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Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
06-20-2012, 03:26 PM,
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Thor Online
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Exclamation  Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
I just found a baby bird on the sidewalk with no parents nor nest nearby. There wasn't even any trees nearby. Any passing dog or cat can easily kill it. So I picked it up and brought it home.


Here is a picture.
[Image: babybird.jpg]

Now I have no idea what to do. How do I take care of this baby bird? It is quite urgent!
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06-21-2012, 11:00 AM,
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Black Mamba Offline
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
Hmmm, this is tricky. Try getting some worms and slightly crushed insects at first, and attempt to feed it that way. Just hold them out or set them in front of the bird and hope that it eats. If it doesn't go for bugs, try some seeds and fruit. Also, give it a dish of water.

Unfortunately, the bird's chances of survival are low without knowing the species and why it was found on the ground in the first place. It could have a broken wing or been kicked from the nest by its parents.

So definitely give it water, and then try feeding it some easy foods like I mentioned. Keep us informed.
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06-21-2012, 11:04 AM,
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Fishbone Offline
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
I don't have a whole lot of experience with birds. I know you want to keep it warm, however you can. I've seen people use heating pads and blankets, under part of a small aquarium or tub. I've seen people use heat lamps as well. That would also depends on how warm/cool your house is as well. I know here in the states they sell a variety of "baby butted formulas/foods". And if you look online there are a fair number of recipes to make them too, but I would suspect that to be dependent on the actual species of bird is as well. Do you know what kind of bird it is?
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06-21-2012, 12:13 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
I can't be sure, but the most common birds around here are Eurasian Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus). They are everywhere here, on the sidewalks, in the trees, on the buildings.

The bird does not seem to be injured. It can jump fine, and always extend its wings once in a while but can't really fly. It's not yet fully covered by feather. When it turns around the head to clean its own feather I can see its skin around the neck.

It is quite warm here. My room temperature right now is about 79F or 26C. Is it warm enough? I turned off the air conditioning just for the bird.

As for feeding, I tried a little egg yolk with no luck, although the bird was taking the drop of water from my finger.

So I had already rushed to a pet market and brought back some live worms. I forgot to ask what worms they are, but these worms seem to be quite tough skinned.
Here is a picture I took. Do you know what worms these are?
[Image: scaled.php?server=269&filename=wormsrd.jpg&res=landing]


At first I had no luck feeding the bird with the worm whole, I cut off the worm's head and squeeze some stuff out and the bird ate a little. I tried again just a few hours ago, the bird actually swallowed 2 worms whole! Then an hour later, it swallowed another headless worm. The bird had pooped twice in my hand, so I guess its fine for now.
[Image: baby-bird-2.jpg]
I am not certain if feeding a single type of worm is good enough nutritious for it.

What else can I feed? It's really hard to get the bird just to swallow 3 worms.
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06-21-2012, 01:01 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
Update, I just fed it 3 more worms. The little birdie pooped 2 more times in my hand.
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06-21-2012, 02:12 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
Those look like mealworms, Tenebrio molitor. Or something similar, I don't know what they breed for feeders over there. I would think that could work as a food source. But, I would look up the nutritional needs of sparrows, or similar species, to see if it would be helpful to give it any vitamin supplements.
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06-21-2012, 06:00 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
Do you have an animal rescue group nearby? I would call them to see what the proper way of feeding this bird is. They should be able to give you detailed instructions on what to do.

In case you don't have access to a helpful group, I did a bit of searching on the web. I came up with an excellent article on dealing with orphan baby birds. You have to scroll down about half way to find feeding instructions. It explains what baby birds need in their diet.

http://www.2ndchance.info/insecteater.htm

Good luck with your little baby bird! Please keep us informed on how it is doing.
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06-21-2012, 06:47 PM,
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Victor Leigh Offline
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
Those worms look exactly like the ones that I used to feed my Arowanas.

I think you can try feeding your baby bird some banana. Buy a ripe banana. Unpeel it a bit. Use a small spoon to scoop out a bit of the flesh. Put it on the end of a toothpick. Your baby bird should open its beak when it's hungry and see you with the bit of banana dangling from the toothpick. Pop the banana into its mouth and you are done. If it's still hungry, just repeat the process.

