In early June, the Shei-pa National Park Headquarters found a pair of black-naped monarchs feeding their young on a tree at the Wenshui Office. There were 3 young birds in the nest waiting to be fed. The parent birds took turns to feed them with captured worms and were busy cleaning away their wastes. To avoid bothering them much, the staff from the Headquarters used binoculars to record the entire process of their growth. One morning after a heavy rain, the staff found that two young birds had fallen out of the nest; they were soaked through and unable to fly. After an assessment, they used plastic bags to pick up the young birds and used tissues to wipe them dry. They climbed up the aluminum ladder to replace the two birds into their nest. Luckily, the parents came back to feed them again, allowing the staff to witness the successful parental care of their young.
Summer is a peak season for birds to reproduce and raise their chicks. As many young birds leave their nests to learn to fly, we often find wounded or fallen young birds in municipal parks, residential areas, or suburbs. Kind animal lovers are eager to help these wild animals. The Headquarters reminds everybody to stop, watch, and listen, so that your kindness will not turn into cruelty that breaks apart a family of parents and their young.
As expressed by the Headquarters, when finding a fledging, stop and pause, as there is no need to reach out your hands and pick up the bird in a hurry. Watch! Watch again to see if the young bird can jump short distances normally, or observe how it flutters its wings. Listen! Listen for any chirping and calling by its parents nearby. When the behaviors above are observed, it is very likely that the young bird is simply fluttering its wings, learning to fly and leave its nests, and the parents are supervising and guiding it nearby. Move the young bird to a safe area in nearby bushes or a small tree. It is also OK not to move it at all because its parents will come to bring it back to safety on a tree or in a nest nearby.
As suggested by the Headquarters, when seeing any abnormal behavior or obvious wound on young birds, ensure that you have sufficient means of isolation before offering further help for the wounded birds, as there is still a risk of passable infection between human and birds (such as bird flu). For tips on catching and aiding birds, it is advised that priority should be given to one’s self-protection and the young birds. Avoid catching them with your bare hands. Use an easy-to-get towel or old clothes (preferably darker color). Wrap the whole body of the bird and cover its eyes to avoid startling it. Place the bird in a carton or soft box before sending it to an animal hospital or emergency aid agency for wild animals. There is no need to provide water or food on the way. If you are unable to handle the situation, it is advised that you seek assistance from professional agencies.
In addition to associations for wild birds, the Headquarters also offers a list of agencies below for people to seek assistance: