The Scottish SPCA is urging the public to leave baby birds alone, revealing this nestling and fledgling season has been its busiest ever.
Scotland’s animal welfare charity has reported that many young birds have ended up in their care when they should not have.
The Scottish SPCA’s National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross is currently home to 280 birds, with more arriving every day.
Manager Colin Seddon said, “This is proving to be our busiest ever year for baby birds and fledglings. We’re currently caring for over double the number of casualties as this time in 2013.
“Our centre is also having a bumper year for ducklings, with over 200 here at the moment. Although some of the birds were rescued because they were injured, others are in good health but were picked up by worried passers-by when they should have been left alone.
“It’s understandable for people to be worried when they come across a young bird on the ground that appears clumsy and unable to fly. However, this is a vital part of the learning to fly process and the parents are very likely to be nearby, watching their young making their first efforts to take to the skies.
“We would ask anyone who has concerns to try to monitor the fledglings from a distance to see if the parents appear.
“If it does seem a baby bird has been abandoned or orphaned, they should call our animal helpline for advice.”
Colin advised members of the public to only intervene immediately if a fledgling is in danger.
He explained: “If a fully feathered young bird is in harm’s way, on a road or somewhere it could be vulnerable to predators then it may be possible to move them to a safer spot in a nearby hedge or tree.
“Any unfeathered birds found on the ground are most likely to have accidentally fallen from their nest and it may be possible to put them back in, ideally wearing gloves.
“Under no circumstances should anyone who discovers a nest try to touch or move the fledglings inside. This could cause the parents to abandon them and would also be illegal.”
Anyone with concerns for an animal should call the SSPCA Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.