I hope that I am posting this on the right board? I'm afraid that I am more used to posting on Football and Sports Car websites!!
I have done as much research as I can about this and hope that I am doing the right thing; please tell me if I am not.
I was disturbed earlier today by a very distressed bird. It was a female blackbird, who was clearly distressed over the fate of a fledgling. I have converted cellars and the fledgling had plainly fallen / flown into an area at the front of my house which is like a trench. It accomodates the cellar windows. It is an old Georgian townhouse.
The fledgling cannot get out of the trench; I understand from my research that they cannot fly on first leaving the nest. I also understand that I ought to leave the fledgling to the care of its parents!
I have put a number of planks / ramps into the trench to allow the fledgling to walk out but it doesn't seem bright enough to take advantage of this fact. It is plainly petrified, as is its mother.
I have put a saucer of water in the trench because I imagine that it will be easier for the parents to continue to provide solid food rather than liquids.
Am i right to leave it or should I at least lift it out of the trench? The trench is about 2 feet deep and I have no doubt that so long as it continues to get food it will be able to fly out in a day or two; it is getting about half way up at the moment.
And if i should lift it out, how on earth do I handle it? It runs into the corner whenever anybody even walks past the house!
I am also concerned that it is a bit of a sitting duck for cats etc, although I suppose it would be even if it were out of the trench if it can't fly!
Any help greatly appreciated!
You will be ok to move it out of the trench and put it somewhere nearby so the parents can hear it and feed it. When lifting it hold gently in both hands keeping the wings close to the body if possible, and make sure the trench is covered so it cannot fall back in there.
Read this from MrsT.
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Young fledglings are almost entirely dependant on their parents. Have the adults made any attempt to go down into the trench to feed it?
Personally, I would retrieve and release the youngster from its confinement. Can you hear any other babies calling. They are always vociferously demanding food. Is there a bush or a small tree you could release the youngster into. The parents will soon find it.
I am not sure what the general consensus would be, in this case. But I would certainly do my best to alter a similar and otherwise hopeless situation.
If it was me i would help it out of the trench too..let us know how you get on.
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Thank you for the replies.
I left the fledgling in the trench overnight and thankfully it has survived.
The trench is about 1 metre wide, so there is quite a lot of room in it, especially for such a small bird. As I said in my original post, it is only about 2 feet high.
The mother has been down into the trench and could certainly feed the fledgling where it is.
I can't be sure about whether I can hear other young; the most obvious sounds appear to be it and the mother.
On one side of the trench there is a reasonably small raised area, which is under a tree and has plenty of ivy at ground level for cover. On the other side of the trench is a large laurel hedge, which is where I suspect the nest to be.
Does any of that information change anybody's advice? Or should I still go and lift it out of the trench?
Just a quick update.
The mother has been into the trench to feed it, although she does seem nervous about entering the trench for any length of time. This might be because when she is in there she will be able to see straight into the cellar windows and she is very close to the house.
The fledgling certainly looks significantly stronger than yesterday!
I have put a series of cardboard boxes of gradually increasing height into the trench and it has made it half way out so far, before going back down to the bottom of the trench to be fed. It seems to prefer those to the ramp.
Ill keep you informed.
Hi Richard if it can climb out with the boxes and the parents are feeding it i would be tempted to leave it now especially with it looking stronger, if you can just keep an eye out for cats
I probably would leavewell alone now but would have lifted it from the trench to start with.
The parents are trying to call the young out. they won't like entering a trench as once inside they can't see the surrounding area for danger.
Its one of those situations where the more you do the more you upset the birds so just hang back. After the drama is it possible to fit a grid over the trench.
Good luck and thanks for caring
a good laugh is better than a tonic
The fledgling is out!!
Sadly, I was on a work phone call and I didn't see it happen, so I have no idea whether it climbed / hopped from box to box or whether it actually managed a clumsy maiden flight! It did try that yesterday but only managed to make it about half way up the side of the trench.
It is undoubtedly out and safe though because I can see movement in the ivy and I can still hear it.
I have to say I am delighted!
Thanks to everyone for the help.
And I can now go to work!
Nice one Richard hope it makes it.
Superb news!! Well done Richard!
"All weeds are flowers, once you get to know them" (Eeyore)
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This is a really difficult time of the year. Really glad for your fledgling....and your peace of mind, Richard. I've been having all kinds of stresses with fledglings and cats. My delight at so many little ones has turned into an attraction for every cat in the neighbourhood.