Homes for Wildlife

Homes for Wildlife
If you love the creatures in your garden, you'll love our Homes for Wildlife project. This is the place to ask and answer questions about making your backyard wildlife-friendly.


  • Hi I'm new to the forum and would like to know if anyone can answer a question about my garden blue tit box.I have had a nest since end of April and everything has been going really well with the chicks and parenting skills. Yesterday morning the chicks were fed as usual by both parents, the last feed was 11am. Neither parent has been back to the nest to feed the chicks who are now 14 days old. I expected her to turn up at dusk but neither he nor she has returned this morning. The chicks which are now feathered have survived the night and all day today and do not appear to be distressed but they must be hungry. What do I do, do I leave them to let nature take its course or try to take them to a wildlife centre? Also are there any experiences or reasons why they would abandon their brood so suddenly other than predation. I have been supply constant Meal & Wax worms. I have a camera in the box and wouldappreciate any suggestions. Many thanks.
  • Hi Kathleen, I will get a message to someone who may be able to advise you, where are you & do you have access to a wildlife rescue centre?

  • Wendy. I am in Loughborough Leicestershire I can get to a rescue tomorrow if the chicks survive overnight.

  • Not heard from person I contacted, our resident bird rescuer, I made enquiries of him as he did rescue some BT's last year & pass them on to a wildlife centre!  I am no expert but if it were me & was certain parents had abandoned them, with the chicks at that age, I would contact the centre for advice & to see if they could take them on!

    It's good news that you have access to a centre & great that you care enough to try, hope they survive tonight!

  • Hi Kathleen. Try www.helpwildlife.co.uk  and see if they have someone in your area. As Wendy says, I retrieved four baby BT's that had been left behind when the others fledged. I fed them live mealworms which I chopped up with a scalpel every fifteen minutes or so throughout the late evening and then continued the next day from the point when they woke me at 4am until late morning when I took them to a bird rescue place in Surrey. They will need feeding soon in my opinion. If you lived closer I would collect them myself.

  • Wendy thanks for your help anyway. If the chicks are still alive in the morning I will contact our wildlife rescue at Kibworth Leics to see if they think it is worth me taking them there. I did not want to try and feed them myself as I too am no expert. I think it is unlikely now that the parents will return as it is over 24 hrs. It is so upsetting to see this happening and it is debateable whether having a camera is a good idea!

  • Thank you for coming to my aid with your suggestions and experience. As I have posted to Wendy I will try the centre tomorrow.I have been told that it is difficult to rear BT's but I feel I cannot let them starve to death without giving them a chance. Why the parents left we have no idea everything was going really well. Maybe they knew something we don't but it does seem to us quite heartless. If I am honest I hope they don't survive the night. Sorry.

  • I'm sure they won't all die. If they have reached fledging age they might survive. Hopefully you have a rescue centre that will take in birds of this type.

  • Thanks MC!  As he has said Kathleen, it's a pity we're not near, I'm even further away than he is but would have definitely have had a try at feeding them (just been hand feeding a four week abandoned Parakeet chick)

    Just a thought, are you on Twitter or FB?  Could be worth appealing for help, there might be someone with experience in your area who could step in if wildlife centre cannot help, or even get to you sooner!

    Please let us know what happens even if it's bad news!

  • Just wanted you to know that we took the box down this morning at 7am to find all 7 chicks still alive after two days without Mum! We put the nest on to a hot water bottle covered by an old towel as it had been a coldish night. Once they had warmed up we made up some emergency re-hydration fluid with help from the web and applied it on to a new artist paint brush as instructed and fed it to the chicks. Once this was done and 30 mins had past we fed wax worm juice on a new paintbrush.They took this readily with beaks wide open. The feed was repeated every 30 mins until we could drive 45mins to our nearest wild life centre.Once there they were put into an incubator and fed again.

    I said my reluctant goodbyes and left nature and the experts to do the rest. Many thanks to those who supported me on this forum.

  • That's wonderful news Kathleen. Very well done to you for saving the chicks.

  • Well done you that is dedication, and great to hear that all that chicks were okay, and will come along nicely.

  • Good to hear this news

  • I was so happy to hear this. I read it earlier while I was on the bus. It brought a tear to my eye. Well done for persevering and providing food until you could get them to the care centre. Bravo!

  • Oh Kathleen, only just caught up & was soooo pleased to read that you had rescued & fed these chicks & then got them to the centre ... I hope you feel justifiably proud of yourselves ... I'm very pleased to know you!

    Will you follow up on their progress at the centre?  Please let us know how they do ... fingers firmly crossed for a happy outcome!