We’re lucky in Scotland. It’s a beautiful country with an abundance of wildlife. From otters to owls, swans to seals and badgers to beavers, we’re blessed with a rich, diverse range of wild animals. As we see thousands of wild animals come through the doors of our National Wildlife Rescue Centre, we appreciate more than most the need to respect and nurture the natural world to help wild animals thrive. Here, you’ll find all the information you need on Scottish wildlife – and guidance on when something might need our help.










Wildlife FAQs

We often find that birds who are on the ground and can’t fly are fledglings. These are young birds who are still learning to fly and shouldn’t be disturbed.

You will see a lot of fledglings in the spring and summer months, as this is when most birds breed, don’t be alarmed as they are still being cared for by their parents.

Our animal helpline operators will be able to determine if a bird is in fact a fledgling who is learning to fly. We advise that fledglings are left alone unless they appear to be injured or are in danger. If you are unsure call us on 03000 999 999.

Should a bird be injured we will be able to send an animal rescue officer out to help. The officer will be able to assess the injury and determine if we can rehabilitate the bird. If a bird is severely injured sometimes the kindest option is to put the bird to sleep to prevent further suffering.

Birds that we rescue are taken to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre in Fishcross to be rehabilitated before being released back into the wild once they are fit and healthy.

It can be tempting to want to help a young bird who may look helpless and we know people have the best intentions at heart but this is natural and their parents will be looking over them nearby. Most young birds will leave the nest once fully feathered, but unable to fly.

If a bird is in a potentially dangerous place such as a busy path or near a road then we would suggest moving it to a safe place nearby, where the parents can still hear their young.

If, after watching from a safe distance, you still believe the fledgling has been abandoned then please contact our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 for advice.

We receive many calls each year about ducklings and are often able to return them to their natural habitat.

Although ducklings are taught from a young age to fend for themselves, their mothers are very maternal and usually stay with them until they are fully feathered and can fend for themselves.

If the ducklings don’t appear to be with their mother or are in danger, then please call our animal helpline on 03000 999 999 as we will be able to take them to our National Wildlife Rescue Centre to be care for until they are ready to be released back into the wild.