What is best for a wild orphan baby bird?

Kitekeeper

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Jun 19, 2021
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Hi,

I would like to hear from your experience regarding what to do with wild orphan baby birds.

It is no uncommon to find myself in this situation. As a bird person I am always alert to baby birds in the ground after a storm in order to help them to return to the nest or to help raise them if their parents are not found.

This is a subject that after many years I still have not an opinion on the best thing to do after the baby is grown up. Most of them I freed when I was convinced that they could find food by themselves. Very few I kept as I was not convinced they were able to survive, most of this cases the bird was a quite social species that needs some time with the parents to learn where to find food and what to eat. One case the baby was born completely blind....so impossible to release.

However, I am still not entirely convinced that even young birds of those species that need the parents to learn, would not eventually happen to learn by themselves where to go for food.

Last week after a rainstorm IĀ“ve found a baby Palm Tanager in the ground, wet to the bones. The parents were close and anxious. I caught the baby, put it close to a heat source and fed it. The next day IĀ“ve put his little "nestbox" in the window for the parents to come and feed it. They came twice and never more. The baby kept calling and kind of get depressed. I chose to no more expose it to this and kept feeding the poor guy.

He is now bigger, smarter and almost learning to eat without my help, but I am not sure it could be freed as it might not have enough energy to fail find food for too long as I donĀ“t expect the parents to re-join it.

Palm Tanager are social fruit/insect eating birds and might need some time to learn how to eat by themselves. The several ruddy ground dove that I helped in the past were a lot easier to learn what to feed as they even tried to eat the printed letters in the newspaper that was put in the bottom of the cage :D . The Rufous-bellied thrush also were quite generalist-eating birds that I felt confident to release....but this tanager....I donĀ“t know...unfortunately we have no trustworthy wildlife government entities to pass on the baby here, as most of this places are receiving way too little resources to work properly...

Below when he just arrived

20211005_164342.jpg


A few minutes latter...dried up!

20211005_172305.jpg


Today

20211012_105559.jpg


 

Scott

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RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Had such experience with mourning dove a month ago. Followed matrix in attachment, initially passively monitored. An hour later parents appeared atop nearby fence, my presence tolerated. A bit later, all three together!
 

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OP
Kitekeeper

Kitekeeper

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Jun 19, 2021
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513
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Parrots
Budgerigar (Bud), Pacific Parrotlet (Sam), Roseicollis lovebird (BJ and Turq), Linneolated parakeet (Charlie and Emma)
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Had such experience with mourning dove a month ago. Followed matrix in attachment, initially passively monitored. An hour later parents appeared atop nearby fence, my presence tolerated. A bit later, all three together!
Excellent! Always the best way to go if you could tell where the nest is or if there is a good place to leave the baby and observe as you did Scott. I was able to do that a couple of times in t he past too.

Unfortunately I could not find the nest and the raining was still heavy. This time of the year here sometimes it might rain for 36 hours or more with no pause.

I was confident that the parents would be able to keep feeding the baby in my window with the baby in a type of nestbox (for safety reasons)....but they didnĀ“t. They came to visit the baby twice and thatĀ“s it.

I wish I could send it to some wildlife rehab, but as I stated these institutions here are barely without resources as the environmental agenda has been quite ill supported. Recently the government withdrew 92% of the already committed financial support for the Scientific community.

So I am in a tough spot. I donĀ“t want to gamble with this young tanager life releasing it to a possible death or keeping it close but with a restricted freedom...
 

Scott

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San Diego, California USA, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy
Parrots
Goffins: Gabby, Abby, Squeaky, Peanut, Popcorn / Citron: Alice / Eclectus: Angel /Timneh Grey: ET / Blue Fronted Amazon: Gonzo /

RIP Gandalf and Big Bird, you are missed.
Excellent! Always the best way to go if you could tell where the nest is or if there is a good place to leave the baby and observe as you did Scott. I was able to do that a couple of times in t he past too.

Unfortunately I could not find the nest and the raining was still heavy. This time of the year here sometimes it might rain for 36 hours or more with no pause.

I was confident that the parents would be able to keep feeding the baby in my window with the baby in a type of nestbox (for safety reasons)....but they didnĀ“t. They came to visit the baby twice and thatĀ“s it.

I wish I could send it to some wildlife rehab, but as I stated these institutions here are barely without resources as the environmental agenda has been quite ill supported. Recently the government withdrew 92% of the already committed financial support for the Scientific community.

So I am in a tough spot. I donĀ“t want to gamble with this young tanager life releasing it to a possible death or keeping it close but with a restricted freedom...
Serious dilemma! You're considering every possible factor, yet most are out of your control. Good luck with decision, it will be informed and respectful!
 
OP
Kitekeeper

Kitekeeper

Well-known member
Jun 19, 2021
249
513
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Parrots
Budgerigar (Bud), Pacific Parrotlet (Sam), Roseicollis lovebird (BJ and Turq), Linneolated parakeet (Charlie and Emma)
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Well,

IĀ“ve just tried to free the palm tanager a couple of days ago....s/he chose to go back to the cage after a while o_O


Then, we are still giving it shelter and .... breakfast :D

 

LaManuka

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Well,

IĀ“ve just tried to free the palm tanager a couple of days ago....s/he chose to go back to the cage after a while o_O


Then, we are still giving it shelter and .... breakfast :D

Aaaawwww, i love those little yawnies in first vid, so adorable! Of couse he wants to stick around at your place, Kitekeeper, the food and accommodation are just too good! :)
 

LaManuka

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You are very kind LaManuka :) :):)
Awwwww, thank you, so are you, my friend!! And you are an awesome birdie daddy too! The love and care that you show these precious, tiny little souls always touches my heart. It is no accident that these little ones find their way to you!
 

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