Skip to comments.Help! Possible abandoned baby bird
Posted on 05/10/2013 10:58:41 PM PDT by djf
I have a birdhouse on my back porch. About a month ago, I looked inside with a flashlight and there was an egg.
A week or ten days ago, it hatched. Since then, the parent birds have been flying back and forth seems like 25 hours a day carrying grubs, bugs, I dunno, whatever baby birds eat.
BTW, it is a chickadee or a sparrow, just one of those small, nondescript grey songbirds.
The parents are very wary and stay in the distance when I am on the back porch.
Today, I go on the back porch, I have a small piece of wood to cut, I fire up my circular saw and feel something bounce off my back. I look around, don't see the parents, but on the ground near the porch is this little baby bird.
Sucker has eyebrows like Leonid Brezhnev!
So I carefully as I can pick it up and put it back in the next. Now I have heard in the past about NEVER touching baby wildlife because the parents might just leave them - and I am not sure, but He's alone in the nest now, and the parents seem to have retreated somewhere.
So what should I do? Try to feed it? I don't want it croaking on my back porch. What would it eat? Worms? Grubs? Should I get crickets or something from a pet supply store?
There’ not very much you can do in a situation like this, just let nature take its course.
Call a veterinarian or pet store and they will probably know of a wildlife rehab person in the area. If it has its feathers and can hop, the bird might be ready to fledge. If not, it will need help, but the parents might just be waiting for the coast to be totally clear. It’s a tough call, and I’m sure someone will have better ideas.
You might want to go to a live cam of any kind of bird and the moderators or viewers might be able to help—also, there are bird forums.
I have probably over a years supply of food for myself in storage.
Watching an animal starve and die when I might be able to do something is against every fiber of my being and would haunt me till my last day!
The best thing to do,right now is find a bird sanctuary, if you can. Your local humane society should be able to give you enough information.
Or you could adopt it and try to keep it alive. It will only,live 3-5 years, so it could be a worthwhile thing.
We raised a baby starling that had fallen from it’s nest. We used a night light to provide warmth and a cardboard box lined with old towel material (anything to block a draft and give him a warm corner. If you use a night light, be sure he can’t burn himself by leaning against the bulb.(the kind we had was a dome and he liked to sleep like snoopy on top of it but we thought it would heat him up too much and with dehydration - he’d just sorta cook on top of it so we made sure the light was close enough to provide heat but not cooking capacity. Caterpillars were small and plentiful at the time (and juicy...ugh) so we fed him that. You can probably feed him grubs etc. because that’s probably what mom/dad were feeding him. The baby bird ate around the clock or so it seemed/felt. But after a few weeks he was getting bigger and so were the caterpillars and my mother, who fed him while we were at school, could not stand the sight of him noshing down those big fuzzy things so he was switched to chicken mash (feed mixed with water to an oatmeal consistency). That was spooned into his trap about every four hours by day (ok and probably sometimes at night- we probably overdid that because I doubt parental fowl were acquiring grubs at night) Chicken mash/slurry can dry/harden to his chest to form a chicken mash beard- you gotta be careful. He graduated to time outside although he’d still land on you for some chicken mash/slurry and then he adapted to life in the wild and flew away.
Whatever you feed him should supply him with water (for example, you couldn’t feed him dry seed or dry chick pellets). If you were to feel that he was eating dry roughage or seed, you’d need to supply him with water by mixing or later via a little dish (shallow - even a bottle cap full)
We had this happen to us a couple of years ago. My daughter (now 11) took charge. We placed the sparrow is a small box. My wife picked up baby bird food at a pet store and fed the bird. It grew and grew. The bird was tame and we eventually released it.
My daughter still looks to the sky and speaks of Feathers.
Well, it has feathers, but some of them are very downish type feathers, not flight feathers.
And shape-wise, it seems more roundish than say, robin shaped.
The one thing I was wondering is if it was actually trying to fly and my saw startled it so much, or if it just kind jumped out of the birdhouse.
I have bags of birdseed that the adults eat all the time, but I’m not sure if a very juvenile one would even know what to do with it.
I agree with your post 100 per cent. The parents might still come back. If they don’t there are wild bird rescue groups. I would call one.
I say this because I tried to keep an abandoned martin alive. I couldn’t keep the little guy in grub, lol. I ended up taking him to a rescue group..they said he not only lived...he lived to fly away.
