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. Cattlemen’s Association general manager Kevin Boon. (B.C. Cattlemen’s Association photo)
COVID, BSE, water access and private land rights: B.C. Cattlemen’s general manager weighs in

Kevin Boon said positive aspect of pandemic is more people interested in where their food comes from

B.C's COVID-19 dashboard shows the peaks and valleys of cases prior to the record daily report of 132 on April 9, 2021. (Dashboard image)
Interior Health has record day of COVID-19 cases

132 cases reported Friday, April 9, more deaths in Vernon hospital outbreak

The BC Wildfire Service will be partnering with Simpcw First Nation this month in the implementation of a prescribed burn next to their community of Chu Chua. The controlled burn will be highly visible to Highway 5 and all communities in the immediate area. Pictured is a prescribed burn that took place on the Kanaka Bar Reserve last month in partnership with the Kanaka Bar Band and BC Wildfire Service. (BC Wildfire Service Facebook photo)
Simpcw and BC Wildfire Service to hold controlled burn near Barriere

Burn will be highly visible to Chu Chua, Barriere, Darfield, Chinook Cove, Little Fort and Highway 5

Carlos Sigurnjak went missing about 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, according to a Facebook post by his family. (Facebook/Carlos Sigurnjak profile)
UPDATE: Clearwater RCMP find missing man from Kelowna

Sigurnjak was found just before 2 p.m. April 8 by a passerby.

The Peach is adhering to the mandatory mask protocols put in place by the Provincial Health Officer on Nov. 19. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Interior Health doesn’t echo B.C.’s daily COVID record

80 new cases reported Thursday, April 8, compared to 91 the day prior

People take part in an anti-curfew protest in Montreal on Sunday April 11, 2021. Hundreds of people gathered in Old Montreal tonight in defiance of a new 8 p.m. curfew. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Giuseppe Valiante
VIDEO: Hundreds defy Montreal’s 8 p.m. curfew in violent, destructive protest

Quebec reported 1,535 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, as well as five additional deaths linked to the virus

Photos of Vancouver Canucks players are pictured outside the closed box office of Rogers Arena in downtown Vancouver Thursday, April 8, 2021. The Vancouver Canucks say 25 players and coaches have tested positive during a COVID-19 outbreak that involves a variant of the virus. It is now the biggest reported outbreak in the NHL this season. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canucks’ return to practice pushed back as player added to COVID protocol list

COVID outbreak has led to eight games being cancelled

People walk past the Olympic rings in Whistler, B.C., Friday, May 15, 2020. Whistler which is a travel destination for tourists around the world is seeing the effects of travel bans due to COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Adults living, working in Whistler, B.C., eligible for COVID-19 vaccine on Monday

The move comes as the province deals with a rush of COVID-19 and variant cases in the community

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
UPDATE: RCMP investigating after child, 6, dies at motel in Duncan, B.C.

The BC Coroners Service is conducting its own investigation into the circumstances around the child’s death

RCMP display some of the fish seized from three suspects who pleaded guilty to violating the Fisheries Act in 2019, in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - RCMP
3 banned from fishing, holding licences after overfishing violations near Vancouver Island

Mounties seized the group’s 30-foot fishing vessel and all equipment on board at the time

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

Most Read