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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a baby Starling (nasty, ugly little thing) under a tree in my yard. It has a few feathers and fuzz on top of it's head. It cannot stand. Thinking that the parents would take care of it, I put it in a small, round basket with shredded paper towel and wired it onto a branch of the tree. I had to get it off the ground since we have cats. Parents were flying around squacking and dive-bombing me and my dogs. But, they did not feed that baby. I have been watching for 3 days and have been climbing a ladder and feeding it a bit of watered down dog food as per recipe online. After a cool and very windy night, I brought it into my garage this morning. It looks like rain. He has survived for several days now. I am exhausted with worry and stress. From what I have read, it is unlikey to survive. But, he must be tough because he is still eating when I feed him. I am so mad at the parents. I went out after dark last night just to see if perhaps they were with him after dark. Nope.
I know that I am setting myself up for a cry here and suspect the kind thing would be to just have my hubby wring it's neck. It would be quick. I can't believe I am taking care of the most annoying bird in the world. Any advice? I am just getting ready to take some soft dog food mixed with a bit of egg yolk and water and feeding it again.


 

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I hate to bring bad news.... but unfortunately, I doubt the parents will do anything for it.

Most birds will not feed a chick that has been touched by a human. Something about the smell of the human on it. (maybe someone can clarify on why this is). The moment you moved it, it was ostracized from the nest.

If you want to take care of it (and it sounds like you do), you can look here: http://www.starlingtalk.com/ Maybe they can help point you in the right direction.
 

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Also, google wildlife rehabilitators in your area.  

From what I've read, touching by a human is not as much of a problem as was once believed.  However, the baby may have been rejected for other reasons.  Note that the parents may be starlings, but the nestling may not be...cowbirds often lay eggs in other nests. 

Are you even sure that there is a starling nest in the tree?  It may be from another bird's nest entirely and the starling are just harassing it, or the real parents and nest and may have caused it to fall.  In any case, since it is not in the original nest, it's unlikely the parents will spend time on it.

Good luck!

Betsy
 

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Touching by a human is not a problem.

The parents need to be able to stuff food down the bird's throat--this means that a hanging basket may have been the problem.  It was probably not stable enough for them to like it.  The bird has to be where it can call out to parents.  If the parents were dive-bombing they would still have taken care of the bird.  (Most likely).

So--try to get it outside where the cat cannot get to it.  See if the parents come back around.  They may have decided not to feed it anymore because they are confused.  Young starlings will actually climb trees and bushes by a grasp and pull method.  This will not keep it safe from your cats for long, however.

We see birds feel their young in and out of nests ALL the time.  It being in or out of the nest does not matter.  It's a matter of finding a place the parents can safely access the bird and give the bird time to hop around, get strong and learn to fly!
 

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Awww, starlings are cute.  My mom rescued a starling and when he refused to fly off after he got his feathers and such, she kept him and named him Bo.  I'm not sure if she still has him, but last I checked he was still doing great and he also talks.  If I recall correctly, she feeds him canned Science Diet formula.  I'm not too "up" on starlings - my last bird rescue was a mockingbird that one of our cats dragged out of his nest.  She brought him to us and he didn't have a scratch on him.  He went from being sweet and friendly to being TERRIFIED of humans almost overnight, so we released him the following weekend.  He hung out in the yard for the rest of the year, and I could swear I've seen him again in the years following, but of course there's no way to tell.

Anyway - it's not necessarily a given that a baby bird will die, just so you know, though it's certainly possible.  Let me know if you want me to call my mom for more specific advice :)
 

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MariaESchneider said:
We see birds feel their young in and out of nests ALL the time. It being in or out of the nest does not matter. It's a matter of finding a place the parents can safely access the bird and give the bird time to hop around, get strong and learn to fly!
Thanks, Maria--I've seen fledglings fed out of the nest, but not one a young as was described. Good to know.

Betsy
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Actually the basket was very stable.  It was lying on the branch and wired so as not to swing or tip.  The parent could have perched on it just fine.  And yes, we can see the original nest way up in the pine tree and we found 3 dead baby birds on our lawn (same kind).
This guy is gobbling food just fine.  He is hungry and seems to be eating well.  If he makes it, when he is able I will set him out in our green belt.  I will look at the starling site; thanks for that.
 

