Blog Archives

Baby Birds 101 – To Rescue or Not to Rescue?

Working as a naturalist, I’ve received tons of calls about injured animals and thought I’d share some of my knowledge with you about handling situations with baby birds, since it’s the most common one.

Baby finch. Author photo.

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You Can Help Rescued Hummingbird Chicks!

Last week I posted a link to a live camera that has been filming the same hummingbird nest for several years. Two chicks were hatched in December, but just a couple days ago, something heartbreaking happened: mom didn’t return to the nest. After 20 hours of not seeing Phoebe, the mother hummingbird, a wildlife rehabilitator was called in to rescue the chicks.

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Monique, the rehabber, delicately removed the entire nest and took it back to her home, where she’s raised orphaned hummie chicks in the past. Like most rehabbers, Monique doesn’t get paid to do this and according to the admins of the live cam page, the complex mix used to feed baby hummingbirds isn’t cheap. It’s not sugar water; it’s a mix of proteins and nutrients closer to what momma bird would regurgitate for babies. If you’re compelled to help Monique, you can donate to her through her website at http://mfrartwork.com/donate/ and browse her lovely artwork.

You can watch Monique trying to give the chicks a meal in the video below. It’s rather magical. Thanks for reading!

Day 8.

I don’t know how people handle being parents of tiny, helpless humans. I officially applaud you.

I’m sick, have done 10 hours of overtime this week (with another several hours coming), and am insanely fatigued, but the little blue babies still come first. I’m proud of myself, quite frankly. Through the sniffling, sneezing, naps, and long days at work, I’ve still managed to keep them alive. (I’d like a parade now. With some chicken soup.)

I apologize for having the audacity to post about them without accompanying photos but I just didn’t have the energy. They’re amazingly larger than just a couple of days ago. Their bodies are really filling out and expanding to catch up to the size of their feet and they’re generally becoming much more independent. They’re taking far less food from me – it helps that they’re fat, according to how thin the keel is beneath the breast tissue – and instead of begging for it open-mouthed, they’re starting to prefer picking it off the forceps.

Bubba is still not really good at determining food from poop. He carried poop around in his mouth for a couple of minutes this morning, evidently convinced that it would become palatable with time, but eventually spit it out when I put some food on the ground in front of him. I was really hoping he’d learn the whole poop lesson a little quicker, but he’s at least turning into an agile flier. Gump is making up for all the times Bubba stood bullying upon his back by chasing him around and pulling at his feathers. They are tolerating me less and less and do not want to be handled, which is a fantastic sign for their future release. They squawk, they explore, they shit, they eat things they shouldn’t eat, and at the end of it all, they hunker down next to one another and tuck their beaks beneath their wings for a nap.

Learning to be a bird is exhausting work.

Baby Birds 201 – Bluejays Steal My Heart

So a small clutch of baby Scrub Jays came into the nature center several days ago. The deliverer had found momma bird deceased and was clearly distressed to have discovered her babies orphaned. There were three. They were lethargic, quiet, cold, and in shock.

I called my rehabber and explained the situation. Instead of her usual response, “Okay, when can we meet up?” she said, “Okay, here’s what you do.” Rehabbers are typically overwhelmed in the springtime and apparently she thought I could handle baby birds solo.

I was up for the challenge.

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[Video] Suzie Gilbert on Raptors

At the Nature Center we do a limited amount of raptor rehab. Last year we were able to successfully release three beautiful raptors after they healed from injuries. Suzie Gilbert is a passionate rehabber and this beautiful video tells a piece of her story. Enjoy!

If you’re interested in learning more about Suzie or raptor rehab, check out these two books, written by her:

“Flyaway,” by Suzie Gilbert.

“Hawk Hill” is out of print but clicking on the link will take you to its Amazon page, where you can purchase it used.

Do you have a local raptor rehab center? Post a link to them in the comments section so others can visit! Thanks for reading. :) GO RAPTORS!

Baby Birds 101 – To Rescue or Not to Rescue?

Working as a naturalist, I’ve received tons of calls about injured animals and thought I’d share some of my knowledge with you about handling situations with baby birds, since it’s the most common one.

Baby finch. Author photo.

Read the rest of this entry

American Kestrel takes a bath.

Have you ever seen an American Kestrel in rehab take a bath in a plastic tub? Now you can say you have. :) Enjoy.

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