Belfast Telegraph

Wildlife lover steps in to take stricken birds under her wing

By Brett Campbell

Two eager birds who appear to have escaped the nest too soon have been saved by wildlife rescue worker Debbie Doolittle.

The animal lover came to the rescue yesterday after a local couple took the tiny chicks to Firmount Vets in Antrim. "They don't appear to be injured, so whether they have fallen out of the nest or a cat has got hold of them, I don't know," she said.

At less than a week old, and unable to fend for themselves, the scaldies (an abbreviation of scaldy baldy) will stay in her care for the next four weeks.

The wildlife enthusiast and activist is 99.9% confident - after consulting with an avid bird watcher - that the hatchlings are mistle thrushes.

"It's impossible to say for sure until they have feathers," she said. Debbie advises anyone who contacts her to send pictures of the animals before moving them, but in this case, she said whoever lifted these tiny critters did the right thing. "If they had have been left, they would have perished. They just would not have been able to survive," she said.

Debbie will now rear the birds until they can feed themselves and learn to fly. The fast learners should be ready to have another go at fleeing the nest soon.

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