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My Experience With Raising a Baby Sparrow

Updated on July 17, 2017
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Disclaimer

To begin, I should mention that it is illegal to keep a wild bird in captivity. Given that and the enormity of the challenge, it is always best to seek out an animal shelter or rehabilitator, and surrender the bird for proper care.

With the disclaimer out of the way, I will also say that your success in finding such a place may depend upon the type of bird you have found. Being as ours was a common house sparrow, considered a nuisance bird by most communities, I was not able to find anyone willing to take the little guy in.

Nuisance or not, he was still one of God's creatures, and we could not leave him to die. The following is our experience in raising the featherless little nestling. Hopefully, it will inform, entertain, or otherwise amuse you.

The rescue

My wife actually found the sparrow on the playground of the daycare, at which she teaches. The nest had been overturned, and he was the only survivor. He was in danger of being trampled by the excited toddlers, just as his nestmates had been.She quickly scooped him into a shoebox, with a towel to keep him warm, and took him inside.

With the entire nest being destroyed, we were convinced that the mother would not have returned. We have since learned differently. Upon speaking with experts, we learned the correct way to approach the situation, if we were to encounter it again.

If you find a baby bird on the ground that has feathers, do not touch it unless it is in immediate danger. This is a fledgeling, and has likely left the nest in its first attempt at flight. If it is in danger, you should put it on a branch, or under a bush, away from danger, and clear the area. If you have a cat, it would be wise to keep it inside for a day or two, until the bird is strong enough to fly to safety on its own.

If you find a bird that has no feathers, this is a nestling, and has probably fallen or been knocked from the nest. Barring any immediate danger, you should leave it alone, and clear the area. If the mother is going to return for her baby, she will do so within 20-30 minutes. She will not return, however, as long as there are people or animals in the area. If the baby appears to be in danger, you can return it to the nest. It is a fallacy that a mother bird will reject a baby that has been handled by humans. If you cannot find, or reach the nest, you can simply place the bird away from danger, on a branch near the spot where you found it.

Once you have removed the baby from peril, watch it for about 30 minutes. If after that time the mother has not claimed her nestling, you may begin the rescue process.

Imprinting

We did eventually find a shelter, but they told us it was too late. It seems that imprinting occurs within the first week of life, and if released, our bird would not be likely to thrive. As I understand it, this basically means the bird has accepted us as its family, and has become dependant upon us. It is possible to raise more than one bird for release, without fear of imprinting, but a single bird will always imprint upon you.

Bringing home baby

Now is the time to start trying to locate a shelter. There are dozens of raptor rescue agencies in my area, but the sparrow doesn't seem to get much love. In either case, the baby is going to need shelter and food.

For shelter, we used a cardboard box. In the bottom of the box, we placed an electric heating pad, set on low. The preferred temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, but the heating pad worked fine. On top of the heating pad we placed a hand towel, to temper the heat. On top of that, was another towel, formed into the shape of a nest. The box should be large enough to allow some space around the nest. This is because the bird will not eliminate waste inside the nest. It will instinctively back up to the edge of the nest, and drop it outside. The heating pad is only required until the bird has grown all of its feathers. The first sign that we noticed was that he seemed to be panting like a dog on a hot day. After removing the heating pad, we kept an eye on things for signs of distress.

As for feeding, the bird will need an hour or so to get used to its new surroundings. After that, it will need to be hand fed every 20 minutes, for about 12 hours out of the day. If he is reluctant to accept food from you, try gently tapping on the top of his beak as a sign to open up. He should recognize you as a source of food within a few feedings. It may be difficult to find baby bird food specifically for wild birds, but the commercially available hand feeding formulas for domesticated birds worked fine for us. There are clear and easy to follow instructions for mixing and feeding right on the label. Give him all he wants. You cannot overfeed him. He will simply stop taking food when he has had enough. Do not be alarmed if, while feeding, you notice a lump forming on his throat. This is called a crop. It is where he stores the food before it is digested. It should be noted that you must NEVER give water to your baby bird. It will get all the water it needs from the formula. If you try to get it to drink, there is a very good chance it will drown, or get pneumonia.

The photo at the top of this hub, is of our bird telling us that he is hungry. Basically, this involves a shrill chirping, while "gaping". Get used to this, as it happens several times every hour. Continue to follow the feeding instructions on the formula, until he is ready to wean. As his feathers begin to grow, he will require fewer feedings. Every 45 minutes for partially feathered birds, and about every hour for fledgelings with all of their feathers.

Weaning

At around 4 weeks of age it is safe to start leaving small bits of food around the nest. The bird should start to eat these on its own. As it gets used to feeding itself, it will take less food from you. He should be completely weaned by 6-8 weeks of age, and will not take much food by hand at this point. Once it has been self-feeding for three or four weeks, it may be transitioned to an adult diet, which consists mainly of insects, and seeds. We started with bloodworms, which we chopped into small pieces, and he loved them. Avoid mealworms, as they have a shell that is difficult to digest.

A word on cages

When you notice that your bird is hopping up onto the edge of his box to be fed, it is time to consider a more permanent shelter. In general, the larger the cage, the better. He will be wanting plenty of room to develop his flying skills. Bar spacing is of utmost importance. The space between the bars should be less than a half inch. This will minimize the chance of his head becoming stuck between the bars, which could result in strangulation.

Our sparrow at 7 days
Our sparrow at 7 days

Handling your bird

If you have more than one nestling, you should not handle them unless it is absolutely necessary. This will allow them to imprint upon each other, and it is more likely that they will be able to be safely released.

We, however, had just one. Since he could never be released, he easily became a happy member of our family. We handle him regularly, and he enjoys playing with us. We do try to maintain a healthy diet, but he will simply not allow me to open a bag of cheese curls without giving him the first one. He also occasionally enjoys a few rice crispies.

Below are a few photos of our sparrow ( his name is Drumstick) at various stages of his early life with us. In the first one, I have put a quarter in the picture for perspective.

Today, Drumstick is about 5 years old, and is happy and healthy. As I understand it, he may live to be 15 or 20 years of age.

As I have already said, this is an enormous undertaking, and should only be attempted if you have no other choice. I have also been told by some experts that it is rare for a featherless nestling to survive such a rescue. They generally die in transit, or fail to thrive in a new home. With that in mind, while praying for the best outcome, you should be prepared to accept a less than happy ending.

4 day old sparrow
4 day old sparrow
Our baby at 3 weeks
Our baby at 3 weeks

The year of the bird

That time in our lives has come to be known, by us, as the year of the bird. We encountered about half a dozen baby birds throughout that spring. Armed with our new knowledge, we were able to reunite most of them with their mothers. One, however, was never reclaimed. It was a baby crow. That one required a feeding, and a 60 minute drive to an area shelter. Following up a couple weeks later, we were told he was fine, but he would never be released. He was a single bird who had no choice, but to imprint upon the rehabilitator. If you have ever heard the boistrous caw of a crow, you will understand when I say better her, than us!

