There are times when there is no choice but to intervene but not necessarily to remove the casualty entirely.   When a nest has been damaged or a tiny chick has fallen out try and handle as little as possible and replace things as they were.  Then wait and watch.  Mum and Dad may not be far away and will return as soon as the coast is clear.

Even where there is an older chick on the ground all may not be lost, watching for a while may show the parents are not far away and feeding the little one where it is to give it time to gain strength to fly or return to the nest. It may be hard to do but waiting before interfering is often the best way forward due to the dangers of shock and the stress of hand raising. If in doubt please call us for advice.

This especially applies to baby tawny owls who frequently fall from the nest as the family grows but they have an amazing ability to use beak and claws to climb back up to the nest with no ill effects.  This is a far better outcome than being handled and hand raised!

However there are times when there is no choice but to offer immediate first aid.  Cat attacks, traffic accidents, obvious injuries, inability to fly or get away, flying into windows are all likely to cause potentially life threatening injuries and time is of the essence to save the situation.  Pick the casualty up by covering it entirely with a soft light cloth and put the whole bundle into a suitable box or container. Do not try and move the cloth until you are somewhere safe and enclosed or just close the lid and call us.  Resist the temptation to keep checking on the casualty and please do not try to feed it or give something to drink.  Dark, warmth and quiet are essential until a full assessment can be carried out.

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