Reporting Ted Scouten
FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Love is in the air at the South Florida Wildlife Center as this time of year, also known as “baby season,” the nursery is packed with baby birds.
“On any given day we may receive up to a hundred or more baby mammals and baby birds coming through our doors in need of assistance,” said Sherry Schlueter of the South Florida Wildlife Center.
The nursery is filled with baby birds that are brought in by people who find them alone. The baby birds are then handfed and the ones that are ill are nursed back to health.
“We definitely do our best and provide the best food and cage as possible,” said Jessica Sayre who feeds the animals, “but definitely mom knows best, parents know best.”
What many people don’t realize is that a lot of the birds they find alone are actually not abandoned.
“Sometimes well-intentioned people swoop in too quickly concerned about a baby that they believe to be alone,” said Schlueter.
“Not every bird found on the ground needs to be brought in,” said wildlife veterinarian Dr. Renata Schneider. “This is part of the process of them learning to fly. They get a little shove out of the nest as fledglings.”
Schlueter recommends that if you see a baby bird alone on the ground to give it some time before attempting to rescue it. Look around to see if its mother is nearby. If you have questions, call for advice.
“When a person takes a baby animal from the wild like that, without observing first, without getting good advice from our wildlife rehabilitators, they, in fact, may be kidnapping that baby away from his or her parents, when the parents may be there trying to raise the baby,” Schleuter added.
If you happen upon a baby bird, and are in a rush, don’t be afraid to pick it up and put it in a higher place to protect it from predators. It is great that people are concerned for wild creatures, but it’s also important to keep in mind that in some cases, the best help is to simply let nature work its magic.
“All of us should be looking out for young, whether they’re feathered, furred or on two legs like human beings.”
If you have any questions or want more information, visit http://www.humanesociety.org/animal_community/shelters/wildlife_care_center/.