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Neizvestnaya's avatar

Would you rescue a displaced fledging bird or leave it be?

Asked by Neizvestnaya (22667points) April 16th, 2011

A strong windy day blew down some fronds from our palms and we’ve found a fledgling starling bird in our bushes. He doesn’t seem to have had any parent birds visit with food, he can’t fly but otherwise seems undamaged.

I want to feed him and keep him safe from animal attacks until he can fly by himself and find his own foods but my mother thinks he should be left in the bushes. What say jellies? I found some online advice on what starlings eat in the wild and what household foods we can substitute in the meantime but I welcome your advice and experiences.

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9 Answers

FluffyChicken's avatar

If he’s a fledgeling, then he’s supposed to be learning to fly. Leave him be.

creative1's avatar

In our area we have Tufts Animal Hospital where you can bring animals like this and they will nurse the bird to health take all the information on where the bird was found and set it free there if it survives. I did this with a baby king fisher that the nest blew out of a large pine tree at my mothers and all the other baby birds died except this one. My mother and everyone else told me to just let it die but I couldn’t watch an animal die when I can do something to try to save its life. They set it free when it was big enough to go, I called to make sure the bird survived.

FluffyChicken's avatar

If you live in the United States, starlings are an invasive species that is causing the decline of native birds. even if you died you’d be doing the native birds a favor by not “saving” it.

I did once save a baby vulture that was clearly sick, and only had it’s pin feathers. There’s a raptor hospital near where I live, and we took it there.

KateTheGreat's avatar

I was always taught to keep it where it was. They normally won’t be able to live unless taken care of by professionals. Either call a sanctuary and ask for help with the bird or leave it on it’s own. If it’s a really small bird and you can’t find anyone to take it in, it’d be the best to put it out of it’s misery. The mother most likely won’t come back for it.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Does this bird really need help? Baby birds that have all their feathers are fledglings and are ready to leave the nest. They need to be on the ground a day or two as they learn to fly, their parents are taking care of them. Unfeathered babies can be returned to the nest, for it is not true that if you touch a baby bird the parents will abandon it. If the nest has been destroyed, you can make a new one using something such as a parrot nest box and wire; nail it close to where the original one was. You should put fully feathered babies in a bush or on a tree limb, and they should be just fine. You might want to ask any cat owning neighbors to keep the cats in for a day or two to give the baby birds a chance to learn how to fly. The exception to this would be if there is an injury or the baby has been in a cat’s or dog’s mouth, even if you don’t see any marks on it. Cats and dogs have a bacteria that can be fatal to baby birds if they are not treated with antibiotics. These birds need to be taken to a wildlife rehabber or veterinarian right away.

Now what? You need to learn baby starling care such as how to keep a nestling warm, what type of formula to feed it, how to handfeed it and how often to do so. This page will assist you in helping your baby starling thrive. Baby starlings and House Sparrows require the same care and food.

Source Note: This link has a message board where other people in your situation have posted information.

So, it really depends upon its age. If it is too young to feed itself, it’s a hefty time commitment in feeding it. I would think that if it is kept in a box or a cage, it might be missing out on the opportunity to attempt to fly. If you have a screen or glass porch that your mom allows it to roam in, the two of you are committed to feeding it properly, and it’s just about ready to fly, I say do it. Otherwise, as @creative1 mentions, check into wildlife rescue centers in your area. They have the staff, facilities and experience to save your little birdie.

Cruiser's avatar

Leave it…as hard as it is, it’s Natures Way.

Pandora's avatar

I’ve tried to save them a few times in the past by placing them back in their nest, even using rubber gloves. It never worked out. The parents would abandon the nest all together or the bird keeps jumping out after that. Best thing is let them be. The parents will find a way to protect them the best they can. Some can even carry them back to the nest. Even if they can’t and the one fledgling dies, you risk them abandoning the nest all together, leaving the others to die as well, that are still in the nest.

Neizvestnaya's avatar

Well I got home and my mom had already placed the cardboard box with the bird under the bush and he hopped out. So, I looked for him so he wouldn’t get eaten during the night by neighborhood cats and he’s gone or so completely quiet and hidden that I can’t find him now :( The nest was destroyed during the wind so I assume the parent birds moved on since he was left alone. I’m kinda mad right now because I could have kept him with food and water long enough for him to fly off and start finding his own foods. My bf thinks my mom pretty much killed the bird and everyone is mad at everyone.

ddude1116's avatar

Leave it alone. So long as it is in the vicinity of its nest, its parent bird should find it. However you could try moving it into the open so the parent bird could make it easier to find. Birds don’t have much of a sense of smell, apparently, so as long as you avoid the nest it should be fine.

Over the summer, I found a baby robin in a pile of cut down trees, and took it to the Humane Society. When I got there, it wasn’t at all busy and I ended up getting a crash course in the lives of birds.

Also, moist cat food works well to feed them. They need fed a lot, every half hour or so, with a few drips of water, too. But that should be unnecessary since the mother should find it soon, but as a just-in-case, it’s good to know.

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