To handle or not to handle young birds?

posted in: Miscellaneous | 0

Meibao was taking a stroll in the Singapore Botanical Gardens one day in June 2008 when…

“I came across what seemed to be a stranded Yellow-vented Bulbul chick (Pycnonotus goiavier)… I only noticed it as its parent was trying to feed the chick which was on the ground and was chirping loudly to warn me to stay away… (left).

“There was a family a few feet away… having a picnic and their dog (on lease) was trying to get to the chick though they didn’t notice.

“I ended up not daring to touch the chick as I have read somewhere chicks may get abandoned by the parent if human scent is left on chick.

“Now, I keep thinking should I have tried to rescue it or at least place it on a branch or something so it would have been safer.

“What would be the correct thing to do?”

It is an old wife’s tale that once we handle a young chick, the parent birds would abandon it. Yes, it would be helpful if the chick was placed somewhere safe from the dog… not that the dog would get at it, considering that it was on a lease.

Should we “rescue” a helpless chick and bring it home to look after it? Check out our earlier post HERE.

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