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      michaela 7 years ago

      today we found a baby sparrow and the others got beheaded by a skunk and we rescued this one. We are far far away from any store that has bird food and I need something to feed it until we go to town again do you have a recipe for a formula till then? I have gave it a small part of a strawberry and a tinny piece of bread with sugar water on it to where it not dripping... PLEASE HELP!!!

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      Mindy 7 years ago

      i like it and all that iformation i like it and also im getting a wild baby sparrow 2 days from now so i need all the iformation i can get and also my friend Molly told me to keep it out of the water but if she drops the bird im going to have to jump into the pond and somehow ceach the bird but it will hurt alot to land in those rocks and stuff and also today we fed it bird food im not sure if thats what your soposed to feed it that but yah it didnt say and it was so cute because it is so young and when she asked it said cheep so its name is cheep but i call it bob i dont know what came from cheep to bob it just came out and its a good name in school we have a stuffed animal named bob and we pass it around the class and write about your adventure with bob i already got bob and it was on wednesday i wanted it on friday but yah(sigh)now Emily has bob and today is thursday well bye ive said too much so yah bye.

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      Hallie 7 years ago

      I recently found a hatchling sparrow while working at a farm. It was on the ground and the only option was to pick it up so cows would not step on it. We have taken it home to try and raise it with the hope for release, but after reading this and a few other sources, we see that this may not be possible. We were wondering what you all feed your baby sparrows. We have tried a few different types of food, and the baby is thriving, but we are open to suggestions. thank you!

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      Jessie 7 years ago

      COOOOOOOL! This is just what I need. Tanks a lot!! ;-)

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      terry 7 years ago

      hi i have been gone on vacation for a few days and when i came back i found a nest with four eggs in it along with a mother bird in the grass of my backyard. i am afarid it is going to get desortyed because of storms and that sort of thing. i have been researching about it and i think it is most likely to be a house sparrow. i am very determine to help the mother and her babies so please guide me though this.

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      alex 7 years ago

      why do fledgings go bold underneath? Is it stess related?

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      barelyb 7 years ago

      Hi everyone. This is my first experience raising a baby bird. I would love suggestions. The bird is a House Finch whose 4 siblings were already dead when my wife found him. I returned him to the nest, but the parents did not show up, so I decided to try and rescue him. I'm keeping a daily video log on Facebook and here's the link:

      http://www.facebook.com/#!/group.php?gid=109523612420958

      His(or her, not sure yet) name is Eagle Knievel!

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      happycamper619 7 years ago

      Tiffany

      keep an close eye on your littlest as they need the shared warmth of the others. We had 5 until tonight when the littlest one went out of the nest and sat in the bottom of the cage. She got too cold, the kids called me at work and crying said we lost one...so sad. We had an appropriete funeral ( in the rain) and buried her in the garden way under some flowers so the cats wouldn't find her. I told David , my youngest that these things sometimes happen and we learn more each time. Good luck with your family. Sometimes I am not sure who is noisier..the 5 birds or my 7 children, but right now I'd say the birds are winning!!

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      Kina 7 years ago

      I found an a adult sparrow in the middle of the street, he couldn't fly but he hopped and fluttered. I took him to a clearing in the back of my apartment building where people seldom visit. I left him water and seeds and checked up on him every hour. Just now when I checked up on him, he was gone! I just want to know if it's possible that he's still alive. ):

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      Tiffany 7 years ago

      Hi there! Thank you for all of this great information! While my husband and I were jogging today, we came accross a little boy with 4 Sparrow neslings that had fallen from their nest. We just had alot of rain and the nest simply fell apart. The little boy desperatly wanted to take them home but his parents weren't there and I just didn't want to risk it, so I took them. I am digesting as much as I can about caring for these poor little babies and so far them seem to be doing great. Currently, they are sleeping soundly, warm, with full crops. I have experience with rescuing wild birds and know how difficult it is to find a shelter that will take them, especially at this age. But I am fully prepared for sleepless nights and hard work to care for them. They seem well so far. One is a little weaker than the rest but she's feeding and going to the bathroom so I'm hoping that's a good sign. Do you have any advice for me as a new mommy? Warning signs maybe, that they need medical attention?

      They seem to be getting stronger by the minute. Time to go! Feeding time again!

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      Eduardo 7 years ago

      Hi there, thank you for the info in this site!

      Some days ago I found a fallen nest with two house sparrow chicks. I made the "mistake" (now I know I'd better find a safe place where I found the best and leave it there) of bringing them how and I've been raising them since then. They are pretty much feathered, and ask for food every two hours or so. One is starting to show some signs of interest in seeds I offer them, but it doesn't really know what to do with them even when it eventually picks one up. And they fly! They eat a commercial food for chicks. Although it shows a parrot in the package I was told it would do fine with them.

      Now, my intentions were to release them when they're ready to go. Any ideas of what to do? We don't have a rehab center nearby. They can "talk" (sounds like they complain actually), but I don't know if that will be considered singing. Unfortunately we won't be able to keep them with our two cats around. And I don't really like birds in cages.

      Well, thanks a lot again.

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      Dayna 7 years ago

      Thanks rmr, this hub really helped me last night to understanding how to care for the little guy!! Unfortunately, I am unable to find the nest, who knows where my cat found it!

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      Bilal 7 years ago

      Dear Hassan, Welcome aboard ! I am glad to know you bought two sparrows ! Good luck and have fun with your new little pets !

      Take care !

      Bilal

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi Dayna. It sounds like this little one might be a fledgling and it sounds hungry. Your main goal should be to keep it safe until the sun comes up and you can listen for other chirping birds nearby and look for a nest that he may have come from. For now, what you can do is hard-boil an egg. After it is cooked, peel it and mash it up. Mix it with a spoonful of wet cat food or dry cat food soaked in water until its soft. Use the soggy cat food and egg mixture to feed him. Typically a straw or coffee stir is used and he can peck it off of the end on his own. You are also going to want to locate a box that he can spend the night in. Line it with a towel, or something soft. Once daylight comes, hopefully you will be able to return him to his home. Good luck!!

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      Dayna 7 years ago

      Help, my cat brought in a bird tonight (8:30 pm) of course on a Sunday nite!!! I tried to find a nest in my only tree but couldn't since it is dark. The bird has feathers, I am not sure if they are enough for flying,but he wobbled off my hand. What do I do for him now? he is opening his beak when I touch it.

