A baby bird!

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by ThomasC, May 16, 2003.

  1. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    I got home from the library about 30 minutes ago, and just as I was about to walk onto the walkway to my house, I looked down and saw something that looked like life. I thought it was a huge snail at first, but there aren't any snails around here as far as I know, so I took a closer look. As the subject title suggests, I saw a baby bird, and it looked like it had been born in the past few hours, the way it struggled to move and all. Has anyone else seen a bird at this time in its life? For those of you who haven't, I took some pictures with the family camcorder. Camcorder don't take great pictures, but nonetheless, these pictures get the point across. WARNING: these pictures may be considered graphic.

    http://www.users.muohio.edu/choongty/bird/
     
  2. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Thomas C. Go back outside and get it. Before the ants/cats/stress do.

    Pick up the phone and call your vet (if you have one). Or better yet ck the yellowpages for a local Vet who specializes in Raptors or Birds.

    These Vets usually have a arangment with the local wildlife rehab center. You drop it off at the vet, the rehab center picks it up there.

    The Chick is a Bluejay, and is not just out of its shell. They are bald when so. Growing up and being the animal nut I am I raised several baby birds (to release) before I grew up and became aware most states have laws making it a misd. to attempt to raise songbirds.

    If you find it before too stressed/dehydrated etc. Once the pin feathers are coming in (as yours pictured) they are much easier to save than the 'bald ones' who take a lot more finess.

    I could tell you how to care for it, but its a very fine line between saving it and accidently killing it.

    The Vet phonecall is your best (and legal) option. But be very quick!
     
  3. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    Thanks for the advice, Mary. I put it in a recycling bin in the garage and kept the lights on. I don't want to bring it in the house, because you never said how long it takes for them to learn how to fly. [​IMG] But guessing as it's just born, I'm guessing it won't be able to for at least a day, a week, I don't know. Should I bring it into the house, or is it fine in the garage?

    I called a vet, no one was there, called another one, referred me to the Ohio Wildlife Center "24-hour" hotline, and I got an answering machine. I left a message, and I sure hope she calls back soon.
     
  4. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Cardboard box with torn up paper towels is good with lid on (and air holes). (Kept warm just like human infants but not too hot).
    Dark and very VERY quite at this point is best. When shocked like this, stress can take them over the edge into flatline. These frequently die (but as frequently can be saved with quick knowledgeable care). The ‘fall’ can do internal damage although its amazing how many survive that ride, - only to be picked off by a local cat (or slower and more miserable, the ants) etc.

    In DFW area there are a couple of local smaller rehab centers that specialize in the smaller birds/squirrels/ the more ‘mundane’ wildlife. With the large state sponsored center looking after raptors/deer/etc.

    If you can keep calling local vets who list (treating pet birds- macaw’s etc). They often will know the smaller groups who will get to it much quicker. Many of these are licensed volunteers who pick up and care/for, in their own homes.

    Unfortunately if you can’t feed it/hydrate it within hours and if help is not available (today) it will likely die within a few hours.
    If your up for this (?!) [​IMG] Most are not. If you receive no info (today) the odds of its survival are so slim as to be nil. You can try on your own tonight to get it through till the proper rehab center can get to it.

    Its SO SO tricky though. Baby birds Clamp up and freeze up when approached by humans and strong ones panic and flap. To start a baby bird takes literally (OH SO GENTLY) prying its beak open to feed (with water in the food) the first 24 hours. As you can imagine this is a dicey business. You can choke it with too much liquid till it drowns/or gets clogged by the food/water which is too thick pasty and clogs the throat.
    Depending upon the chick’s resilience and strength within 24 to 36 hours they ‘relearn’ and will beg with open beaks whenever a human hand approaches. (It’s much smoother sailing past the first critical couple hours/days,depending on the chicks strenght. -other than the sheer hours it takes to raise them this way (all day feeding) for weeks.

    In Texas BJ’s are protected, you should only attempt to keep it alive long enough to pass it on to rehab.

    The easiest way (if help is not available) and you have the time (and will) to try to keep it alive. There are basic things around a house you can use.

    You need something thin and tiny. (old cotton handkerchief). Take a toothpick (your pry bar) and blunt the end of it.
    Find something you can use to hold a tiny amount of water/watery food. A small diameter syringe without the needle or small eyedropper is perfect. Baring one handy, a straw can be used to suck up the item into its end, then use it like dropper to ‘drop’ what you are doing into the beak. Or if you make very watery mushy cat chow etc. Pick up a tiny amount of it on the end of 2nd blunted toothpick for dropping in.

