Animal Happiness Vet

The baby bird problem

The baby bird problem

The baby bird problem

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Spring is a season of new beginnings, especially for our feathered friends. It’s the time when young birds take their first flights from the nest, but sometimes, they end up on the ground, away from their homes. Many caring individuals rush to the rescue and take these fledgling birds to vet clinics, hoping to save them. Sadly, this pretty much guarantees they will not survive long term as a baby bird must be taught how to feed and recognise danger by its parents. Fortunately, there’s a simpler and far more effective way to help these young birds – the bucket nest.

The Dilemma:

Every spring, we encounter situations where well-intentioned folks bring in fledgling birds to vet clinics. While their hearts are in the right place, the best way to help these young birds doesn’t always involve a trip to the vet clinic. If the fledgling baby is not injured it’s chances of survival are far greater if it can stay right where you found it!

A healthy baby wattlebird brought to our clinic this morning. She needs her parents.

The Bucket Nest Solution:

Creating a bucket nest is a straightforward yet powerful way to give these fledgling birds a better chance at survival. Here’s how you can do it:

Materials Needed:

  • A plastic bucket (a cheapy from a hardware store is perfect)
  • A drill with a small bit for creating drain holes
    • A screwdriver or something stabby will do at a pinch
  • Fine leaves and sticks
  • A sturdy branch or tree limb on the tree where the parents and nest are


  1. baby bird bucket nestDrill Drain Holes: Take your plastic bucket and drill several small holes in the bottom for drainage. These holes will make sure rainwater doesn’t collect in the nest, keeping it dry and safe for the young birds.
  2. Prepare the Nest: Line the bucket with a layer of fine leaves and sticks. Add a single larger stick long enough to just poke out the top of the bucket. This creates a cozy environment similar to their natural nests, offering comfort and security from falling out again until they are fully fledged and able to climb up the larger stick.
  3. Secure the Nest: Hang the bucket securely from a branch or tree limb near the place where the bird fell from its nest. Ensure it’s high enough to deter predators but still within reach of the parent birds.
  4. Observe from a Distance: You can just walk away at this point, knowing you have done the very best for this baby possible. But you can also watch from a distance. It might take a little while for the parent birds to locate their young one, but when they do, they’ll continue to feed and care for it as if it were still in the original nest.

Why the Bucket Nest Works:

The bucket nest solution works because it keeps the fledgling bird in its natural habitat, allowing the parent birds to continue their care. When we take these birds to vet clinics, we unintentionally separate them from their parents, which lowers their chances of survival.


Helping young birds during the spring season is something we can all get behind. By sharing the word about the bucket nest solution, we can empower our community to make a positive impact on the lives of these fledgling birds. Together, we can ensure that they thrive in their natural homes, and our skies remain filled with the beauty of our local wildlife.

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