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      hassan 7 years ago

      hi,everybody nice to meet U guys I got 2 sparrows yesterday one is green and one red (they are so cute). food:small bread crumbs and water make sure they sleep well if they don't they die ,just put a small box full of crumbs and one small box full of water make sure the cage U put in your sparrow must be a metal cage.ok now buy some sparrows and GOODBYE.

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      Brit'sbirds 7 years ago

      I loved reading your post. It reminds me of all the birds I've had to save in the past. From crows we rehabilated and gave to shelters, to robins (Had 4 from a nest, cats had taken the nest down and then used the babies to get and kill the parents, tis was a sad day) we raised and released, along with bluebirds, and the wonderful sparrow who became a very good friend. I always like hearing that there are others who will save a sparrow since most shelters wont, at least where I grew up.

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi Aramis. If you found four eggs together, they probably came from the same nest. I'm sure all four will do fine together. The flight cage is perfect, but that will be somewhere in the future.

      Once they hatch, they'll need round the clock care. Even a small cage will be a few months in the future. Make sure you go back and read the entire hub again. There's a lot of important information there.

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      Amaris 7 years ago

      I found your hub as I was doing research on house sparrows and I have a few really important questions I was hoping you could answer.

      First off my name is Amaris, and I found four house sparrow eggs in the student parking lot of my high school. I saw these boys standing in a circle around them and if I hadn't seen this commotion the eggs would have been stomped on and had a horrible premature death, so I had to save them. Regardless to the fact they were on the ground of a concrete high school parking lot.

      I'm known in my neighborhood as the animal girl, I've bottle fed and hatched a Starling before. Bottle fed 8 newborn kittens (who turned monstrous and rambunctious after having them for months before giving them to the humane society). I've saved ducklings. I've done it all. Leading to the point that I'm very responsible and determined to hatch these babies.

      My question was about raising them. I'm very sure they will hatch, and if I can get them to hatch I know they'll survive with my care. I wanted to keep 2, but I don't know how I can keep 2 and not manage to have the other 2 imprint on me also. So I might end up keeping all 4 siblings. I would have them in a flight cage, very large to give them their own space. Do you think this is right? I'm spending so much time and LOVE on these little eggs I'd be torn if they hatch and I can't keep them. SO MY QUESTION IS- how do you think four house sparrow siblings would do together? They seem like little finches but I know they are reported to be violent to other birds while nesting. Would they bond with each other and be mean to the other pair? As siblings? I'm squared away with my other information. I'm very smart, responsible, great owner. I just don't know these things since house sparrows typically aren't house pet birds and you and some others are the only people that domesticated them. Please give me any information you have, regarding if you think I could have the 4 together in a flight cage, and if you think they would bond as siblings. Any comments whatsoever would be appreciated.

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      Mike 7 years ago

      we lost our beloved cushey last night a aparrow i had found dieing at my work place, i brought her home and after a month of nurseing she recovered and we debated whether to free her or not as she had bocome part of our daily lives. Anyway we opened the patio door and i walked out with her on my shoulder(one of her favourite places} to our amazement she had a look and flew back in the house and into her cage. After this she was a regular to the garden with me but always flew back to her cage. One day while helping me clean the car she stared at me for what seemed ages and then with a chirp she was off and flew high into the trees opposite. We were distraught and that night i looked and looked all over the park where she had flown to but nothing. We convinced ourselves she was with her friends now free and where she belonged. After two night out was walking to the park when i saw some workmen chaseing a magpie they said that the magpie was trying to kill a sparrow. I could not beleive it there was cushey in a carpark trotting around the floor i called her and first chance i had i grabbed her took her home and she flew straight to her perch and slept not even the sound of her favourite seed and nuts would wake her. I phoned my wife and we were both so happy. I said this is crazy behaviour for a bird but she had got to us. She shared all our xmas days and always had a present. four years on and about a week ago we noticed she didnt seem well her eyes had a build up of crust and she was sleeping alot but still eating and drinking, then this morning my wife said she was gone, we cant do anything today just cry she was such a character and was so happy sleeping in a dressig gown pocket or wedged in any small crevice of a blanket. We will miss you cushey.

      Does anyone know if the crusty eye is a sign of disease

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      Shirwani 7 years ago

      I found an adult sparrow last day. I rescued her from a cat. She was not able to fly. I took her to home, fed her with water droplets and gave her boiled rice. I put her in a shoe box. I thought i would release her as soon as she is able to fly but sadly, she was dead before dawn today. I made sure there was enough space for fresh air to pass the shoe box. What should be done if i am again in such a situation? The death of that little innocent bird made me sad.

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      Mahnaz 7 years ago

      Hi, thought of telling all that my rescued sparrow is doing better. I now put him with other birds in the cage in the morning and bring him back in my room in the evening. He has started eating millet on his own, i make him lick honey as was told by the vet, asone day he was almost dead as i over did in making him fly, so he kept bumping on walls. But sad thing is that he has only one eye, it seems that he had got injured when the cat caught him as its his left wing that was injured and same side eye. But now his flight is smooth and no bumping, i hope he can soon become stronger and fly well so that i can release him, after the winters end. Do you think he would be able to fly well with one eye or i keep him in cage?

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      Linus 7 years ago

      Nice and useful hub. Thanks rmr. You've suggested leaving a baby bird without feathers alone and see if the mother would come and claim her nestling. I have never heard of or seen a bird being able to carry its chick (like cats or other mammals do) back to the nest.

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      Mahnaz 7 years ago

      Hi, Happy New Year to all, I forgot its New Year eve and no one would be online, till my mother called to say Happy New Year:) was too involved with the bird. Well i took the sparrow that i have named as chirri, to my vet and he told me that its not a baby but grown up male sparrow:) Since he was not eating himself and eating out of my hand only soft rice and also not flying so assumed its a baby:) Anyway he checked him and said he seems to have sprained wing and he would get well himself, and has no bumps which i thought he had. Another amazing thing was he protested a lot when the vet checked him and bit him many times, so when i held him, he tried to bite me too, but it seemed he realised my hands were familiar so did not bite at all. Its amazing and felt so moved:( It seems he thinks i am his mom or protector whatever. The vet told me to give him boiled egg and also boiled millet, and force him to eat so did that when i returned home. After some time he did eat. Today made him take big jumps so that he cam move his wings, but could not do repeatedly as had to go to work so put him in cage with his food. He ate rice but not eggs on his own. So would give him boiled millet tomorrow, now he is napping in his basket, and it seems he is taking my habits of keeping awake till late and not wanting to wake up till after 9 am:) When i try to feed him at 8 am as i have to leave for work, he keeps his eyes closed and does not want to leave his cosy bedding:)

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      Mahnaz 7 years ago

      Hi, my baby sparrow has survived till today, and had become naughty too. But he eats only very soft boiled rice. He refused to take scrambled eggs and boiled minced meat. Its winters here so could not dig out earth worms, as perhaps they go deep down. My worry is that he still hops around and saw a bump under his left wing on his back, thats why his left wing is slightly raised and does not settle down. This might be preventing him to fly. I have to keep him in cage, and let him out when i am home and around him as i have a persian cat too. But i can see that he is not eating that enthusiaticaly any more. Please do guide what i need to do, we have no birds vet here in Islamabad, Pakistan.

