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Urgent Sparrow chicks

Discussion in 'Bird Emergency Highway 911' started by Inu11, 5/30/18.

  1. Inu11

    Inu11 Moving in

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    Hello everyone,

    First of all sorry if this is in the wrong section, but I'm in a bit of a bind here.

    A bit of a tragedy happened as we were cutting down a tree in the yard - the tree was way overdue, it was a falling hazard, but what we failed to see was a bird nest hidden nearly at the top of the tree. Luckily, no chicks were hurt as the branches fell down, but it seems that the mom bird is not coming back. We have no other tall trees to plant the nest back on either - all other ones are fairly small, and our cat could easily reach the nest.

    There are 3 chicks in total and they all seem healthy and active. To me they look like blackbird chicks.

    I have been doing some reading online in feeding the chicks, and most people recommend meal worms (to which I have no access to), or moistened dry cat food - is this a good idea?

    Also how much should they get per day?

    I live in a tiny city in Serbia, so professional care for these things is not easy to come by.

    Images:

    https://i.imgur.com/wTNzzbA.jpg

    https://i.imgur.com/tsJOdi9.jpg

    (The red stuff on them is cherry juice, not blood - it was a cherry tree).

    Any further advice is really welcome.



    Added on 6-24-18:

    Hello future viewer, here is a short summary of how I handled raising wild bird hatchilngs. Mind you, I am not a professional when it comes to animals - but if you are not in the vicinity of an animal rehab center or shelter, and find yourself in a situation such as me, hopefully you will find this information useful.

    Before taking in any wild animal young MAKE SURE that they are actually abandoned. Most hatchlings are fed nearly every 20 minutes by their parents in the wild, so It's not really that hard looking for it. If you observe the nest from a distance and notice that no bird is coming to feed the young, then it is safe to assume that they are abandoned.

    Also, know that taking care of really young birds is a full time commitment. Be ready to toil a lot around them if you want to help them. If you have a job that requires you to be away from home, it is pretty much impossible to raise them.

    Taking care of them and feeding them:

    - Personal protection:
    Make sure to wear gloves when dealing with wild animals. It goes without saying that they might carry parasites or diseases, which could affect you or your pets. Also, as the birds grow, they will bite your fingers - not hard mind you, but depending on the species I read that it can be quite uncomfortable. They will consider you their parent, and will treat you as such in demanding food. Since you feed them with your hands - regardless how you do it - they might nib on you. Kitchen or semi disposable gloves do the job just fine.

    -Accommodation:
    Hatchlings need to stay warm, clean, and be kept in a low noise environment. Don't keep them in rooms with a lot of traffic.
    Feel free to keep the original nest (if you have it) for a couple of days, or if you don't have one you can easily fashion one yourself. I recommend any warm cloth item that can be fashioned into a bowl like shape, and to make your life easier, put some toilet paper down inside it as well - this will make cleaning really quick and easy. They poop a lot, so be prepared to clean their nest at least 2 times per day.
    I was lucky that the weather here was really warm, so I did not need to worry about keeping the hatchlings warm - but that might not be the case for you. Make sure they are warm at all times. You can achieve this in any way you like, but from what Ive read a heating pad or a lamp does the job.
    At first you will be fine keeping them (or it), in a simple basket, and covering them with a towel or anything similar overnight, to preserve their body heat. Make sure they can breathe by leaving a small part of your nest uncovered. As they start to grow feathers, they will become rowdy and try flying around - unsuccessfully. At this point in time it is a good idea to get a large cardboard box, and keep them there. I also found it a good idea to make them a small hiding place - in my case I fashioned them a small box they could hide in.
    Once they start flying consider releasing them - I'll get to this in a bit.

    - Food:
    Hatchings and young birds need to be feed them every 30min - 1hour. You don't need to feed them overnight - in the wild their parents usually feed them from dusk till dawn - so from around 05:00/06:00 to 20:00/21:00.
    Good food chooses are: Moistened cat food (DO NOT give them dry food - it will get stuck in their throats. Cat food needs to be swelled up with water, and spongy), minced up bugs, minced up worms - try to mix up all of these. Fruit is not advised when they are too young - mainly because it is hard to tell what kind of bird you are dealing with. In my case I thought they were blackbids, and fed them berries - which only gave them diarrhea. So play it safe.
    Don't give the hatchlings any water. They get what they need from the food you give them.
    You can tell if a bird is healthy by observing their feces - for most birds it needs to be brownish in color with a white spot at the end.
    As they get older, you can space out their feeding sessions. Before I released my (sole) surviving bird, I was feeding them every 2 - 2.5hrs.

    - Feeding method:
    There are multiple ways to do this, you pick the one that works the best for you. But generally, young birds can't chew their food, and they can't swallow unless you push the food literally down their throat. What I did was place a small chunk of pre-prepared food in their mouths, and them pushed it down with a dulled toothpick. After a small push they swallowed their food without any problems. I have read that people used dull tweezers, or put a mixture of their food in a syringe (without the needle). All of these are viable.