    The first 24 hours take the hand of brain surgeon (not to damage) and very good eye hand coordination. All birds (chicks or adults) need to picked up with wings held FLAT against their sides and controlled that way so they will not thrash and damage themselves. Pick it up carefully like a swaddeled bundle with wings againsit body, keeping it from panicking and flapping (if it is still that strong…. many are too weak at the point they are found). Your whole hand is wrapped around its body with head sticking out (a very weak one will loll around in your hand) use just enough pressure holding it to keep the wings folded flat. If its strong and thrashes its head away from you swiveling it around stick your index finger up the side of its face to keep it from turning away so desperatly. (don't poke its eye out with the toothpick!) [​IMG] You use the blunted toothpick to VERY carefully pry the beak open. (Really two people at first are needed here for a novice). If you’re lucky you’ll get it open for a second. You instantly have your partner at the ready drop a few ‘drops’ of water/food into the beak and wait. Some will fling out/some will go down if the chicks strong. If it’s terribly weak already it will almost choke trying to swallow. So just tiny drops are best. Repeat ….

    A strong baby bird once past the first critical couple hours/days once put on a ‘normal’ schedule has to be fed every 30 min during daylight hours, (left alone at night).

    The food that can be used in a pinch for a couple days, can be mashed cat food/dog food dry or wet, add water to a VERY watery mush consistency. Baring pet food or similar something like rice mashed up and watered, tiny bits of a slice of bread at watery purred consistency etc.

    They just need a ‘kick start’ these first hours to survive and proper diet can be worried about later by the professionals. You know you’ve ‘done it’ when the baby sees the toothpick/syringe coming and stands up and flaps it wings begging for it. At this point you don’t even have to pick them up…just insert!.
    With chicks with the feathers starting (as yours). A very strong chcik can literally start begging (as if you are mom) with beak open when you hold out the 'feeder' within hours to 2 days. Making the process livable.

    If you try all this:
    Key: Consistency of water/food mix like VERY watery oatmeal. In tiny drops.
    Don’t pry the beak with too much force or too wide, you will snap /crack it.
    Keep it quiet, and warm.
    Try to get a little TINY bit down it every 30 min’s (if this all works) till you go to bed.
    It cannot fly for weeks and if strong is only capable of running around like a little bumper car. (protect it from this fright which you will scare it into if its strong).
    If its ‘beak’ clamps down on you, pecking. (don’t worry at this age it will not hurt.

    I will try to watch this thread tonight, if you end up on your own trying to save it , - it still survives and you are willing to try, - for questions. (I've got a big work load).

    Best of luck, when you see one of these turn into a demanding baby(from what yours is now) sitting up and begging you for dinner...its all worth it!
     
  5. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    The Wildlife Center rep called me back 30 minutes ago and told me to make a makeshift nest for it and hang it on a tree close to where I found him. She told me to use an old piece of Tupperware and poke holes in the bottom of it, put a good amount of toilet paper in, add some grass clippings, and hang it on the tree. My mom's out of town for a few days, so I didn't want to use any Tupperware. I took a plastic flower pot which already had holes at the bottom, so I put toilet paper in the bottom, poked holes on the side, stringed it up, hung it on a tree, then put the bird in. She said that if I don't see any progress by tomorrow (i.e., mother coming to take care of it), I should bring it in to the center and they'll take care of it from there.

    Mary, I just read your post, and I'm afraid that I just haven't got that much will to help the baby. Knowing me, I wouldn't be able to get anything else done, and seeing as I'm going back to college on Sunday, I really want to spend my last hours of vacation doing things people do while they're on vacation.
     
  6. Mary M S

    Mary M S Screenwriter

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    Excelent advice, And that will sometimes do it if they have not been on the ground too long!. a flowerpot is perfect.(good choice) Higher you can hang it (ladder) the better. and in amoungst perching branches. The mother will not find it till it starts 'chirping' again. So if you just put it up it will prob be silent (from exhaution) for awhile (hr or two). As soon as parents 'hear' it they will come investgate. (but they will not fly after dark).

    If you have not hung it up yet. Wear a ball cap. Bluejays will pack up by the twenty's and divebomb something they spot with a baby!. Wear the cap and ignore them you'll be fine.
    Best of luck. And nice of you to go to all the bother!!.


    PS: we keep same time posting! nice of you to bother at all! (far most than most do) You just gave it one shot it did not have (at the development stage your pic showed, on the ground ..definite gonner!). Don't worry about the college and time...you did more than are able or willing to try. Nature is cruel and unrelenting, happens every year. I alway enjoy knowing I have saved a few when possible!
     
  7. Michael Warner

    Michael Warner Supporting Actor

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    We had a similar incident a few weeks ago in which a baby mourning dove fell out of its nest (which I never could find). I kept an eye on it throughout the day and that evening the parents came back to feed and care for it on the ground. Over the next few weeks the parents continued to care for it at night while I was the defacto day care for said bird and had to keep the dog from munching on it. Finally, last week it started to fly a bit so it can protect itself by getting into a tree. Now I have a deck full of bird poop but at least that bugger made it through its ordeal. Good luck with yours.
     
  8. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    It was just given a burial. [​IMG] Rest in peace.
     

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