As Spring approaches and the breeding season gets under way, our phone will never stop ringing from dawn until dusk. Many of these calls will be about wildlife orphans who do not need rescuing because they are not orphans at all. Fully feathered fledglings for example are out of the nest and you cannot put them back in because they have fledged and will jump straight back out.
As a responsible Rescue, we cannot and will not take wildlife out of the wild for no good reason. A wildlife baby's best chance in a tough old world is with its natural parents, not a wildlife rescue.
Below is a list of common species found in our area. Please read before contacting this Rescue about an orphan. If you ring about a fledgling, we will ask you a number of questions to ascertain whether the bird is a genuine orphan or not.
A fully feathered fledgling hopping around the garden DOES NOT need rescuing. It has been placed there by its parents and will chirrup for food. For the first few days after it has fledged, the bird will not be able to fly. Obviously this puts it at risk of predation but it is not a reason for it to be removed from the wild. This Rescue will NOT take in fledglings unless there is absolute 100% proof that the parents are dead. And please remember both parents will be feeding the fledgling. They also space their youngsters around the garden so if one is predated not all the brood is killed.
If you fear the fledgling will be predated by cats, then please pick it up and place it on a branch but not far from where you found it. Birds cannot smell so do not fear that the fledgling will be abandoned because you have touched it.
PIGEONS AND DOVES
If you find a single mallard duckling on its own. It needs rescuing immediately. The chances are it was the last to hatch in the brood and therefore is weaker than the other ducklings. Once all the ducklings are hatched, mother duck marches them, often on a long and perilious journey to water.
Any duckling who can't keep up will be left behind. Mother Duck cannot count and will not miss the duckling and will not return for it.
If you seek advice and are told "leave the duckling where it is, mother duck will return" this is totally wrong advice. The duckling will die.
DO NOT put a tiny duckling on to water. The Drakes, or male ducks will immediately kill it.
The duckling needs to be scooped up, kept quiet, kept warm and taken to a wildlife rescue. A Vet's surgery is too noisy, plus there are barking dogs and meowing cats, both of which will terrify the duckling and it may well die of shock.
So, please do the right thing.....
1. Pick the duckling up and look around for others.
2. Keep it safe and quiet
3. Keep it away from children, pets and the television
4. Ring a Rescue and get it there asap, transporting the duckling in a box lined with a fleece or towel. If you allow the duckling to slide about in the box with nothing to grip onto it will probably die before it reaches the Rescue. YES! that does happen.
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
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.