    - Handling and imprinting:
    All small animals imprint on their caretakers, but be mindful not to coddle wild animals too much, and limit your interactions with them. This can be hard, as they can, and will become very cute in time - but you need to think of the bigger picture here. An animal that is too used to humans is likely to be killed by their pets, or curious children when released. So you are not doing them a favor by spoiling them - you are essentially giving them a death warrant. Unless you wish to keep the animal as a pet (once again, not something I recommend with wild animals), don't cuddle or spend a lot of time with the animal. Also, it is definitely not a good idea to get them accustomed to your other pets either, especially if they are a predator animal like a cat. They need to see anything as a potential threat to maximize their survival upon release.

    - Animal death:
    This can totally happen, despite your best efforts. 2 out of 3 of my hatchilgs died. One completely mysteriously, the other likely from blunt trauma. Be ready for this - do not get too attached to any animal you rescue. If you are emotionally unstable and get easily devastated, rescuing a wild animal might not be for you. Do not flush the corpse down the toilet, dispose of the body the best you can. I would recommend disposing of it along with food waste, or if you have access to a yard - simply burring the corpse.

    - Releasing the animals:
    In my case I think that I waited too long, which caused an unnecessary death of one of the birds. As soon as you are confident that your birds can fly, and can eat on their own - let them go. You can keep some food for them around the area you let them go around - but their instincts are sharp, and they will figure things out on their own. Most small birds are ready for independence approximately 14-20 days after hatching - but this varies depending on the species. Make sure to research which birds inhabit your area and best determine what you might be raising - but to be honest it should become fairly obvious once they start getting bigger!

    Good luck and hopefully you fare better than I did!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6/24/18
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  2. rocky'smom

    rocky'smom Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Keep them warm, hydrated with a little bit water from eyedropper, call the closest rehab center for help.
     
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  3. Inu11

    Inu11 Moving in

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    Hey,

    Thanks for the advice, however on the water one - every online source states that I should avoid giving them water - their food is already fairly moist.

    Lucky its summertime here, so the temps are pretty high. I have covered them over night. During the day I think that I'll just leave them in the shade outside. Is there any way to get their mother to find them?

    And as I mentioned - I live in the middle of nowhere. There is only one proper vet here, and they generally don't do birds or anything similar. It is not a shelter. So that is pretty much a non-option.
     
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  4. sunnysmom

    sunnysmom Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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  5. camelotshadow

    camelotshadow Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Veteran

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    Keep them very warm least 85 degrees...they are small try bloodworms if you have or soaked cat food...

    Maybe a wild life preserve? I doubt they would take care of such young chicks.

    Toobad you can't replant the nest close by by parents may reject it now anyway????

    Thanks for helping...
     
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  6. camelotshadow

    camelotshadow Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Veteran

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    Last edited: 5/30/18
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  7. Birdbabe

    Birdbabe Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Soaked warm cat kibble will do in a pinch, feed from tweezers, literally just kinda stuff it past the tounge,,they need to be kept warm and avoid drafts, fans, air conditioning vents. Is there a wildlife rehabilitation near you? They should take the babies..
     
  8. Inu11

    Inu11 Moving in

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    Thanks for all of your replies, you are all really helpful! :)

    No animal rehab, or anyone who would bother with wild bird chicks in the area. I will try keeping them warm and fed, and hopefully it goes well.

    When it comes to feeding, what I did today is mince up the moistened cat food and put small chunks in ther mouths, then push it down a bit with a toothpick (dulled the tip of the pick so I don't hurt them). They seem to have eathen it up. They are messy eaters tho! I'm not sure how big a portions they should get.
     
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  9. Garet

    Garet Rollerblading along the road

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    Awww, thank you for trying to look after the little guys! :hug4:

    Don't beat yourself up about what happened and what may still happen, the fact that you're looking for help is amazing, not a lot of people would do this.

    There's a guy on YouTube who regularly rescues and feeds orphaned baby birds. Maybe watching his vids can help you? Or he may be able to offer some advice.

     
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  10. Donna turner

    Donna turner Jogging around the block

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    I've raised two baby birds and after kind of forcing some food in a few times , they started opening up for it. Shoved in the food with tweezers and when they're full they shut their beak and get still. I offered food many times a day. I guess cat food would work in a pinch. I fed pieces of soaked monkey buiscuits, a sponge like concocksion made for monkeys.
     
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  11. Inu11

    Inu11 Moving in

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    Once again thanks for all the feedback!

    Is it a problem if I update this thread occasionally with whats going on with them (this being the emergency section and all)? So if anyone has this issue in the future they can have a useful point of reference?

    For now the chicks seem to be doing great, they are energetic and poop a lot. So I guess its a good sign! I threw away their nest today, and made a disposable one with paper - paper is a great insulator and should keep them warm. They are also outside atm, and the ambient temp here is 30°C or 86°F.
    Online sources state to feed them every 45 minutes or so, from dusk till dawn - but that Its not an issue to extend it to about 2 hours between feeding - life tends to get in the way, so that is generally what I'll be aiming for. I'm pretty sure they get smaller portions from their mother if she feeds them that often. Their crop sacks seem to be fairly full even after a couple of hours.

