What should I do if I find a nestling/fledgling bird (that isn’t injured)?

For Nestlings (still in the nest; can’t stand or perch):
If the nestling is feathered and vigorous and the parents are around, place the bird back in its own nest, or if that isn’t possible, place it in a substitute nest in the same or a nearby tree with foliage cover (the substitute nest can be made from an ice cream container, with holes punched into the bottom and lined with shredded newspaper or leaf litter). Observe and ensure that the adults are coming back to feed it. If the adults are not sitting with it overnight, cover it with a washer, or take it inside, particularly if it is cold or raining. Take it back early the next morning. Keep an eye on it throughout the day to check it has not been abandoned by its parents, ie they are still feeding it. If the parents abandon the bird, it will need to be passed onto a Sydney Wildlife carer. If the bird is unfeathered, please take it to your local vet as, at this early stage, it is not viable for hand-raising.

For Fledglings (out of the nest; can perch and flap but not necessarily fly well):
If the fledgling is in good condition, vigorous and begging and the parents are around, you should take it back to where it was found. Place it on the ground, if possible in an open wire topped basket, or upturned budgie cage, so that the adults can hear and see it. Tease it with food to get it to call out. If the parents come to the fledgling and show interest, put the bird on a branch and wait for the adults to feed it. If possible, go back later that day, or the next day, to check the parents are still feeding the chick. If the parents do not return and it is clear that the chick has been abandoned, take it home and call Sydney Wildlife so that a carer can be found to care for it.



Join our mailing list

Sign up to Sydney Wildlife's online mailing list.

Sign up online now

Become a Carer

To become a carer you'll need to complete a course.

Upcoming courses

Have you "liked" us on Facebook?

Sydney Wildlife is on Facebook

"Like" the Sydney Wildlife Facebook page and be kept up-to-date (but not inundated) with news and information from Sydney Wildlife.

View our latest newsletter

Wildlife Matters is the official newsletter of Sydney Wildlife.

To view our latest newsletter or access newsletter archives click on "Whats New" and then "Newsletter Archives".

Member Login

  • The message goes here. The message goes here
  • The message goes here. The message goes here
  • The message goes here. The message goes here

Forgot your password? Click here

Member Registration

Not registered yet? Click here