AT this time of year, veterinary clinics have an influx of clients presenting baby birds they have found on the footpath or in the garden.
No one likes to see a chick in distress, but in many cases these chicks are best left near their parents.
Once they are taken to a veterinary clinic, the chances of reuniting chicks with their parents are reduced.
What should you do? If you find a chick, look for a nest, or concerned adult birds, nearby.
Chicks without feathers (nestlings) should be replaced in the nest or very close by.
Those with feathers (fledglings) are often found hopping on the ground as they learn to fly. As long as these birds are out of the way of companion animals, such as dogs and cats, and away from traffic, they should be OK.
Regardless, wildlife organisation WIRES recommends observing chicks for about an hour to determine whether the parents are tending to them, either in the nest or on the ground. If they are, leave chicks be.
If not, call WIRES. If chicks appear to have been injured, seek veterinary attention or call WIRES immediately on 1300 094 737.