    The little ones start chirping and opening their mouths as soon as they hear my voice - here's to hoping the imprinting does not leave any adverse effects when they grow up.
     
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  12. rocky'smom

    rocky'smom Cruising the avenue Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Yes please keep us updated. Depending on what you are feeding them you need to watch their crop area to see if it's empty, if it's empty they need to be fed. The crop area is under the beak at the top of the keel ( breast bone) chest area. When you feed them this area fills up.
    If you are worried about imprinting them, try not to handle them anymore then necessary. In the USA, wildlife that is brought to rehabber, is kept in small cat carrier with the door turn towards a wall. This way they only see a wall not a human environment.
     
  13. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    You are officially a mom/dad now - you might just have two friendly "wild" birds. Can you give us an idea of more-or less where you live (general area)? It'll give some of us an idea as to what we can suggest that may help. I'd be wary of leaving them outside due to predators.
     
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  14. TikiMyn

    TikiMyn Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Can you take them to a wild bird rescue? They can rehabilite them into the wild later. Thank you for helping them!
     
  15. Chopper

    Chopper Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award

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    OP said Serbia.
     
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  16. SandraK

    SandraK Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    Sorry! I missed that.
     
  17. Donna turner

    Donna turner Jogging around the block

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    When the blue jay I raised was old enough I put his cage outside hanging in a tree with door open. I'd have to put him in it after dark because he tried to sleep in hanging plant on porch and I had cats around. He'd fly to porch in morning and wake me up begging for food. He followed me around the yard and I taught him where to find bugs, under leaves , in grass etc. I continued to feed him until a flock of blue jays came along and he joined them. He learned how to be wild from them and left when they did. However a couple years later I heard a jay up in a tree and I called to it and it flew down and got on my arm and pecked on my watch befor flying away. I think it was my pal woody letting me know he made it
     
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  18. Inu11

    Inu11 Moving in

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    Hello Everyone,

    First of all, sorry for the late reply! I have been pretty busy.

    I really wish there was a proper animal rehab place here, but since this country is really poor, priorities are elsewhere in low populated areas. All similar places are really far away, and generally hard to get to.

    As for leaving them outside, I have them in a basket, covered up and left just outside my window. Its nice and warm in the shade, and I would not like to keep them inside all the time. My cat is generally uninterested in them, and any small critter except mice. It's common that we have frogs, hedgehogs, and other birds around - but still, I always keep them at arms length. So until they start walking on their own, it should be ok.

    But, the chicks are doing great! They are becoming a bit rowdy, flapping their little wings when I feed them, and audibly chirping now. Makes it a bit harder haha! But overall they are doing great, their feathers have slowly started to grow. Their appetite has increased, and so has the amount of poop!

    I found that its a good idea to take a nice thick winter sock, roll it around in the shape of a nest, and pad it with some toilet paper. That way I can quickly dispose of the messy paper and replace it with clean sheets. Helps with the chunks of food they flick out of their beaks as they flap around.

    Have some images! (one of them always gets messed up with food, its amazing):

    https://i.imgur.com/jWdxAjI.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/ppE7R5C.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/FAeAeVp.jpg
    https://i.imgur.com/RgjCUea.jpg

    The small one is always begging for the most food! His/her crop sack is always the fullest, yet it always wants more. Its super cute, but I dont overfeed them. Crop sacks are super convenient for this, because you can always tell if they are full!
     
    Last edited: 6/2/18
  19. TikiMyn

    TikiMyn Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Great job! At the rescue I volunteered we used plastic tubs to keep the young birds in an incubator. We used tissues as well and when we feed them we clean them out. To my knowledge you can’t Overfeed them:) Not when they take the food themselves. As long as they want it, keep giving it! At least, I would:) Can you get insects for them? That way they can get used to what try Will eat later in life. You can also feed them weakened puppy food(the processed kinds, you could probably use can food if you can’t get the other variety but I would try for the processed kind). Put it in a cup of water so it becomes moist, drain it and then you can shred it into small pieces and feed it to them with a pincet.
     
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  20. Inu11

    Inu11 Moving in

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    Hey,

    They are a bit tricky sometimes, they beg for food, fall asleep, wake up like 30s later, want food - and as soon as i give them they just go back to sleep. So I'm pretty sure they are just trolling at this point haha! I'm sure they are well fed. But I generally give them food as long as they beg.

    On Monday I plan to visit the only pet store in town and see if they have some insects and bird feed. That way I can make their diet a bit more varied. I can catch bugs and worms here, but in small amounts, and I don't really have time to go bug hunting all that much.

    What kind of fruits would you recommend? Ive read that anything is ok except citrus fruits, but an extra opinion wont hurt!
     
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