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      Mahnaz 7 years ago

      Thanks :)

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      B.T. Evilpants 7 years ago from Hell, MI

      Typically they only eat from sunrise to sunset. He should sleep through the night.

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      Mahnaz 7 years ago

      Thanks rmr, but its midnight here in Pakistan, and i have not heard him make any sound, I just now fed him a bit more wetting the rice more as read in the various comments above and he did take some. I do not have any heated pads but have kept his bedding warm. Do you think he would need feed during the night too. Hope he survives, thanks for your advice and love your forum.

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      Author

      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Sorry everyone, I was away for a while. It's so nice to see people helping each other out!

      Mahnaz, feeding times vary with age, so it's hard to say when he'll be hungry again. If you keep an eye out, you can bet he'll let you know. He may start crying out for food and, depending on his age, he will probably gape his beak.

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      Mahnaz Durrani 7 years ago

      Hi, i rescued a baby sparrow today from my cat. He obviously fell from some nest and i caanot figure out which tree. He had slight injury near the beak,a few drops of blood but after i wiped them it stopped bleeding. Only one ey is open it has all feather but can just hop around. I have kept him warm, and have put him i a small basket with bedding. I fed him mashed boiled rice that he ate, about a max. half teaspoon size. Now he seems to be napping. When do i give his next feed?

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      Laura 7 years ago

      Wow, it's been a while since I've been here.

      Karien-

      It's hard to give advice in a legal situation. I know that where I live the birds are not protected under any laws, so I probably won't encounter that problem. The only thing I would do is find some way to keep him. It's so nice to hear that another little baby was saved!

      An update over where I am:

      So, winter is here. The barn where I ride adopted two cats, so I'll have to be more watchful in the spring. They already caught an adult... It's scary to think about!

      These are great success stories. The birds must be very happy in the wild/ in their new homes.

      Laura

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      Laura 7 years ago

      Wow, it's been a while since I've been here.

      Karien-

      It's hard to give advice in a legal situation. I know that where I live the birds are not protected under any laws, so I probably won't encounter that problem. The only thing I would do is find some way to keep him. It's so nice to hear that another little baby was saved!

      An update over where I am:

      So, winter is here. The barn where I ride adopted two cats, so I'll have to be more watchful in the spring. They already caught an adult... It's scary to think about!

      These are great success stories. The birds must be very happy in the wild/ in their new homes.

      Laura

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      Karien(South Africa) 7 years ago

      Hi rmr,

      I'm from South Africa. Your baby is beautiful! Our sparrows here look a little different in color. Also truly beautiful!

      I found my baby sparrow upside down on the grass with red soldier ants attacking it. It rained the night before and he was trying to fight them off while "gaping". I think he was strugling to breathe because of the cold. I have no clue how old he was at the time, just know he was featherless. My guess would be that he was no older than 2 days. I cleaned him up and warmed him immediately. Because I only found him before I left for work, my only option was to take him with me. Needless to say that I ended up being late for work. Don't laugh, but I kept him in a small piece of cloth in my bra, where it would be warm.

      At work I searched for info on sparrows on what to feed him, how often, and amount to feed him. After reading your page, I bought him 'n heating pad and Exact...

      THANK YOU FOR YOUR USEFULL INFO, IT SAVED MY LITTLE ONE'S LIFE!

      I named mine "Mossie" - South African (Afrikaans) Translation of sparrow. I don’t know if it is a male or female, so I desided to just name him “mossie” (sparrow), as this would be a unisex name. How do you know what the gender is?

      I've only had him for 5 days now and I've grown so attached to the little thing. I know it is illegal here in SA to keep indigenous animals or birds without a permit, but if I left him outside, he would've become my 4 Dachshunds' new toy and I wouldn't be able to live with the guilt! I am terrified that someone would report me and have him taken away or that my hubby would expect me to take him to some sanctury (don’t know about one anyway).

      Anyway, we will se what happens... For now he will be very well cared for and loved dearly! Hopefully he will remain a member of my family (I think my husband is also getting attached to him...) :) I just wanted to thank you for your info!

      Regards, Karien.

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      Laura R. 7 years ago

      I have raised a female sparrow and she is imprinted. I do not care that having her is illegal. There are other things to be worried about instaed of someone keeping a wild imprinted bird. Give me a break, there are rapists, murderers, and child molesters to worry about. I say if you are able to save a wild creatures life, do it, it is not going to stop the world from turning!

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      sgarzare 7 years ago

      Thank you D'sparrow!!

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      D'sparrow 7 years ago

      @ sgarzare: I purchased a perch that either has sand paper or is rough and my sparrow rubs her beak back and forth on the perch which keeps it in shape. : )

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      sgarzare 7 years ago

      I found a baby sparrow in July and have been raising her as a pet (she imprinted). Her name is Birdie.

      I am wondering about her beak though as it seems to be growing quickly and I worry that she will not be able to eat. Any ideas?

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      jchristner39 7 years ago

      we loved the article,we have been raising 4 sparrows since my wife found them outside in the rain.they were just hatched bald and cold we took them in and now 2 and a half years later they are a big part of our family.but it is also a sad day today we lost one today we believe that she was old and ready to go we were told that the life span is usually 2 years she was 2 and a half.the other three are quiet now and are looking thiere age,but we will continue to love and care for them untill they are gone.we feed them at the table they sit on our laps and they have become a big part of our family.its just nice to know that there are others out there that believe like we do that they are all gods creatures.god bless and thanks for the stories.

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      Nice Bird People 7 years ago

      Just to let you know, ours started sleeping outside overnight, eating food we had left for it outside and eventually hooked up with other birds and migrated!! So we are holding our breaths until next year to hopefully see our little darling again :))

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      Karen 7 years ago

      Hello!

      I posted awhile back when I found an injured Sparrow..almost dead actually, and I still have him and he's doing great! I'm wondering if I need to be doing anything special for him as we near colder weather?

      Thanks!

      Karen

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      Nice Bird People 7 years ago

      Thanks Keith/Nicole for the help/kind words and support. We all have to help each other here :) We have been having excellent progress with ours so far. We haven't had any other birds of its kind around unfortunately but it has been flying outside now tree to tree, staying out all day free, even taking baths in a bath we put outside. We still take it inside to sleep in a cage because I'm worried its on its own. It does cry when it sees us and flies to us to be fed when its outside, but started to pick a few times at food we left on the patio, so its coming along nicely! Now we just need some birds of its own around so it can figure things out. We've played its own sounds on the computer and it freaks out so it knows its own without even seeing them yet.

