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Seasonal advice for spring

Lamb standing in a field © Andrew Forsyth / RSPCA Photolibrary

In spring we receive many enquiries about baby animals. In most cases the following advice is given.


'Abandoned' fox cubs

In spring and early summer, our wildlife hospitals and animal centres are inundated with fox cubs that are brought in by well-meaning people who believe the cubs have been abandoned or orphaned.


Fox cubs
start taking their first steps outside the earth (den) at four weeks old, and it is quite normal for them to wander in or around patches of cover above ground.


Please don't be tempted to 'rescue' them.
The cubs' parents or relatives are usually nearby keeping a close eye on them.


Find out what to do with orphaned wild animals.


'Abandoned' baby birds

Please leave 'abandoned' baby birds alone. If you find a young bird out of its nest it is probably a fledgling.


Young garden birds
usually leave the nest about two weeks after hatching - just before they can fly. They will have grown all or most of their feathers, are very mobile and can walk, run and hop onto low branches.


Fledglings
are fed by their parents - the parents are rarely far away and are probably collecting food. However, they will not return to the fledglings until you have gone. 


Find out more about what to do with orphaned wild animals.


Frogs and toads

Pond owners may find large amounts of frogspawn at this time of year and it can make the water look overcrowded.  In fact this is no cause for concern.


To find out more about frogs and toads, read our Frogs and Toads FAQs (PDF 36KB).


Spring is also the time that toads will start their long migration overland to their spawning pools. This will often take them across roads, where unfortunately many are killed by vehicles. Learn how you can help toads on their migration from the toads on roads project.


Continued special care for your pets

Keep a close eye on outdoor pets, such as guinea pigs and rabbits. Provide extra bedding and be prepared to place them in a shed or garage for extra shelter. Find more pet care advice.

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