Bird season do’s and don’ts

It’s nearly spring in the Cayman Islands and residents are preparing for the next bird breeding season. This is the time of year when people can encounter baby birds or fledglings that may get lost or wander away from their nests.

The Cayman Wildlife Rescue has issued a list of things to remember if you find a baby bird.

If a bird is hurt or injured, those who find it should call the CWR emergency hotline on 917-2473, and a volunteer from the organisation will collect the bird for veterinary care.

If the bird is not visibly hurt, look to see if it is fuzzy or feathered. If the bird is fuzzy and not well-feathered and laying on the ground, it is a nestling and belongs in a nest. In this case, look around to see if you are able to locate the nest.

If you do see a nest nearby, gently put the bird back into the nest. The parents will most likely not reject the bird because most birds have a poor sense of smell.

When there is no nest, one can be fabricated out of baskets or plastic containers drilled with holes for drainage. The new nest should be lined with pine needles and dried leaves with an indentation in the middle. Firmly attach it to the tree where the nestling may have fell from and gently place the nestling inside.

It is important not to offer the bird any food or fluids and keep periodic watch for the parents to return. If they do not return in two hours, contact Cayman Wildlife Rescue.

In the event that the bird is well-feathered and hopping around, it is a fledgling. This is a baby learning to fly. The parents should be nearby and will feed it on the ground. Check to see that is in a safe place and if not, move it to a nearby tree or brush, away from dogs or cats. Try to also look out for the parents to return.

Again, if the parents do not return in two hours, contact Cayman Wildlife Rescue.

Never attempt to care for a wild animal yourself. Always notify the experts at CWR.

Remember to look before pruning trees or shrubs.

Be a responsible pet owner. Cats and dogs running free can easily kill baby birds learning to fly.

Cayman Wildlife Rescue can be found online at www.caymanwildliferescue.org