June 13th, 2024

See a goofy-looking bird on the ground? It’s likely a baby and it’s fine, experts say

By The Canadian Press on June 5, 2024.

Phoebe, shown here in a recent handout photo, is one of four baby crows staying at The Rock Wildlife Rescue animal rehabilitation centre in Torbay. N.L. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Karen Gosse, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. – It’s fledgling season, a time when animal rescue experts say they are inundated with calls about goofy-looking birds stumbling around on the ground.

Karen Gosse of The Rock Wildlife Rescue in Newfoundland says most of the spring calls she gets from people worried they’ve found an injured bird are about baby crows.

She says they come down from the nest without having figured out how to stretch their wings, and they often fall over or stare at people with their beaks hanging open, looking like they need a hand.

But they don’t, she said in an interview, and people should keep their hands away from the drunk-looking birds and let them be.

Michael Mesure of FLAP Canada, a bird conservation charity, says that rule applies to most wild birds, noting that fledglings can be as big as their parents, causing people even more concern when they see what appears to be an adult unable to fly.

He says wildlife rescue centres can become overrun with baby birds at this time of year, making it harder for staff to care for animals that really do need help.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2024.

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