      Best Regards to all helping these poor little things :))

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      Keith and Nicole 7 years ago

      Joyce and Nice Bird People- Since you both only have one bird chances are it is going to imprint on you and think that it is human and not a bird. If you are not prepared to keep it for a pet and can't find someone near you that would like to keep and take care of them I can only suggest as little contact as possible and if you have other sparrows in your yard or near by try to keep the bird outside if safe and allow them to see and hear the other sparrows. It is also important to try and give them the food they will be eating in the wild such as seed and worms. Most pet stores sell different types of worms like meal worms for the reptiles that the birds like. If your birds are sitting on their own and getting feathers then you could start putting a bowl of seed and water in with them while you are still hand feeding. The website www.starlingtalk.com has a receipe that is easy to make for them to eat and will give them the proper nutrition. I just recently set my three sparrows free after having them about a month and a half and I leave their cage outside hanging by the front door and I keep seed, water and worms in their and they still return everyday to eat but they sleep with the other sparrows and hopefully they will eventually start finding the food on their own. Good luck and thanks for taking care of God's little creatures.

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      Nice Bird People 7 years ago

      Joyce: same thing here, we are a bit worried about imprinting because we handled ours so much (and now it just loves us!). Not sure where you live but once you get it feeding on its own, and it is able to fly, you can try and release it near similar birds. Remember: no milk for birdies -they are lactose intolerant and will get diarrea/dehydrate. Try not to play with it too much so it won't imprint so much. If you are in a fairly safe area and it is warm, it might be okay and do well on its own, but it has to be eating on its own first :) Good luck :)

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      Joyce Etter 7 years ago

      I found a baby bird alive after finding two others dead. We've had heavy rain and wind and I guess they got blown out or the mother got tired of trying to keep them dry. Anyway, I've had this sparrow, I think, for 4 days and it is eating egg yolk and blueberries??? It's pooping so things are moving along. I am concerned about it imprinting on me as we have cats and dogs in the house. It's wing feathers are growing rapidly, it tail feather is growing, and the feathers on its belly is filling in. it sits and flaps its wings. I live in a rural so no agencies close that care. Most say to let it go as it will not survive anyway. I do not want a long term pet. What to do???

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      Birdhelpers 7 years ago

      Well it turns out we don't have a baby sparrow. I searched and searched until I found the picture online: it is a baby Cedar Waxwing! Good thing I was giving it some berries and grapes along with the bugs and worms! Saw a cedar waxwing on our honeysuckle bush eating the berries so now ours is getting the same.

      Anyway, its not a sparrow so will stop posting here, but the little guy is doing fantastic. Feedings every hour or so, taking him outside lots, he even flew across the room a few times :) best wishes to everyone on here for helping nature, humans do so much to destroy habitats etc its the *least* we can do to help out here and there once in a while :)

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Tina~Well, it sure sounds like you have a full house there. We had a similar time in our lives where a friend once told their 2 yr old son that instead of going to the zoo, maybe they should just come over to our house instead. I understand exactly how you feel about all of your little animal discoveries. Perhaps the lovebird escaped and then heard how much fun your other animal friends were having and decided to stick around for a bit, figuring that you may not notice just one more animal. I'm not really familiar with lovebirds, but I recall hearing something about they may not want to be paired up with just any old lovebird. Just something to think about, and look into as I wouldn't want to cause sibling rivalry unnecessarily. Please do continue to update us as everyone enjoys hearing about fellow bird ownwers success stories.

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      Tina 7 years ago

      Well, a couple days after my last post they started flying! I had no idea they were even ready to fly until I picked one up and it flew away! I don't have a very big cage right now for them but once they are weaned and eating well on there own I plan on letting them test there wings around our sunroom. About a week after we found the sparrows a peach-faced love bird landed on our deck so we have been caring for him (or her)as well! The guy at petsmart told me to stop going into my backyard! I feel like snow white! Aside from these birds we also have a dog, two cats, a snake, fish and a hamster! Since we have every animal on the food chain I always tell people that if money get too tight we can let the animals all go and they can eat each other! LOL. Anyway, I am really hoping I can keep these guys and keep them happy. We have the cage they are in next to the cage for the lovebird and they seem to keep each other company. The lovebird is very demanding of our attention so we may get a mate if no one claims him. Anyway, I will keep posting my progress and keep checking on everyone elses!

      Tina :)

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      Keith and Nicole 7 years ago

      Well just to update everyone......we set our three little sparrows free this past Tuesday and it was very bittersweet. One flew quite far down the street then the other two went out together up into the tree with the other 50 or so wild sparrows so I wasn't sure if I would ever see them again. Well by evening they were hungry and looking for me and my wife to feed them some worms. Now two days into their freedom they fly back into their cage that I left outside and eat the seeds and drink the water and they will actually follow us around the yard and they chirp when they hear our voices. The will NOT however let us close the doors on the cage or come back in the house in that aspect they are acting like wild birds I just believe they have not figured out how or where to find the food and water outside in the wild. The flock of sparrows will travel around the neighborhood looking for food and our three just sit in the bush and wait for them to come back. I think the wild sparrows think these three are crazy flying over to us and sitting in our hands while we feed them. It is funny when you look up and see 10 other sparrows sitting on the roof of the house piering down with stares as I feed these little guys. They seem very happy out there and I look forward to seeing if they still remember us in a couple of months or when they start having babies of their own.

      Lia sorry to hear about Wally we had two of our five baby sparrows that did not make it and I always wonder if it was something that I was doing wrong but you also have to look at it like this. These birds were on the ground and surely not going to make it through the day and they would have died alone and really with no one even noticeing so we have given them more life than they would of had along with some love and attention. Regarding getting another bird.....I'm not sure if you can have dove's maybe I'm wrong though I believe the only wild birds you can keep are sparrows, starlings, and pigeons now maybe dove's fall into the pigeon category not sure. I would go with a cockatiel but you would need to keep it's wings clipped if you are taking him outside so he does not fly away.

      Thanks for everyone's help here on this hub I know these three sparrows benefited from it greatly and they thank you as well.

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      BirdHelpers 7 years ago

      hi there, thank you for your page :) we have been taking care of a baby bird since hurricane bill - it was actually upside down and dead-looking on a road and some little girls saw it was still moving a bit..they brought it to us to care for and so far so good. It is now up and crawling, jumping, squaking and eating every half hour or so. I'm a bit concerned now though after reading your blurb that it will imprint on us and we will have to keep it forever? I thought we could get it eating, get it flying (it is trying a bit already and eating like a horse) and release it in a few weeks or so? I don't know what kind of bird it is, it does have a fair bit of feathers, brownish/olivish, has a short little yellow rump feathers, pink beak and feet, some kind of sparrow I guess.