That's how I see my friends feed their baby birds.
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06-21-2012, 10:33 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
When I was younger I nursed a bird back to health. It had injured it's wing and as a result could no longer fly. The first thing we did was to create an area that it would be safe in. I think we used an old baby bath and lined it with a towel and some warm, nest like bedding. It was important that the bird wasn't able to move around too much and further injure itself.

Then we rung the local SPCA for advice. I'd highly reccomend ringing a vet or RSPCA for advice. As for the food problem I believe my mother mashed up fruit e.g banana like Victor Leigh mentioned. I also think she mashed tiny bits of bread with water as it was easy for the bird to eat.

We kept the bird long enough for it's wing to heal and then released it in the garden. :-) Best of luck with your little bird.
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06-22-2012, 12:32 AM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
(06-21-2012, 10:33 PM)tajnz Wrote: As for the food problem I believe my mother mashed up fruit e.g banana like Victor Leigh mentioned. I also think she mashed tiny bits of bread with water as it was easy for the bird to eat.

Are you sure? While bread might sustain some adult birds, small birds need protein and calcium in order to grow. It is hard to imagine that banana and bread can provide the necessary nutrients for a bird that is still growing. This bird is almost covered by feather, but it can't fly. It is still a fledgling.
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06-22-2012, 02:52 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
(06-21-2012, 02:12 PM)Fishbone Wrote: Those look like mealworms, Tenebrio molitor. Or something similar, I don't know what they breed for feeders over there. I would think that could work as a food source. But, I would look up the nutritional needs of sparrows, or similar species, to see if it would be helpful to give it any vitamin supplements.

Earlier I found a weird looking beetle in the box where I settled the worms. At first I thought it was a small cockroach. It was eating a worm.

After I searched for "mealworm" online, it just looks like the mealworm beetle photos I found.

It says mealworms have 50% protein. I guess it make great food for birds. The worms have very tough skin. Not sure if it will give any digestion problem. The recently molten worms are white and softer.

I couldn't find any silkworm this time, they seem like better feeders from what you have said in other threads.
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06-22-2012, 04:13 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
The actual species, Tenebrio molitor, the larvae are what are called mealworms in the U.S., and they do have a high amount of chitin in the shells. It can pose a problem to some species of reptiles, like bearded dragons, buy they are easily digested by other baby reptiles like leopard geckos. I don't know much about the digestive systems of birds, so I'm not sure what to tell you. I would think dusting a few with a little calcium powder would be a good idea, and watch to make sure he's still pooping. As long as that continues, he's obviously able to digest the shell of the worm.

I would think silkworms would make a better feeders too. But that is based on the nutritional requirements of specific reptile species. The thing that makes me think that is that most birds regurgitate food for their babies so it is partially digested. Of course,, that baby looks like it is close to fledging, and I'm not sure where they can digest what...

Sorry I'm not of much help. Do you have access to any soft bodied feeder bugs? Waxworms, hornworms, any soft bodied caterpillars?
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06-22-2012, 05:34 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
Those mealworms were the only worms I saw during my last visit to a pet market.
I will try to find something else, hopefully the soft silkworms.

The bird is still pooping every time I took it out for a ride. Right in my hand too. The color of the poop changes. It used to be greyish with some black in it, later it changed to yellow. It is now back to greyish.
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06-22-2012, 06:01 PM,
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Victor Leigh Offline
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
(06-22-2012, 12:32 AM)Ram Wrote:
(06-21-2012, 10:33 PM)tajnz Wrote: As for the food problem I believe my mother mashed up fruit e.g banana like Victor Leigh mentioned. I also think she mashed tiny bits of bread with water as it was easy for the bird to eat.

Are you sure? While bread might sustain some adult birds, small birds need protein and calcium in order to grow. It is hard to imagine that banana and bread can provide the necessary nutrients for a bird that is still growing. This bird is almost covered by feather, but it can't fly. It is still a fledgling.

I am not really sure what are the nutritional requirements of baby birds. What I posted was just from my observation.

Where I used to live before, the villagers are in the habit of getting baby birds from the forest to rear at home. The banana was what I saw them feeding the baby birds. When I asked them about it, they told me that they had observed mother birds doing the same thing in the forest. The mother birds eat the banana then re-gurgitate it for the baby birds to eat.

