Posted by: sweetpea | May 2, 2007

Little Brown Job

I was faced with a dilemma last night.  Gustav came in saying that there was a chick just sitting in the middle of our road.  So I went to have a look with him, and sure enough, sat in the perfect place if you’re a bird with a suicide wish, was a baby LBJ.  I couldn’t tell from looking at it what species it was, it seemed to have some of its wing feathers but still some down too.  So, what should we do, take it home and try and look after it, or move it to the side of the road and hope that it’s parents find it.  My heart was telling me to do the former, but my head was wise enough to go with the latter, thinking that it’s parents must be around somewhere nearby.  So I picked him up gently, in fact he seemed quite happy to hop onto my hand, and moved him to the edge of the road.  We decided to check up on the little fella before it got dark.

Meanwhile I couldn’t help wonder whether we had done the right thing. I looked in my bird book and decided that it was probably a young chaffinch, or possibly a goldfinch, but I think the former is more likely.  If we had taken him in, then feeding him might have been tricky as Chaffinches eat seeds amongst other things.  Had it been a young robin, then I could have sacrificed a few of my wormery worms, but seeds…I don’t know what you could substitute for them (Gustav suggested porridge).  As it started to get dark I wondered out again and there was no sign of the little fella, so either he had been eaten by a cat, or his parents did find him and took him somewhere safe.  I’m going with the latter 🙂 and I’m pretty sure we did the right thing.



  1. Yes – right thing for sure.

    Although, for future reference, the young of seed eating birds only eat worms, insects and the like while their parents are rearing them. I think

  2. Thanks. The frustrating thing was that I have a book at mums which tells you exactly how to look after sick and injured wildlife. Will have to bring it back with me next time I visit.

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