      Thanks for your help :)

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      Lia 7 years ago

      Thanks again,

      We actually talked about maybe getting a bird eventually. We are currently doing some work on the house, and I want to finish that before we bring a new bird into our homes. However, I want to get a bird that I can take outside with me when I am puttering around the yard. I live in Massachusetts, so I don't think a parrot would be an appropriate bird. Maybe something like a dove? I figured there are many types of doves that would tolerate the weather changes here in new england, and I would like to have a little buddy again someday. Can you recommend any type of bird? also, I have a cat. I don't want the bird to be frightened by him. Any suggestions?

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Lia~I would have a very hard time believing that he would starve in that time frame. They don't typically eat from dusk til dawn even as baby-babies (in the wild), so I doubt that the time in that 8-9 hr period would impact him so severely. Not to take sides with the vets who gave you their infamous "I dunno." statement, it sounds just like one of those stupid, never-should've-happened, coincidental, no logical explanation, circumstances that sadly will leave you with unanswered questions about what happened and what you could have done differently.

      Although you may never be certain of exactly what happened, you can be certain of this......there wasn't anything more you could have possibly done for Wally to help him recuperate from his time spent in that parking lot. You gave him a wonderful home, lots of attention, and tons of love. I believe that it was because of these things that he did as well as he did for so long. You gave him the will to live and the strength to keep fighting. Please don't try to blame yourself for his passing, even though it's so incredibly easy to do. In times like this, we so often try to justify things which we can't understand, or that just don't make sense. We look for explanations in the unexplainable. You've done everything right, and still things didn't work out the way you had hoped. The thing you should not lose focus of is that you tried. I know this is of little consolation to you, but you did what many others wouldn't or didn't attempt to do. You changed Wally's life even if it was temporarily; you still made a difference. Not many people can honestly make that claim about themselves. I pray that these answers will help you find closure. Always, Debbie.

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      Lia 7 years ago

      Thanks again rmr, but the only thing is I fed him at 7 am. Would he have starved by 4 pm that day? is that too long to go without food? He had plenty of water, and he was out of the cage when she cleaned it with the windex. He was playing in his box, and she said she made sure she wiped it dry. All the vets I talked to just gave me the it could have been anything speech, so I figured I would ask here on this site with other bird lovers and rescuers.Any final thoughts???? Lia

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Lia~I can guarantee he most definitely did NOT starve. We recently rescued a couple babies that had just hatched a day or two earlier. The smallest one was smaller than a nickel from the tip of his beak to his tail. The previous owner hadn't fed them for a few hrs. (ordinarily babies this small eat every 20 minutes), and we had a couple hr. drive back home. They were hungry but still alive. Wally would not have starved in that short period of time from when you left after lunch to when you returned home.

      As for the chemicals in the Windex affecting him, I would have a hard time believing that would have done it. Even if the spray was spritzed on the inside, if the bottle was held up high, the mist would have been very fine, and would have drifted upward. We've owned 10-gal fishtanks before, and they're relatively small if you're trying to do anything in the width of the tank. Putting a spray bottle directly in the tank would be difficult. If the Windex was sprayed in the tank with Wally right there in the tank as well, it might be a possibility that he inhaled the fumes in an enclosed area, and it may have been too much for him. If the cleaning took place between the time that you returned to work, and came back home again, and Wally was in the tank with the bottle while it was being sprayed, and then a solid lid was put over the tank to prevent ventilation, then I would say "maybe". However, if this was a normal cleaning and the Windex was sprayed onto a cloth and wiped down the inside, then I would not think this was the cause.

      The odd thing is that a survival mechanism in animals has the tendency for them to not act wounded, or look ill. This would make them an easy target for predators. Quite often, some animals aren't feeling well with no signs of illness whatsoever. Their death appears spontaneous, when in all reality, it was brewing internally for a while. Being as Wally's life with you began under questionable circumstances, I'm far more inclined to believe that he may have had a run-in with a car, or taken a fall that he just couldn't couldn't recuperate from; but this mechanism made him appear as if he was fine.

      I'm not a professional; however I have read many postings as well as emails which have stated that people have great success with fish tanks as habitats for their little birds and using glass cleaners with them. I know that the barrage of unanswered questions with Wally's death will continue to bother you. I truly believe in my heart that he had just gone through too much before he came to live with you, and that he did a brilliant job of disguising it.

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      Lia 7 years ago

      Thanks again rmr and Laura. I have a few other questions if you all don't mind. I fed him his little pellets around 7 in the morning before I went to work. I gave him about 1/2 teaspoon because if I give him too much he would just eat it all at once and have a giant crop. He seemed fine at lunch, but I forgot to give him more seed before I left to go back to work. Did he starve? Also, my roomate cleaned his cage, which was a 10 gallon fishtank, the other day, and sshe used windex for the glass. She was wondering if the chemical killed him? Please be honest with your answers no matter how upsetting they might be. We just want to know in case we ever run into another baby bird again in the future, Thanks...Lia

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      Laura 7 years ago

      I'm so sorry lia. You made his life happier than it could have been, and don't forget that.

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Lia~What a wonderful tribute for such a special friendship. That statue will forever represent the tremendous bond that he shared with you, and how much everyone's lives were changed by this one little bird; as well as your one significant act of kindness. It sounds as if the impact that he made in your life was as dramatic as the impact you had made on his. You were a true blessing to this little bird, and he loved you so much. I want you to understand that generally sparrows, once they are old enough to fly, have already been imprinted with their surroundings. It is such an enormous testiment to how much he loved you that he would sit on your shoulder. I have never heard of that happening with a bird that is older than a few days when they are rescued. Although his presence in your life was only for a short time, his memory will live on in your hearts forever. Bless you for caring so much--it changed this little guy's life while he was here. It is my hope that you find peace in his passing by knowing how much of a difference you made in his life. Take care.

