen to come across a tiny, stray, feathered friend.

The BC SPCA and its Wild Animal Rehabilitation Centre (ARC) on Vancouver Island are highlighting ways you can keep chicks safe this spring, as nesting season is in full effect from March to July.

Sometimes the best thing is to not interfere.

“While we may have the best of intentions, lending a hand could actually cause more trouble for baby birds in some cases,” stated Meghann Cant, BC SPCA animal welfare educator on the organization’s website.

“Knowing what to look for when you see a baby bird is key to decide whether or not you need to intervene. Is the baby a nestling or a fledgling? The answer to that question can determine what you do next.”

Nestlings have a distinct appearance, looking a little bald here and there with incomplete feathering. If you see a featherless nestling on the ground, and notice a nearby nest, you could try to return it.

“If you can reach, return the young one back home. Rest assured, your scent won’t cause the baby to be rejected. If the nest has also fallen to the ground and you are unable to secure it back in its original position, call your local wildlife rehabilitation centre for guidance,” said the BC SPCA website.

Fledglings will be almost entirely feathered and starting to take leaps towards independence – learning to fly. The SPCA said it’s important to know for sure whether or not the little birds actually require assistance.

“Fledglings are often clumsy and can appear to be hurt when they’re really just practicing their flying skills,” said Cant. “When they are first out of the nest, the parents still keep track of them and feed them for several days. So, unless they are in immediate danger from predation or traffic, it’s best to leave them alone.”

Baby birds are vulnerable, particularly in the fledgling stage, so the BC SPCA encourages people to keep cats indoors and dogs on-leash near nest areas. As well, they say never try to raise a baby bird.

“You should never try to give food or water to a baby bird. In fact, it is against the law in B.C. to keep any indigenous wildlife without a permit,” stated Cant. “If you ever have any doubts about a bird’s safety, the best move is to contact your nearest wildlife rehabilitation centre for advice.”

For more information on protecting wildlife, visit spca.bc.ca.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

RELATED: Outdoor cats one of the biggest causes of wildlife injuries

RELATED: Ever wonder what happens to a bird after it hits your window?

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Some bystanders with fire extinguishers helped keep the fire under control. Photo courtesy Suzie Thomas
Bystanders keep fire from spreading near McIvor Lake turnoff

‘Just be vigilant and careful,’ says Campbell River fire chief

The Pier Street Farmers Market will once again take up residence on Sundays from May to Septmber at the parking lot across from the Community Centre in downtown Campbell River for 2021. Mirror File Photo
Pier Street Farmers Market returns to Cedar Street parking lot for 2021

…and it’s hoped that the addition of artisans this year will make it even better

Some recommendations from the Downtown Safety Select Committee have been approved by Campbell River City Council, including removing the glass stage covering at Spirit Square. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Council going ahead with removing Spirit Square stage covering

But mayor acknowledges need for ‘welcoming, warm place with support services’

A small fire on North Rendezvous Island is the first wildfire of the season in the Campbell River area. Officials are asking people to take caution when burning during these dry conditions. BC Wildfire Dashboard
‘Conditions are tricky at the moment’ warns Coastal Fire Centre

Small fire on North Rendezvous Island first of the season for Campbell River area

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

For Leela Harrop, the recent death of her brother Raju Tiwari pushed her to sign up for the vaccine. Photo supplied
Island woman on fence about vaccine prompted by brother’s death

Leela Harrop of Comox says she did have issues with signing up online this past week

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

John Furlong, Own The Podium board chairman and former CEO of the Vancouver Olympics, addresses a Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon in Vancouver, B.C., on Wednesday November 25, 2015.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
John Furlong presents 2030 Winter Games vision to Vancouver Board of Trade

Vancouver and Whistler would remain among host sites because of 2010 sport venues still operational

Most Read