For what it’s worth, to my knowledge, it’s illegal to keep as pets or even rehabilitate wild animals (including small birds) without proper licensing.
You know, you do need to be careful if you decide to give him straight water - I’d give him juicy food at first. Baby birds can sway drunkenly and fall beak first into water when trying to learn how to drink and aspirating water can cause a fragile bird to sicken and die. So juicy food (insects, grubs) and then if water, maybe drops of water on a plate that he can tap with his beak or some other shallow dish.
I had a sick adult cockateil that was not strong enough to stand on the side of a water dish and balance himself safely so I dangled the dripping tip of a wet wash cloth near him and just pecking at it angrily dropped enough water into his beak to refresh him. A sick/listless bird can become too weak to drink the water they need so the washcloth or for a bird that is really too weak to strike at the cloth, I just dipped my finger in water and touched the side of the beak (again - a cockatiel) and that was enough to pull him through (tiny amounts of water overcome dehydration in a tiny little body).
The best birdseed, in general, is safflower and sunflower. If you’re going to feed the baby bird that, ensure it’s shelled.
We have saved many baby birds and have found that soaked Purina dog chow mixed with squashed bird seeds is very nourishing and successful. You can feed them by putting the food on a pair of toothpicks and holding it above its head and he will reach and swallow it, You can be sure that its parents have not left. You did right by putting him back in his nest. If you see that the parents are back, just stay out of their way, but if they don’t show up keep up what you are doing and when he starts flapping his wings, make sure that if you see he didn’t quite fly yet, pick him up and put him back in his nest. You will always feel good whether you are successful or not, and remember - if you save a baby bird and let it go free - it sends prayers back to you for the rest of its life!!!! Good luck !!!
not birdseed for a baby. Has to be soft.
I didn’t realize my cockatiel pair had stopped feeding the baby bird they had been raising. He got so hungry that he got out of the nest box, landed below and started pecking wildly at seed (hunger) but in his haste and inexperience (he was too young for seed) he aspirated seed and that brought about fluid in the lungs and death. That’s the only baby bird I took care of that didn’t pull though - aspirating seed.
We still have the baby bird food. It’s called exact from a company named Kaytee. It comes in powder form that you mix with water and feed with a dropper.
The notion that parents won’t touch a baby touched by humans is a fallacy. If you know it was fed recently, wait it out a bit. Otherwise, I’ve not got advice for feeding it. Others here might.
I have saved several starling chicks by feeding them dry cat food soaked in warm water.
A bird has to lose its down before it can fly, from what I’ve seen (I watch live bird cams). It will need to be kept warm, if you decide to remove it from its nest. Today being Saturday might be a problem for finding a rehab person, but if there’s a vet open or a zoo nearby you can call, you might be able to find a person who will care for it in order to release it into the wild. They do “wingersize” in order to get ready, but they have to be sleek for the flight and strong enough.
The parents are likely regurgitating the food at this point, so hard seeds would probably not help. Check the internet for info. There might be some good advice for the type of bird you have. Songbird might be good enough of a description.
Yep.. Exactly. A wildlife rescue will care for it until it can thrive on its on. I had a similar situation with a couple baby robins years ago.
About a month ago, I got to see an abandoned hummingbird get adopted by a little mom that only had one egg hatch (they usually have two, the second didn’t make it). The rehab person handled the baby without gloves and good ol’ Phoebe just counted beaks, a little startled, and started feeding her new chick right off the bat. Her newest clutch is on fledge watch.
Well, I’ve seen the parents on the fence. Most of my garden is in the backyard around this porch.
And from the looks of it, they are bringing him back live food. Grubs and caterpillers and the like.
So I was wondering about worms - I have a mondo compost pile back there and if you dig down a foot, there are billions of those red worms everybody says to use in your garden. Seems like they’d be just about the right size, this bird doesn’t look big enough to handle a good sized nightcrawler!
Then an eyedropper and some mashed worms should work. If you see the parents, they’ll probably get back to work if you stay out of sight. Just sent a prayer for you and the little feathered one.
I’ll keep an eye out for the parents, they may be just taking a break, or got a bit spooked.
If they’re not back in the next day or so, I might have to rig up some kind of shoe-box deal. and try feeding it something. Worms, maybe I’ll soak some dog biscuits till they’re mushy. Something should work!
