The death rate of young birds can be quite high and most of us would be astounded if we knew the true figures. I have written before about this here.
The fact remains: all baby and young birds run the terrible risk of not surviving the first few days or weeks of their fragile lives. There are many hazards for the young bird. One I did not mention was drowning. A large number of Australian homes have swimming pools or garden ponds. I’d only be guessing here, but I’d say that probably up to ten percent of homes have some sort of water feature in their garden.
Our in ground swimming pool (“The Swamp” as I affectionately call it) is an unintended hazard for young birds still learning to fly. Probably five or six times a year I need to rescue a bird that has not been able to escape from the water. This morning was one of those occasions. The poor bird was very waterlogged. It was probably getting quite exhausted too as it flapped and flapped trying to escape. Fortunately I found it in time.
Over the coming months I must be quite vigilant. We have had many very hot days already, and summer officially only starts on Friday. The birds are attracted to the water on the hot days so a pool is irresistible. We do have three bird baths which we keep topped up but this does not seem enough.
- Why do baby birds disappear? An article in response to a reader’s question.