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prairiesky said:
Actually the basket was very stable. It was lying on the branch and wired so as not to swing or tip. The parent could have perched on it just fine. And yes, we can see the original nest way up in the pine tree and we found 3 dead baby birds on our lawn (same kind).
This guy is gobbling food just fine. He is hungry and seems to be eating well. If he makes it, when he is able I will set him out in our green belt. I will look at the starling site; thanks for that.
Interesting! (Although stable to you and stable and safe to starling may be different terms...)

Also, I believe starlings are one of the birds who will lay their eggs in the nests of other birds -- If I'm correct in that, they may have decided you were the new parent! There are a few types of birds who lay eggs elsewhere and then expect the songbirds to take care of the young--I think starlings are one of them.

If you are finding dead birds, it could be due to a variety of factors. Baby birds do feed on the ground--they start there when they are barely able to fly or not really able to fly (just ask my cats!). Ant bait, which is disguised as a grain and Slug bait--are highly attractive to baby birds. They will see and eat these fine grains and it does kill them. Slug bait is particularly lethal to birds.

Grackles and blue jays feed their young long after they have left the nest (in trees and on the ground.) Mockingbirds too...

Doves have some of the sorriest looking nests you'll ever see--their young are on the ground very early. They sit very, very quietly before they can fly (in the shade, under bushes and protective covering) and the parents bring them food.
 

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We saw a baby Robin last night in our back yard. The Mom and Dad Robins were feeding it, but it looked too small to be out of the nest. I hope it's okay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update...I found that we have a bird rescue sanctuary.  I took the baby bird to her.  She said that it is against the law to raise a bird without a license.  I explained that I DID NOT want to raise this baby.  I was simply trying to save it.  Anyway, she took it along with some babyfood that I had just purchased.  At the online site it said to feed it babyfood strained chicken mixed with applesauce.  Also, could mix in hardboiled egg yolk mixed with a bit of water.  This little guy gobbled up anything I fed it.  It was also pretty vocal when I fed or talked to it.  So, I hope that he will survive and am so happy someone who knows what they are doing is caring for him.  I was pretty stressed.  Thanks to all of you for your words of wisdom and support.  Except for the guy who said I had messed things up by touching it.  From everything that I can find, it is fine to pick up a bird and try to reunite with it's parents.  It will not reject it because you touch it! :)
 

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That is good news!!! Hope they can successfully raise it until it can operate on its own.  Not that I like starlings...  but, you did a good thing.
 

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prairiesky said:
... Except for the guy who said I had messed things up by touching it. From everything that I can find, it is fine to pick up a bird and try to reunite with it's parents. It will not reject it because you touch it! :)
That would be me... And I have been sufficiently chastised. :) I apologize for giving you heart failure, but (until today) that was what I'd always known. Obviously, I was wrong, and I humbly beg forgiveness. :D

I am VERY happy that you find a bird rescue, and that the baby is doing well.
 

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jhanel said:
That would be me... And I have been sufficiently chastised. :) I apologize for giving you heart failure, but (until today) that was what I'd always known. Obviously, I was wrong, and I humbly beg forgiveness. :D

I am VERY happy that you find a bird rescue, and that the baby is doing well.
It's okay, Jerry--it was the convention wisdom for years. I am constantly amazed by the things I learn here on KindleBoards!

Betsy
 
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Betsy the Quilter said:
Also, google wildlife rehabilitators in your area.
I read this and at first didn't realize google was a verb. I was like, wow, there are google wildlife rehabilitators now? They do everything!
 
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Betsy the Quilter said:
The Google Wildlife Rehabilitators are responsible for rehabilitating the wild life in the Google images. ;)

Betsy
Got their work cut out for them, I'd say. Makes the nature channel look tame!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
jhanel...that's OK.  I have a feeling this tough little guy is a survivor.  So glad that you learned something.  I also learned a whole bunch; mainly that it is very difficult to help a very young bird to survive.  Also, you must be a licensed wildlife rehabilitator to do this.
 
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