Baby Bird Rescue


We are constantly receiving letters and emails requesting guidance and opinions. So we’ll be sending along some of these chats from time to time.

QUESTION: I discovered a wild young bird and need to know how to care for it. I was advised to feed it worms and to give it water with an eyedropper. Is there anything more I need to do? I’m not sure which kind it is.

ANSWER: You may either start hunting for a shoebox to hide it in or entirely alter your diet!

To begin, do not try to feed a wild young bird without first consulting a professional bird rehabilitation specialist. Many states make it illegal to care for migratory birds, and most birds fall into this category. Starlings, pigeons, and brown sparrows are not included, but you still need some guidance.

Never, ever slice up worms or insects of any kind. Some parents consume insects and have already digested this meal for their children. Others consume berries and vegetables, and this diet is quite different. Important enzymes are also introduced by the parents to aid the baby’s digestion. The infant cannot digest meals adequately until this preparation is made. If the baby bird is extremely young, you may need to supplement the food with these enzymes. BeneBac, a concentrated supply of digesting bacteria, is widely available at pet shops.

Giving a young bird water using an eyedropper is similar to how breeders hand feed newborn birds. If you don’t do it right, you’ll shove food (or water) down the bird’s throat, suffocating it. As a result, any sort of forced hand feeding is hazardous.

If you are unable to find someone to care for the bird, you might try buying a can of wet cat food that is not chunky but very finely shredded. When young birds are hungry, they will open their jaws as soon as your hand approaches them. If they haven’t opened their eyes yet, you may gently touch the food to their beaks and they’ll automatically know when it’s time to eat. Roll a very little amount of food between your fingers to form a tiny roll. This will shape the meal and warm it somewhat. Make use of extremely little components.

Drop it into the baby’s mouth when it has its mouth open. Don’t push it! As long as the infant has no health problems, it will promptly ingest the food. The cat food includes enough moisture to keep the bird hydrated, as well as enough fat and protein to nourish the infant.

Never make the bird eat. He is full when he refuses to open its mouth.

Now comes the exciting part. Baby birds in their infancy need regular, round-the-clock feeding. They must be fed every two hours, day and night. They must be maintained warm, and there must be a high level of humidity. This is a delicate balancing act, and failure to do any of these will result in the death of the kid. Building a hospital brooder is a significant undertaking for the typical bird rescuer. The bird will not survive if the temperature is more than a few degrees off. This is why the normal individual should not try to nurture wild young birds.

Also, keep in mind that a small, newborn baby bird does not normally fall out of its nest. Often, it falls because its parents kicked it out of the nest because something was wrong with it. Because only the strong survive in the wild, the parents will focus their attention on the healthy birds and neglect the ailing ones. Your rescue attempts may be an useless attempt to save the bird.

However, it is a human nature to care for needy creatures, and it is quite difficult to persuade someone to just let the infant to die. It’s also true (Murphy’s law?). You will almost certainly save your young chick on a weekend when no vet offices are open and no rehab facilities are accessible. We receive a majority of our rescues from here! We are state licenced, however we cannot handle federally protected birds. We will care for the birds until they can be delivered to one of our rescue friends.

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