Baby birds are sometimes better off being left alone


Now is the time that the little ‘orphan’ garden birds are brought in, but sometimes it is not the best thing to do.

If you see a young bird looking lost most likely the parents are not far away.

Young birds that have left the nest but still being fed by their parents are very difficult to feed.

They know we are not their mum and dad and food offered from fingers or tweezers will not often be taken. We have to try to get them to eat for themselves. The parents show youngsters where to find food and help protect them from dangers.

We do our best to help these little scraps of feathers to fend for themselves but it is much better done by their parents.

If you are worried about your cat please just keep it in for a few days. We currently are looking after sparrows, blue tits, and a jackdaw.

Our 15 mallard ducklings are now in the big pond pen with the swan from Burnmouth. ‘Molly’ is doing very well and is thoroughly enjoying having the pond to rush about in. Her wing has healed but she needs to be kept in for at least another week. She enjoys flapping her wings but we are worried she may try to fly if she is released. It is a little too soon for so much pressure on the fracture.

The swan from Eyemouth Golf Club is still with us. Both of the other swans on the same pond died. The water has been tested and nothing untoward has been found. Post-mortem on one of the birds showed nothing unusual.

This lucky survivor is having a very expensive course of treatment for infection and although it has lost weight and was eating very little is now showing some improvement, so fingers crossed she may continue to improve.

We have one lonely little Eider Duck. He got left behind when mum and the rest of the brood went to the estuary, when someone found him they tried to take him to the rest of the family but mum did not want to know.

She probably felt she had enough babies anyway. He has to be kept on his own as he is so much smaller than the other ducklings we have in. He has a little teddy that he cuddles up to and a mirror so he thinks he has a friend. He is only about ten days old now.

We are still turning and checking our seven swan eggs. They had been covered by the adults for three weeks when they were forced to abandon them and have about ten to 14 days to go. They were left and were cold for about twelve hours before they came in but we are giving them a go. It must have been about 18 years ago when we last hatched out swan eggs. We shall be very lucky if these do but we are good at doing our best.

Our two Tawny Owlets are doing well and I think next week they may be transferred to an aviary so they can stretch their wings a bit.

One is very placid but the other one has a completely different temperament, he lashes out with his feet and bites the glove when he is moved out of his cage for cleaning.