Saving them from ourselves
We'd better try to put it back. Pick it up and find the nest. Let's take it home and look after it. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!
We're so keen to do the right thing we often get it all upside down. Doctors are told (but then sometimes go on to ignore the dictum): First, do no harm.
So it should be with us and wildlife. We almost all know not to get between wild animals and their young. That's because it's dangerous for us. But our thoughts should be first for the good of the young.
So when the above fledgling Rufous Whistler lost a tenuous grip on some outer foliage at Tyto today and fell at my feet, I naturally stepped back to get a picture. And to think about its welfare.
Yes, in that order and without any thought of saving the bird. That's what parents are for. Right on cue a male whistler turned up. With food in mouth. But it didn't go near the fledgling. It ducked here and there close by. Then it swallowed the caterpillar.
What's the problem? I'm probably the problem. Whistlers are trusting birds, but instinct runs counter to heading direct to the young. I back off. Still nothing doing. So I clear right off for 10 minutes.
On return it takes me five minutes to find the 'helpless' fledgling near the top of the tree it fell from. Doesn't seem judging by its fretful calls to be getting all it demands from parents but how's that different from most hungry juveniles? It's safe and sound!
I know, not all cases match such happy outcomes. My principle, though, is always to do as little as possible to interfere - or 'help'. How do others feel?