Birds snatched from parents swamp wildlife hospital
WILDLIFE rescuers are reminding locals who find baby birds outside of nests to be mindful of removing healthy critters from a parent's care.
With Spring in full-swing, RSPCA Queensland's wildlife hospital at Wacol is being swamped with new patients.
At present, 474 wildlife animals are in care at RSPCA hospitals across the state.
The RSPCA's Michael Beatty said the vets were receiving nearly 100 patients a day, as injured and sick wildlife are presented to the hospital.
"It's the breeding and birthing season so animals are on the move and giving birth," Mr Beatty said.
But, it isn't just critters in need who are making their way to the emergency rooms.
Mr Beatty said large numbers of otherwise healthy baby birds were being rushed to the hospital for care they didn't need.
"Some of (these baby birds) maybe should have been left where they were," he said.
"Sadly, this happens all the time. People think they're doing the right thing by 'rescuing' chicks that are healthy and being looked after by their parents.
"They mean well but it often ends up very badly for the chicks."
Mr Beatty said going through a checklist would help people make an informed decision about whether or not a chick was in need of human intervention.
"Is the bird a nestling or a fledgling? Does the bird have feathers? If not or, if it has only fluffy down, then it is a nestling, and needs help straight away, as it cannot keep itself warm," he said.
"If you find a nestling, please take it to a vet or bring it in to the RSPCA as soon as possible."
He said fledglings were birds that had developed flight feathers and were generally able to be reunited with their parents.
"Is the bird calling or making a noise? Is the bird bright and responsive? Can the bird perch on your finger? Can the bird spread its wings evenly and flutter to the ground when encouraged to fly?," he said.
"If the answer to all of these questions is a definite "yes" then the baby bird should be able to be reunited with its parents."
To reunite a fledgling with its parents, Mr Beatty recommended placing the bird on a low branch in a bush and waiting to see if parents arrived to feed it.
"It is best for a baby bird to be reunited with its parents, as no human carer can teach a young bird all that it needs to learn to survive," he said.
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