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      Lia 7 years ago

      Thanks rmr,

      it means a lot to us that you wrote back. You are right though, where I found him, he looked as if he could have fallen a good 10 to 20 feet. I don't know how long he was sitting there either when I did find him. I was hoping he was going to be around for a long time. I spent hours on the internet reading about sparrows, and trying to do everything right. I guess the little guy had problems we couldn't see, and eventually lost his battle with life. He was a good pet, he would sit up on my shoulder and peck at my earrings...lol... but he would stay there as I walked around in the yard. He did love us, and it showed. I'm glad I was there for him when he passed. It was almost as if he waited for me to come home before he went. I just can't believe how fast he did go. We had a little memorial for him and buried him in the yard yesterday. We even put a little bird statue to remember him by. Thanks again, and good luck to all others with their little ones. Lia

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Lia~ I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how incredibly heart-wrenching it is when one of these little ones doesn't make it. It's my guess that you've done nothing wrong; since he was found in the Walgreen's parking lot, there's a chance that he was injured there and it was your wonderful care that sustained him longer than he ordinarily would have survived if left alone. It sounded like he had flying issues which may have been caused from an injury as well. Sparrows are a very delicate species to try to help. I've unfortunately heard many, many times over people who had their little birdies for several months and then one day, they've passed. I know this is of little consolation; and it in no way tames the stinging and emptiness in your heart. I want you to realize though, that you did a TREMENDOUS job with this little one. You made such an enormous difference in his life, just as he made in yours--don't ever forget that. You were his birdie mommy and he loved you a lot. Sadly, life isn't fair, and some things will never make sense. You had given him a happy, loving home; and he really became attached to you. You had given Wally something that many people spend their entire lives looking for--genuine love and acceptance. You were there for him when he needed you most; first when he was found in the parking lot, and again when he passed. Again, my sympathies are with you, and you will be in our thoughts.

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      Lia 7 years ago

      Sad to say, Wally passed away today. I just wish I knew why. He has been eating his pellets and drinking his water in his own for almost 2 weeks now. I came in for lunch today and he was happy as could be, chirping away and bouncing around his cage. I came home at 4 or so, and he looked as if he were sleeping. So I went over to him and tried to give him some food as I saw his dish was empty. He had no interest, and he wasn't chirping. All of a sudden, he opened up his eyes, tried to hop over to me, and rolled on his back, spread his wings, and threw his head back. I was like "WALLY!" I picked him up and tried to see what was wrong. I tried to see if I could get him to drink or eat something but he would not, I noticed his tongue was kind of white, and he had it pressed against the roof of his mouth. I moved it down, and tried again to feed him but he wouldn't swallow . I held him for a few minutes while calling every vet around but noone would help me. I was sooooo upset. Then he slowly drifted away in my hands. I just don't understand what happened. He was doing so well. We had him for a month and a half with no real problems. Did we do something wrong? Please, anyone with some answers, let me know, thanks. Lia

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      ssecnirp24 7 years ago

      Thanks for the information Keith and Nicole! Yesterday I noticed he's starting to get bored with the dog food mixture recipe that I got off of the Starling page. He's still eating it but doesn't seem to be wanting it as much! He's starting to pick at the wet mixture that hits the bottom of the cage(once the food dries)so I figured maybe he would be able to start the seed. I will get to the store hopefully today and get some seed and try! As for the grapes and other snacks listed on the starling talk page is it ok to start that now (we are pretty sure when we found him he was at the most a day, if that, just by the way he looked so he's about 21days) or should I wait until he is completely weened? Thanks so much for this website RMR I have found this website very helpful!

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thanks for jumping in there Keith and Nicole. I might also mention that ours absolutely loves grapes and watermelon. I pull a little of the skin off the grape to make it easier. He goes nuts for both, though. If he even sees a grape he starts yelling and jumping around the cage.

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      Keith and Nicole 7 years ago

      ssecnirp24 in regards to the food. I know on starlinktalks website they mention feeding the same cat or dog food that you had been feeding but to try feeding it dry and crubled up and also feeding a hardboiled egg mixed with applesauce. I have tried all the above and our three did not take to it they really enjoy bird seed. I had been feeding them the seed that we had from our parakeets and also some wild bird seed that I feed the sparrows in the yard and I also mixed in some smashed up dry cat food for the protein. I did get from the pet store the other day a seed from Kaytee called Forti-diet Egg Cite which is a Finch food with Egg bits for protein which they love. All three of our birds quit eating the hand fed formula mush and would only eat the seed and meal worms about two to two and half weeks after we found them....they also love meal worms, I get them from the pet store as well. In the wild the sparrows in my yard will knock all of the seed out of the bird feeder and then eat it off of the ground and I see that our three birds like to do it as well. When I let them out of the cage they will eat all of the seed they sling out of the cage off of the card table that I have their cage on. Once they were eating seed I still would try to feed the wet cat or dog food mixture and they would nibble a little but eventually didn't want it anymore. When I say eventually I mean within a couple of days. I have found that with sparrows everything happens very quickly. We have only had ours for 4 weeks and 4 days and when we found them their eyes were closed and they had no feathers however within two weeks they were flying around and eating seeds give or take a day or two here or there. They also like the spray mullet for a treat. I know some say not to feed meal worms because of the hard shell but one funny thing I noticed with one of our sparrows is that he or she will actually squeeze out all of the insides of the worm and leave the outer casing on the first one or two then eat one or two more whole but none have had a problem with the mealworms. I had put a feeder dish with seeds in it while they were still eating the hand fed wet fomula and a couple days later I noticed two of the three wanted nothing to do with it anymore they only wanted the seeds. Ours love baths also. I put a plastic container of water in the bottom of the cage and they jump in and splash around. Our kids have brought in 2 baby squirrels now that still have their eyes closed so we are now feeding them puppy replacement milk but that is a another story for another forum. I would see what rmr has to say since he has had a sparrow for a number of years and would know what his drumstick likes to eat that is also healthy and giving him all of the nutrients he needs. Also read what they have to say at www.starlinktalk.com Our three are one day soon going to be set free so I am trying to keep their foods as close to what they would find in the wild. Good Luck!

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      ssecnirp24 7 years ago

      Hey Everyone

      I have a quick question, Bacon is pecking around but when I put some of the wet dog food recipe down he has no clue that's what he's suppose to be eating he's only 20 days so I know its a little soon still but I was wondering what kind of seed to get for him to try with the dog food? He also had his first bath today....LOL It was so funny to watch! Hope everyone's little ones are doing well!

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi Tina. That's Great! I'm glad they're doing well. For our bird, we bought the largest cage possible, while making sure the bar spacing was no more than 1/2-3/4 inch (you don't want him getting his little head stuck in there). I'm not sure about housing for 2 sparrows, though. They may do fine in a cage similar to ours, if you let them out to fly around the house for a while each day. The best possible solution is to buy or build a flight cage for the back yard, but that can be costly. As far as injuries, his feathers get a little ragged at times, but they always smooth out or regrow.

      Cute names, by the way!

      Thanks for the update!

      Rob

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      Tina 7 years ago

      I just wanted to add that even though they are not crows I named them Heckle and Jeckle.

