RSPCA braced for flood of orphaned, sick and injured baby birds

The RSPCA is gearing itself up for a hectic bird breeding season, as new figures reveal that the charity received almost 9,000 (8,967) calls about orphaned, sick and injured baby birds last year.

Monday, 10th May 2021, 3:45 pm
RSPCA figures show the charity dealt with 74 calls about young birds in East Riding last year. Photo by Joe Murphy/RSPCA

The majority of calls from concerned members of the public came in during the peak months of May, June and July.

At its busiest in June 2020, the charity was taking five calls an hour from animal lovers reporting young wild birds in trouble.

Around one third of all the calls (3,330) last year related to orphaned birds and another 3,252 were about sick and injured birds.

The majority (4,611) were about fledglings (older baby birds that are starting to fly), which the RSPCA advises can generally be left to be cared for by their parents.

RSPCA figures show the charity dealt with 74 calls about young birds in East Riding last year.

The charity also received 1,413 calls about nestlings – the very young baby birds – who will not survive out of the nest. Nestlings are highly vulnerable and more likely to need help.

RSPCA’s scientific officer Evie Button said: “Our wildlife centres are now on high alert as the baby bird season kicks off.

“It’s wonderful that people want to do the best for our wildlife, but sometimes it’s difficult to know when to intervene and when to hold back.

“It is really important to ensure it is only those that really need help that are brought in, and in most cases, the best thing you can do for them is to help them stay in the wild using methods like re-nesting.

“If in doubt go to for our downloadable guides – one for fledglings and one for nestlings - are full of advice and can help to identify whether the young bird is a fledgling - which unless sick or injured, is likely to survive outside the nest without human intervention - or a younger, more vulnerable nestling, which will probably need extra help.”