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Help & Advice > Wildlife

Wildlife casualties

If you have found an ill or injured wild animal or bird in the Bristol area, call the RSPCA Bristol Animal Clinic on 0117 9724567 for advice. (Outside normal working hours, the answer machine message will tell you how to contact duty staff.)

The Clinic is a first aid and triage centre for wildlife, and we will take in any ill, injured or orphaned wild animal or bird for welfare assessment.

Please note – The Bristol Clinic does not have an ambulance so we cannot collect animals. If you are unable to transport the wildlife casualty you have found to the Clinic, please call the National RSPCA Helpline on 0300 1234 999, who may be able to send an Animal Collection Officer.

Please always call 0117 9724567 before bringing any animal to the Clinic.


Baby birds

Fledglings are baby birds that have grown most of their feathers but have not yet developed the ability to fly. During this vulnerable period of their lives, the birds are usually fed on the ground by their parents and are often mistakenly thought to be injured or abandoned.

If you find a baby bird that you think might have been abandoned, please think very carefully before interfering. Fledglings should almost always be left where they are, as removal of a fledgling from the wild will cut its chances of survival dramatically, and should only be done as a last resort.

The RSPCA’s advice to anyone concerned about a fledgling is firstly to observe – the bird will often move of its own accord or the parent will return. If a bird is alone and in immediate danger it should be placed out of harm a short distance away. If necessary, to protect from predators, place the fledgling in an open topped shoebox close to where it was found and suspend it off the ground (except with ducklings!) - this will allow the parents to continue feeding. It is important that a fledgling is kept within hearing distance of where they are found so the parents are able to locate them. They should never be returned to the nest as this may disturb other young birds.

Handling a young bird does not cause its parents to abandon it. Birds have a poor sense of smell and do not respond to human smell in the same way as mammals.

Baby birds that have not yet grown feathers are nestlings – for these very young birds, the chances of survival outside of the nest are extremely poor.

If you have found a nestling, or a fledgling that has been truly abandoned, please call the RSPCA Bristol Animal Clinic on 0117 9724567 for advice. (Outside normal working hours, the answer machine message will tell you how to contact duty staff.)


Advice on wildlife care

If you need general advice on wildlife care, including guidance on what to do if you think young animals have been orphaned or abandoned, the following sources are available:

The National RSPCA website wildlife advice section

The RSPCA Wildlife Hospital at West Hatch – call them on 0300 123 0721

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