Throughout the sping and summer we see lots wild life that his been found by our clients and brought into see us. Quite a lot of the time they are young birds that were found away from the nest. What people often don’t realise is that young birds frequently leave the nest before they are capable of flying and thier parents will continue to feed them even once they are able to fly until they leave for good. This is the time of a young birds life that they are most likely to be found by people. Very often the first thing they will do is stay as still as possible and try to pretend that they can’t see you. This is normal behaviour for most young wild animals as their insticts tell them that they need to stay still to hide as their colouring will stop them from being seen. Often their parents are hiding nearby waiting until you are gone.
If you are worried about a young wild animal that you have found if it is not moving the best thing to do is to leave it alone and watch from a large distace so that you can see if its parents come to check on it, or if is really alone ( this can take a few hours). The only times you should move them is when they are obviously injured when they need to come to see a vet or if they are in immenent danger e.g they are about to run over, or there is a cat sat looking at a baby bird licking its lips. When you need to move them its best not to move them too far as their parents will need to be able to find them so find somewhere within a few metres with some form of cover like bushes or undergrowth. Where they can avoid predetors and other dangers that normally threaten them.
Despite how dangerous it is to be a young wild animal in the wild they have a greater chance of surviving with their parents than being hand reared by a person. Even if they can be hand reared successfully the chances of them being released successfully back into the wild decrease the longer they have been in human company.
Different animals show different signs of being ill so there are diffent things to look out for depending on the kind of animal you have found. One thing they all have in common is parasites, every wild animal with have some form of paracytes and normally they cope very well with them.
If you find a hegehog out during the day for example it is usually a sign that something is wrong. It can mean that something has disturbed their nest but many are likely to be orphaned, injured or suffering from hypothermia. So Its best to bring them in to see a vet. The same is true for any nocturnal animal that is found wandering or injured during the day.
With Adult birds the things you need to look for are an inability to fly, obvious deformity of the wings or blood on their feathers. Quite often birds (especially racing pidgeons) will exhaust themselves while flying and will land as soon as they can no longer fly. So often if left to rest with some water and birdseed they will recover remarkablebly quickly after a rest.
If you have found a wild animal that needs to be taken to a vet then its important to remember that is still a wild animal and you need to be careful when trying to catch them as they are still wild animals and won’t understand that you are trying to help them. They may appear quite harmless but the birds peck and scratch and foxes, badgers, weasels and wild cats all bite extremely hard so where possible avoid handling them. The best thing to do is contact the RSPCA and ask for an inspector to collect the animal and take it to the vet. If they are unable to collect the animal then use a large blanket or towel to shepard it into a container or place it over its head and carefully lift it in to the container. Where possible try and make the container dark but with adequate ventilation.