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.
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.
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!
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.
A pair of rescued baby Gray Squirrels were recently brought into the nature center after the tree holding their nest was felled. These two were the only survivors and made it up to our local rehabber, who has an outdoor squirrel learning cage for just such critters.
It’s really a good thing that rodents tend to be bitey and spicey-tempered, and that they poop everywhere, because otherwise these two would have come home with me in an instant.