Maybe they are doing it right because I have seen many hand-reared birds that grew up strong and healthy on banana. Perhaps birds in that area lived mainly on bananas, too.

Have you observed the eating habits of any of the adult birds in your area? That might give you a clue as to what they eat.
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06-22-2012, 06:07 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-22-2012, 06:10 PM by Ram.)
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
I Googled for Passer montanus. These birds feed on insects when they are young. Their diet changes to mainly grains when they are mature.

Different birds obviously have different diet. Some birds can live on fruit such as banana while others can't.

Some sources also mentioned it is wrong to feed bread to nestling and fledgling. Some people would soak bread in milk before feeding to them. Milk can be a poison to them.
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06-27-2012, 03:28 AM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
What an interesting post this has all been! I've had pet birds for the past twenty-some years, but I wouldn't know what to tell you to feed a baby wild bird. I would think those worms you've been giving it are a good food source. You could call the place I get all my parrot food from. They might be able to help you with a meal type food to feed this wild bird. They always have various baby birds at the store, feeding them and caring for them. http://highlandtropicalfishandbird.com/
I hope your little bird grows strong and healthy! I remember working at a store right in the downtown area on main street when a baby bird hopped inside the open door. I put it back outside, hoping it would go back "home," but it hopped back inside the store. I looked all around, but didn't see where it could have come from. I started worrying someone might step on it or it would go out in the street and get run over. The lady who owned the store next door, took the bird home with her. It looked much the same as yours. I don't know what ever happened to that little bird, what she fed it, if it survived...
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06-30-2012, 03:30 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-30-2012, 03:35 AM by jenb128.)
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
Ack... sorry I haven't been on lately (new job), because I have quite a bit of experience with baby birds (I'm a volunteer at a wildlife rehab).

That bird looks to be a fledgling. It's very common for birds that age to be on the ground, as they're trying to learn to fly but don't quite have the hang of it yet. The parents will care for them from the ground (they usually keep on eye on the babies from a distance). However, if you still have the bird at this point, the absolute best thing to do would be to get him to a wildlife rehabber or nature center as soon as possible. They have the proper diets and know the right feeding schedule for different types of birds at different ages. I also don't like the way that bird's eyes are drooping in those pictures.

I actually wrote an article on this topic a month or so ago. I hope it's okay if I share it:
http://www.zujava.com/you-found-a-baby-b...-do-you-do
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06-30-2012, 04:42 AM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
jenb, what a bummer you weren't here when the Admin posted this thread! Yours is the best advice of all. I read your article and I do hope everyone here will read it also. I posted it to my FB page so all my friends could read it too. This is good and important info to pass along. We always have parents that make their nests in the rafters of our 2-tier deck. One year, there was a baby bird (fledling) that kept jumping out to the ground. My hubby kept putting him back by its nest, but it kept jumping right back down to the ground. We finally just left it alone. We did see its parents check on it, but it ended up going over to the neighbor's bushes. Hopefully it survived the raccoons that always come here nightly!

Admin, did this bird survive the past 1 1/2 weeks? Just wondering how it's doing...
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06-30-2012, 11:58 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-30-2012, 12:00 PM by jenb128.)
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
I feel bad that I wasn't online for this! I hope the little bird is okay.

Thanks for reading and sharing my article, laurasav! I'm glad you thought it was informative. Smile It sounds like you and your hubby did the right thing with the fledgling. They often run off to the bushes to hide at night, which is the safest place for them. I have a family of robins in my backyard, and when the fledglings were still learning to fly, they'd spend the nights under a tree with branches that hang all the way to the ground. We have raccoons around here as well, and the baby birds are still around (and flying well).
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06-30-2012, 12:11 PM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
I actually gave the bird away to someone who is more capable than me on taking care of birds. I haven't checked on it for the last two days. Update will be posted as soon as I get a chance to check on the little bird. Smile
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07-02-2012, 05:09 AM,
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RE: Found a baby bird, what to feed it? Urgent help needed!
What type of bird is that? I like it. Good for you to take care of the bird. Good luck!
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