AN animal welfare charity is urging nature lovers to be mindful of fledglings and nestlings.

A campaign has been launched by the Scottish SPCA to offer advice to people who come across baby birds while out and about.

Colin Seddon, the charity’s national wildlife centre manager, said: “A fledgling is a fully-feathered young bird that is typically found out of the nest learning to fly, which is normal.
“It’s understandable for people to be concerned when they come across a young bird on the ground that appears clumsy and unable to fly.

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“However, this is a vital part of the learning-to-fly process for fledglings and the parents are very likely to be nearby, watching their young make their first efforts to take to the skies.”

Last year, the SSPCA cared for 5,000 fledgling and nestling birds, with experts predicting that 2019 will be even busier.

The charity is asking anyone who is concerned for the welfare of a baby bird to initially watch from afar.

Mr Seddon added: “If a fully-feathered young bird is in harm’s way on a road or somewhere else and it could be vulnerable to predators, then it may be possible to move them to a safer spot in a nearby hedge or tree.

“An unfeathered or fluffy bird is a nestling and, if found on the ground, needs our help immediately.

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“Anyone who comes across a nestling on the ground should contain it in a small ventilated box and call our animal helpline immediately.”

The charity is using the hashtag #SSPCABabyBirds on social media in a bid to raise awareness of its campaign.

For further advice on what to do if you have any concerns after spotting a fledgling or nestling, visit HERE.

To alert the SSPCA to a nestling that is in need of help, call 03000 999 999.