Saturday, 31 May 2014

Baby Robin

We were out in the garden this afternoon when S called to me that she had spotted a baby bird in the bushes.  I went over carefully, keeping the girls away to spot this little fellow sitting looking at me.  What to do?  It looks like it had fallen from a nest and had some down on it still but where had it come from?

I called the RSPCA and had a chat to a lovely lady who said it may have been a fledgling or a nestling.  She suggested we carefully pick it up and pop it into a little box and someone would come and get it.  We did just that whilst she was on the phone, with J carefully scooping it up and popping it into one of the girls shoe boxes onto some toilet tissue.  The RSPCA lady said to pop it somewhere quiet (in this house?!) so I brought it indoors and said to her it looked like it's feathers on it's wings were formed but it had a lot of fluff elsewhere.  As I peeped at it, it flapped and tried to get out of the box.  I told the lady this so she suggested we pop the box up high on top of a bush or shrub and open it and see if mum and dad bird came back, then call back in a couple of hours.

We did just that.  We put him (I'll call our baby 'him') on top of the rhododendron and opened the lid.  He flapped and got onto the edge as we stepped back. He then flopped out onto the leaves. Within about 30 seconds he had plopped back onto the ground and hidden himself in the leaves again.  Within seconds, two Robins had arrived on the fence with food in their mouths and cautiously found him.  They fed him in shifts and it seems he is their only baby.

At one point, one of the Robins came with a bug in its mouth and flew down to the baby. He made the usual excited little noises waiting to be fed but the Robin just flew back onto the fence and kind of 'squeaked' at him. This was repeated about half a dozen times.  Finally the Robin fed him.  Was it trying to encourage him to fly?

Having watched him for 2 hours, I called the RSPCA back.  The lady advised that as mum and dad Robin were busy taking care of him, it was best to leave him alone. She said sometimes they even push them out of the nest to encourage them to fly.  I told her about the Robin 'teasing' him with food and she said that sounded a lot like they were wanting to get him flying.  I did say I was worried about cats as although we don't have any ourselves, a black and white one is always around our garden at night.  As she said, nature will take it's course.

I hope we have a little feathered friend who flies off later today or tomorrow and remains safe away from cats tonight.

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