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

An Interior Health nurse administers Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16, 2021. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
105 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

Just over 8,000 new vaccine doses administered in the region for a total of 158,000 to date

Advocates marched to city hall for overdose awareness on Wednesday, April 14, to mark five years since the province declared a public health emergency. Trevor Crawley photo.
Advocates march for overdose awareness as province marks five years of public health emergency

Advocates demanding action on the overdose crisis marched on city hall in… Continue reading

A photograph of bear scat shot in town in Kimberley on April 14 that shows bears are up and around once more. Kim Tuff photo.
WildSafeBC back for the season as bears begin to emerge from hibernation

WildSafeBC Kimberley-Cranbrook has resumed their operations, working to prevent conflict with wildlife… Continue reading

Pictured is the new Cranbrook Food Bank on Industrial Rd. 2. This building will also soon be home to the Cranbrook Food Recovery program and Farm Kitchen. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook Food Recovery, Farm Kitchen join Food Bank in new location

The organizations are partnering together to increase food security in the community

Western Financial Place is set to re-open on November 2, 2020. (Cranbrook Townsman file)
Concourse at Western Financial Place to close for season April 16

The City encourages walking on the outdoor track at COTR

Demonstrators at the legislature on April 14 called on the province to decriminalize drug possession and provide widespread access to regulated safe supply across B.C. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
Rally calls for decriminalization, safe supply on 5th anniversary of overdose emergency declaration

From 2016 to the end of February, 7,072 British Columbians died due to overdose

(Government of Canada)
Liberal MP caught stark naked during House of Commons video conference

William Amos, in Quebec, appeared on the screens of his fellow members of Parliament completely naked

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Feb. 1, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count jumps to 1,168 Wednesday, nearly 400 in hospital

Now 120 coronavirus patients in intensive care, six more deaths

Moss covered branches are seen in the Avatar Old Growth Forest near Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island, B.C. Thursday, Sept. 29, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. blockades aimed at protecting old-growth forests reveal First Nation split

Two Pacheedaht chiefs say they’re ‘concerned about the increasing polarization over forestry activities’ in the territory

Richmond RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng said, in March, the force received a stand-out number of seven reports of incidents that appeared to have “racial undertones.” (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)
‘Racially motivated’ incidents on the rise in B.C’s 4th largest city: police

Three incidents in Richmond are currently being invested as hate crimes, says RCMP Chief Superintendent Will Ng

Commercial trucks head south towards the Pacific Highway border crossing Wednesday (April 14, 2021). The union representing Canadian border officers wants its members to be included on the frontline priority list for the COVID-19 vaccine. (Aaron Hinks photo)
CBSA officers’ union calls for vaccine priority in B.C.

Border officers at ports including, YVR and land crossings should ‘not be left behind’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read