Be watchful of baby birds in springtime

May 13, 2011

A young downy woodpecker currently residing at Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge. Lori Ceier/Walton Outdoors

Area refuge full of orphaned baby birds

As the springtime is a busy nesting season for birds, Emerald Coast Wildlife Refuge encourages folks to be watchful when cutting trees, and keep an eye out for fledglings. Currently the refuge has a full house of orphaned baby birds.

Patrick Gault, the assistant director of the ECWR warns that many homeowners are not aware that some fledglings spend time a period of time on the ground.

“They are easy prey for cats,” Patrick said.

Patrick also mentioned many people do not check for nests in trees when cutting down or trimming branches; a factor to consider watching out for in the springtime.

Currently the refuge is caring for many young birds – baby mockingbirds, blue jays, downy woodpeckers, a pileated woodpecker and a brown thrasher to name a few.

Supported mostly through the donations of local residents and businesses, the ECWR is a non-profit refuge dedicated to education, conservation and rehabilitation of wildlife.

ECWR is located on Okaloosa Island at 105 Santa Rosa Blvd., Fort Walton Beach. To contact ECWR, call (850) 650.1880, or visit their website at