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

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

FILE – Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs have agreed to sign a memorandum on rights and title with B.C. and Ottawa, but elected chiefs are demanding it be called off over lack of consultation. (Thom Barker photo)
Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs, Lake Babine Nation get provincial funding for land, title rights

Government says it’s a new, flexible model for future agreements between Canada, B.C. and First Nations.

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read