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Front Page » April 29, 2003 » Local News » Springtime causes problems for baby birds
Published 4,112 days ago

Springtime causes problems for baby birds


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By KEN LARSON
Sun Advocate publisher

This adult bird lands on a fountain trying to get a drink of water while it is running. Good and plentiful sources of water are an important part of a birds habitat. Home and commercial fountains often draw flying creatures to them.

Utah wildlife rehabilitation specialist Debbie Pappas explains that spring is a particularly difficult time for wild birds, their nests and their babies.

Although Pappas works with wildlife all year long, she explained that she sees a huge increase of baby problems with the onset of spring and into the summer months.

In the bird populations, nests are being built and frequently these are disturbed by people or by natural forces such as wind. When this happens, babies can and do become orphans.

Pappas says that if these orphans are spotted by people, a rehabilitator can get to these birds on time, and usually the bird can be saved.

The local bird specialist also says that this happens when babies are learning how to fly.

"Flight is a learned skill," Pappas stated. "It takes practice to master the art of flight and many birds become injured or mistaken for injured during the process."

Pappas is clear to point out that if an injury has occurred, a licensed rehabilitator needs to take over.

"All but two species of birds are protected in Utah and this means that people should not take them into their homes to care for them since they are not educated how this is done or legally permitted to do so," she advised.

"Many well-intentioned people end up ending the lives of these babies by trying to help," Pappas continued.

The Carbon County bird activist also points out that residents can try to protect baby birds or even injured adult birds from predators such as cats or dogs.

Castle Valley residents can do so by putting the feathered animal into a box with something soft in the bottom and closing the top of the containment in order to prevent the bird from seeing what is happening around it.

"It is important to wash your hands before and after you work with the birds," Pappas warned. This will prevent the spread of any disease which a bird may be carrying."

The best thing to do if a bird falls out of a nest is to try and return the animal to its home. This will allow the young birds parents the chance to continue to take care of their offspring.

It is also a good idea to replace the nest if it has fallen from its original location. Make sure that this location is however out of any predators range.

Generally, the adult bird will stick around and watch what is happening to its baby and its home.

The bird specialist suggests that Carbon County residents contact the Division of Wildlife Resources if an injured bird is found. The wildlife division will then contact Pappas who will rehabilitate the bird.

Residents may also contact Pappas when an injured baby bird is found by calling 637-7055.


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