We have a blackbird in our back garden and last week it had been attacked. I had managed to catch it before the cat came back for it. I have now got it in a cage to help it regain strength but it has lots of missing feathers on its back. I want to set it free now but I’m worried that it won’t be able to survive the winter with a bald patch on it? Should I wait until feathers start coming through? Any advice?
I would suggest that if the blackbird has no puncture wounds which could become infected (and would most likely need antibiotics via wildlife rescue centre) I would be tempted to release it early morning as being caged up would cause this wild bird more stress and as long as it can fly it should be able to take care of itself even if some feathers are missing. They will grow back at next moult which won't be for six months so you shouldn't wait that long to release it.
Wild birds do best in their natural environment unless they are severely injured enough to require medical attention which can be found via "Help Wildlife" Well done for rescuing the bird in the first place but release it as soon as you can if the bird can fly and has no severe injury to it.
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