There is a baby blackbird on ground in our garden. Been there for several hours. No sign of any parents. He's feeding away off and on and hiding under a dinghy. Keeps twitching one wing as if it's damaged. Will not survive the night here due to predators, cats etc. What to do? 

  • Difficult one Rozen.

    No parents at all?

    As far as I know, young Blackbirds are flightless. If you get him/her through tonight, what will you do tomorrow night?

    He/she will get by without food through the night if placed in quite a small box, in the dark, with air holes, and in a quiet place where he/she cannot be disturbed (assuming he/she's not injured).

    But will the parents come back and then assume that their young one is dead?

    You could try to find a wildlife rehabilitation centre locally, but they'd likely keep him in an aviary (or caged if there's a problem with the wing), and I'm not sure what his/her chance of survival would be.

    Sorry that I can't give you something more concrete...
  • Thank you for your reply. I contacted my local rehab lady who is extremely knowledgeable and has given me similar advice about the shoebox for the night As no parents are around, she is happy to take the bird. If rather an aviary than being got by a fix or a cat. We will try and bring him in tonight. We have a very quiet home!
  • Super, Rozen, that you've got local, expert advice.

    Good luck with getting him/her in. A large, but small meshed, fishing net on a stick (if you've got kids, for example) or a large, soft cloth should help you immobilise the bird. If you're actually picking one up by hand, coming from behind will be less stressful for the bird and will enable you to get a good, safe, but not too firm grip... the neck and head can protrude forwards between your middle and ring (best) or your middle and index finger.

    Don't be alarmed if you get a strong peck.
  • Thank you for further advice. Good news, the little birdie stayed with us until early evening and then suddenly took flight into nearby ivy covered trees. So panic over. It looked really tiny and didn't look as though it could fly. We were shocked when it did! I have learned a lot about blackbird habits in the past 24 hours!
  • Rozen, that's great news. Smart bird, and now you're, as you say, smarter too.

    Thank you very much for updating everyone on what happened.

    All the best -