Tel: 0771 1883072
 Tel: 0771 1883072

Help! I've found a baby bird what shall I do?

There are three stages of baby bird you may come across: hatchling, nestling and fledgling

There are many different species of baby bird, for example, seed eaters, insect eaters, corvids, birds of prey and waders to name but a few.  But for most people it will be a baby bird found in the garden, either a seed eater or an insect eater.

This is a hatchling, a jelly bean, just out of the egg and very vulnerable.

At the hatchling stage, it can be quite difficult to identify the baby bird as to what species it may be. However, it's easy to establish that the baby bird isn't a duckling, owl or baby pigeon,(which need a different method of feeding) so all hatchling garden birds are fed on our glop ( which is liquidised cat or dog food with Kaytee Exact and other vitamins)

TOP TIP:  Do not feed earthworms dug out of the garden to baby birds.  The gut content of an earthworm can be fatal



Recipe taken from the book:-

A beginner’s Guide to Rearing Wild Birds by Samantha Bedford


Applaws Kitten Dry Food – Chicken 600g

Bogena Univeral Insect Food/Haiths Prosecto – 200g

Tropican Rearing Mix/or Kaytee Exact – 200g

Avipro Probiotic Powder – 1 teaspoon


Grind down the kitten biscuits preferable using a coffee grinder and then mix in the Bogena/Prosecto and Tropican/Kayee plus the teaspoon of Avipro.  Scoop out required amount and add water to form a thick paste.



TO AVOID CROSS CONTAMINATION; Make up a different batch for each set of orphans.  This should be placed in the fridge between each feed.  No harm will come to the birds by being fed straight from the fridge and it is a good way of preventing any bacterial growth.

All utensils should be sterilised.


This is a "fledgling", out of the nest & hopping about the garden, still dependent on its parents for food, unable to fly for a few days.  Often mistaken as an orphan.  Leave well alone unless you know the parents are dead!

Finding a baby bird, still unfeathered and with its eyes closed can be a distressing experience.


But don't panic, the Wildlife Orphanage has a great deal of experience in dealing with these helpless little birds, so please read on.



1.  Can the unfeathered baby be returned to its nest?  Don't worry about the parents rejecting the baby because you have touched it. Birds have a poor sense of smell.


2.  If there is no chance of the baby being returned to its nest, then it will need to be rescued.


3.  WARMTH is needed immediately. Wrap a hot water bottle or a plastic pop bottle filled with water, in a fleece and place baby on top, taking care that it is NOT too hot.


TOP TIP. Holding a baby bird in your loosely closed fist will warm it up. And ladies what about between your cleavage? 

4.  Ring a Wildlife Rescue immediately.  Baby birds need feeding often, some species every 30 minutes,  some every 15 minutes, so the sooner the baby is in Rescue the better are its chances.


5.  Victims of a cat attack where the skin is broken will need antibiotics.


6.  PLEASE ALSO BEAR IN MIND - the parents may have ejected the baby because there is something wrong with it.  Something that they sense and we dont.  In that event, we may be trying to save something that was never meant to be.


7.  For most garden birds, an emergency glop of liquidised cat or dog food mixed with water can be fed to a baby bird when it gapes.  Make sure the beak is clean afterwards. This "glop" can be fed to both seed and insect eaters at this stage.


The glop will need to be a PATE type consistency

It can be dropped into the baby birds gaping mouth

Use a wooden coffee stirrer, plastic tweezers or small syringe


A child's paintbrush can be used to brush tepid water along the baby bird's beak to rehydrate it.  These are just EMERGENCY METHODS and baby birds should only be fed once they have been WARMED UP.  




8.  Please do not feed bread and milk.  Do not dig worms up out of the garden.  The gut content of worms can be toxic to baby birds. 

9.  Until you have secured a place at a Wildlife Rescue, the baby bird will need to be kept QUIET.  You wouldn't believe how many people ring up saying they have a baby bird, and that their children are nursing it, the television's blaring out, the dog's barking, only for them to ring back five minutes later to say the baby bird has died.   I WONDER WHY !!!

10.  FINALLY - transporting the baby bird to the Wildlife Rescue.  If you are going to all the trouble to transport the baby bird, you may as well spend five extra minutes transporting it correctly.  









Any animal or bird being placed in a bare box will slide about and will probably be DEAD by the time it arrives at Rescue



Once the baby birds fledge, they are spread around the garden.  This is done to ensure that if one is attacked at least some will survive.  


Mum and dad will continue to feed the fledglings for a while and at this stage, the fledglings are unable to fly and may be mistaken for orphans.


Watch from a distance.  Mum and dad will be around, not all the time, as there will be others to feed in different parts of the garden.


Only if you see that the parents are dead, for example the Mistle Thrushes in the third image down were genuine orphans after a sparrow hawk killed both parents.  This was witnessed and action was swiftly taken to save the four babies.


REMEMBER: all baby birds are better off with their natural parents.  A wildlife rescue will always be a poor substitute.

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The Wildlife Orphanage, located off the A19 between Selby and York, is a small wildlife rescue specialising in the care of young wild animals and birds.

APRIL 2017 

On the 1st April, a female hedgehog was admitted with lacerations and a broken leg. These were caused by a dog attack. The leg had to be amputated 


October News


Baby Pixie arrived weighing only 100g and has numerous problems
Pixie has to have Imaverol baths to clear his skin
Pixie is suffering from mites & ringworm and is in a bad way for such a tiny hedgehog

The Wildlife Orphanage has had an influx of small hedgehogs over the last few weeks.  These are the Autumn Juveniles, born late in the year.  They are often seen out in daytime and looking a bit wobbly.  Please act quickly if you see one as they go downhill rapidly. 


With winter just around the corner, these little hogs will be just too light for hibernation.  They need to put on lots of weight to see them through the winter.


If you see a tiny hedgehog roaming about, often in daylight,

Please ring 0771 1883072 for advice.