With 668 calls last year from people across Yorkshire, concerned about baby birds found away from their nest, the RSPCA is explaining how to tell a nestling from a fledgling.
The animal charity has even prepared a helpful downloadable poster on what to do if you see a baby bird out of the nest.
During the annual baby bird boom at this time of year, the RSPCA’s wildlife centres care for over a thousand ‘orphaned’ fledglings each year, picked up by well-meaning people. But many of these birds are not orphans and are often better off if they are left in the wild.
RSPCA’s Scientific Officer Evie Button said: “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.
“The first step is to identify whether the young bird is a nestling or fledgling. Nestlings are baby birds that have no feathers, or very few.
“Because they will not survive long outside the protection of the nest, these very young birds should be taken to a vet, or a local wildlife rehabilitator.
“If neither is available, the RSPCA’s emergency line can be reached on 0300 1234 999.”
Go to www.rspca.org.uk/webContent/staticImages/Baby_bird_infographic500.jpg to download the RSPCA poster.