Back to Latest News

Scottish SPCA urges public to follow correct procedures after nestling left outside centre in Ayrshire

Nestling pigeon

The Scottish SPCA is urging the public to follow the correct procedures for reporting injured, sick or abandoned wildlife after a baby pigeon was discovered in a carrier bag outside its Ayrshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre.

The nestling was left in a plastic bag on top of a donation bin in direct sunlight, before thankfully being spotted by staff members on 15 June.

Scotland’s animal welfare charity recently launched its #WildlifeWise campaign to educate the public on when they should contact them about young wildlife. The aim of the campaign is not to create orphans unnecessarily.

Assistant manager of the Ayrshire centre, Lynda Hourston, said: “While we appreciate the person who left the nestling probably had good intentions, this was very dangerous for the young bird.

“If the pigeon had fallen from the top of the donation bin it could have been injured or the next person that came along could have put something heavy on top of it.

“At the moment our gates are locked to prevent public access due to lockdown restrictions. Rarely do we venture outside until we finish at 5pm. The bird could potentially have sat there until then in the bag in the sunshine with no access to food or water.

“Thankfully we found the pigeon and it would appear no lasting harm has been done but the outcome could have been very different.

“We have no background information about where the nestling has come from or why it was separated from its parents because whoever found this bird did not call to report it.

“We would ask that members of the public follow the proper procedure and call our animal helpline if they find an injured or abandoned animal.”

To report an injured or distressed animal, contact the Scottish SPCA animal helpline on 03000 999 999. Visit here for more information on the #WildlifeWise campaign.




If anyone is concerned about an animal, please do not hesitate to contact our confidential animal helpline on 03000 999 999.

We need your support. From as little as £1, you can save lives.

Please support the Scottish SPCA today.