Yay, for mom and dad back on the job. I have rescued a few squirrels in my time, and definitely learned a new found respect and understanding for the lives of wild moms and dads.
Hopefully you can just keep an eye out for a few days, and make sure things are back to regular. The good news is, they grow extraordinarily fast :o
Thank You Lord, for blessings unexpected.
I’m thinkin’ this threads’ for the birds.
Parents won’t come back is myth
You can get some Kaytee handfeeding formula to carry it through. Remember that baby birds grow up quick, if it’s already falling out of its nest it’s only a week or two away from flying away for good.
Precisely my reaction
We shoot em round here for practice
I actually caught a confused Robin in air circling around me in one of my glass car wash bays
I grabbed it in one very luck grab.....coddled it and took it outside and released it to fly away handsomely
A soccer mom and her kids watching got misty eyed and cheered
It felt good....to release a quivering noble bird like the earnest robin to flight from my own hand felt really amazing....like giving life to flight
No worries...I still shoot and eat dove and duck
The Grub, Bug and Fishworm Preservation Society (GBFPS) opposes all efforts to rescue any birds unless they are entirely seed eating.
The GBFPS’s official position is that international peace is impossible as long as huge vicious birds are allowed to prey on little critters. So “Kick the Chick!”
Lol finally someone said something...
The parents will take care of it if you leave the area in peace.
I found out last year that most birds go through a stage where they leave the nest and are pretty helpless on the ground. It can take anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks before they’re really flying.
During this time, the parents take care of the baby.
It is VITAL that humans not interfere in this process. The baby needs this time on the ground to learn, strengthen it’s wings and get stronger. It’s a natural part of their development and if we interfere, they will die.
Many fledglings are lost during this time, but that’s part of nature. (We’ve got a hawk around here who’s getting great dinners off our fledglings.) The ones who make it are doing great within a week or two.
I had heard that, too. But last year I put one back in the nest and the parents kept feeding it. They didn’t abandon or avoid it.
Hahahahaha .... that’s pretty good!
Don’t even start feeding the bird, It’s more work then you can deal with... Sounds like the baby jumped out of the nest.. I have taken care of 2 of them that did that.. WOW, Talk about a ton of work... Stick it back in the next and keep an eye on it... The thing about touching a baby bird is not true according to my VET... You have to feed a baby bird every 20 mins while the sun is up.. You don’t want to even start that job!
I have successfully raised young birds feeding them canned catfood. I used a popsicle stick split in half lengthwise and blunted as a spoon to shovel it into their mouths.
It was awesome watching Woodrow learn to fly. He perched on a stick and hurled himself into space in my general direction, and bounced. But about the third try he made it all the way to me—maybe 5 feet.
A couple of days later I turned him loose. I guess I have maybe a 50% success rate.
I'll take care of it for you
You have done about all you can do.
Take it to a veterinarian. Wrap it up in a clean tissue, and gentle carry it. The vet will explain what to do from there.
Take it to a veterinarian. Wrap it up in a clean tissue, and gentle carry it. The vet will explain what to do from there.
Its a myth.
The parent will not reject it if you touch it.
Put it back and leave it alone(if you can).Do try to feed it.It doesn’t like humans.
Parent can see you looking up there and screwing with it and will stay away.
You scared the youngen with the saw.
Next year dont allow a nest to be built.This year remove that one some reuse them all season.
I have been watching one above my garage spot light...Came home yesterday and it was on the ground and all 5 eggs were gone.
Damn Blue Jay or Crow
DONT try to feed it
It was ejected from the nest for a reason. Let nature take it’s course and let the bird die.
Not true about parent birds abandoning if you touch the baby. We have had nests blow out of trees in storms. I fixed a small box with rope, put straw and sticks in it, put the baby birds in and put it back up in the tree. Parents resumed feeding and caring for the baby birds.
Leave them plenty of room and they will be back to care for the birdie.
We had one of those once. Hopped around the back yard trying to fly. We called him Hoppy. One day he was gone...
Good news this morning!
Even though I looked in the nest about 2 am and he was alone, now that it’s light out the parents are back.
There’s a sound they make when they are agitated, kind of a long Brrrrrrzzzzzztttt... as soon as I opened the back door, they were on the fence making the sound, so I closed the door most of the way, and one flew right onto the porch. So I can only hope all is well.
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