What to Do If You Find Orphaned or Injured Wildlife

Wild Magpie

Baby Birds

Baby birds (nestlings and fledglings) should be left in the wild when possible, their best chance of survival is if we don’t intervene unnecessarily.

Parent birds will leave the nest to find food but the nestling (featherless) can get into trouble when they accidentally fall out of the nest. If you do see a nest up in the tree, you can offer assistance by gently putting the baby bird back into the nest. Use gloves or a towel when handling the bird. If the original nest is not found you can make a makeshift nest. Place the nest as high up in a tree and as near to the original location as possible.

Fledglings are feathered young birds that have just left the nest and are preparing to take flight. They are often mistaken as injured birds or birds that fell out of the nest. Fret not, these birds usually stay on the ground for a few weeks to gain enough strength to start flying. They are at the learning stage and parent birds are close by to watch and feed them. Please do not feed them or remove them from their location, it is normal for them to be on the ground.

You can help by keeping dogs and cats away from the birds as their bites are fatal.

If you do notice that a bird looks weak and injured, contact Wildlife Victoria or your local vet first for help.

They may ask you to transport the bird to the nearest vet for them to assess it.



The two most common species you are likely to encounter around your home are the common brushtail and ringtail possums. Ringtails have a long slender tail with a white tip while the brushtails have a bushier black tail.

You shouldn’t be able to see a possum on the ground during day time. If you see a baby possum or an injured adult ringtail, wrap it in a blanket or towel and transport it in a box to the nearest local vet or call Wildlife Victoria.  Always call Wildlife Victoria for adult brushtails.

Leave a Comment