      Tina :)

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      Tina 7 years ago

      Hello,

      I posted a comment on your hub a few days ago regarding two baby sparrows I had found and wanted to update you. They are doing really well and have grown so fast! I was really worried about their chances and warned my kids not to get too attached. I contacted a wild life rescue organization and you will be happy to know that apparently it is not illegal to rehabilitate and keep sparrows. They said sparrows are kind of a "nuisance" to other birds. They also said that starlings and pigeons are okay to have. Anyway, I am wondering what kind of housing you are using for your sparrow as I do plan on keeping them. I purchased a bird cage but the woman I spoke with at the rescue org. said that sometimes they can injure themselves on the metal cages. Also, what size home do you recommend for two sparrows?

      Thanks,

      Tina :)

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      Lia 7 years ago

      I have been in the weaning process for about a week now, giving him the formula and seeds, but the formula about 1/2 to 1/3 what we gave him before. Well, last night, his crop was so big it stuck out beyond his little fluffy feathers, it even stuck out under his chest area and it was REALLY BIG. He ate seeds after we gave him the formula, and thats when it happened. It also was red, but so is some of the seeds he easts, its a fruit combo for finches and canaries. Also, his is not using one of his wings very well, I think he may have sprained it. I thought at first maybe the crop being so swollen was preventing the use of the wing, but he was still like that today with the crop less swollen. Can anyone suggest anything? thanks...Lia

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      ssecnirp24 7 years ago

      Update on Bacon.....Wow can't believe how fast sparrows develop! The last three days have been nail biting for me, oh my! He has started to take flight, and not very gracefully! As I try to sit and watch without panicking he has flow into our Macaw, Ellwood's cage! Flow into the wall, into the floor (I think he was trying to land just did not do it smoothly, face plant) into the back of the couch, etc! I think he's gonna start to make me drink, lol! After all my hard work keeping this little Bacon Bit alive he's goes and tries to give me a heart attack! A few more days of these flying lessons and I'm gonna need a vacation from the stress, lol! I hope everyone's little ones are doing well also! I can't believe in just 15 days how much he has changed! AMAZING!

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      It's still brand new, Laura. You can be the first to post!

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      Laura 7 years ago

      Wow. A lot of people have found this. I'm so glad people care about the baby birds!

      I have no news, on vacation in Florida.

      Yaaaaaaay new forum! I will check that out.

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi guys. I've been pretty busy lately, so it's good to see that you're helping each other out. If you still have questions, feel free to re-post them, and I'll get to them asap.

      In the meantime, if you have non-emergency questions or are enjoying answering questions, I've set up a free forum, here:

      http://savethesparrows.lefora.com/

      I think I have it working now, but I'm still learning the system, so bear with me.

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      Lia 7 years ago

      thanks Keith and Nicole, I will keep up with the lessons then. He is starting to eat seeds on his own so we are feeding him the formula less and less, so that is good. I am going to look into a cage for him soon too because he needs more room to fly. Thanks again.

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      suavek 7 years ago

      Here is the rest of the story about the sparrow we rescued a couple of months ago. Tater Tod is now as free as a bird should be. I started to let her outside for the last few of weeks, and she's been coming back to the back porch for food, so I put some baby formula on the rail on the porch and she would eat it up all the time. One time she flew into the house for a few minutes, but I kicked her out, (in a nicest possible way, of course). Another time she would fly onto the porch with a feather in her mouth, perhaps the feather was for nest building material. Along with the baby food I had a little tray with seeds for her, but we haven't seen her use it until today. Yeay!!!! I think we're out of the woods. We've seen her hanging out with other sparrows in our yard, so I assume the territory is not an issue. Here some shots on Tatie in our yard:

      http://provecta.net/Tatie/2009-07-30%2009-15-22_00...

      http://provecta.net/Tatie/2009-07-30%2009-15-25_00...

      http://provecta.net/Tatie/2009-07-30%2009-15-34_00...

      Eating seeds:

      http://provecta.net/Tatie/2009-08-15%2019-10-26_01...

      Cheers

      Suavek

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      Keith and Nicole 7 years ago

      Tina and Lia-----Lia if in fact he is a month old he should be able to start learning to fly and should be getting pretty good at it quick. The three sparrows that we found on July 21st are now about four weeks old and I am figuring they were a already a couple days old when we found them however they had no feathers and their eyes were barely open. Now today they fly quite well and have been for about a week and a half or more in fact one of them had gotten out and was soaring up into some 20 foot tall palm trees. Right now I have them in the house and I let them out every day and they fly up to the ceiling fan and sit there. So Wally with some practice should be flying really well any day now.

      @Tina-- It sounds like you are doing all that you need to do to allow these little birds a really good chance at survival. When they are about two weeks old you should be able to put a small bowl of bird seed in the cage and they will eventually start eating it on their own. The general rule is that once they can eat seed and other things such as worms or crickets on their own and they can fly well they can be released. I would sugest everyone go to starlingtalk.com and read all the usful information they have. It applies to both sparrows and starlings for the most part and tells you what to feed and at what ages you can expect them to do certain things. Good Luck!

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      Tina 7 years ago

      My children brought me two baby sparrows three days ago. They had pin feathers on their wings but the rest of the body was bare and pink. I looked around for a nest or safe place to put them but was unable to find one. We have multiple stray cats around so of course I brought them inside. I have created quite a comfy home consisting of an aquarium, basket, hamster bedding and a heating pad. I purchased the exact hand feeding formula and have been feeding them 8-10 times during the day. My question is what chance do they have for survival and when should I attempt to release them back into the wild.

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      Lia 7 years ago

      I found a baby sparrow in a crowded parkinglot, no nest or mommy in sight. I brought it home and have been feeding it exact bird formula for about a month now, he seems to be doing well, and I began introducing small bird fruit flavored seeds, he seems to like them, he eats a few and then looks at me like, Is it ok to eat this? lol, I am trying to get him to learn to fly better. I take him out of the aquarium I have, put him on the counter, then sit on the floor and whistle to him, and when he builds up his nerve, he glides down, and lands on me....not the smoothest landing, but at least he tries. I took him outside the other day and gave him a slight toss in the air, and he did the same gliding, and landed on the fence, on me, and on the ground, but a very bumpy landing. About how old will the bird be before he can fly up and not just glide down? He is about a month old now, and has his wing and tail feathers, and those fluffy type feathers on his underside. I'm just wondering if the little guy is still too young for the lessons. Thanks, oh, his name is Wally, cuz we found him in a walgreens parkinglot lol

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      Paula 7 years ago

      Yes - In answer to your question. Male sparrows have dark or black and gray markings on their head with a mixture of dark brown. The sure sign is they have a black "bib" on the front of their chest - that is how I figured out mine was a male after about four months. The females are usually much lighter, very light markings and no bib. Hope this helps!

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      Paula 7 years ago

      rmr

      thank you - he seems to be eating fine - he still plays - he is rather ragged though. He looks "fluffy" in all areas except his wings and tail - noticed he lost another tail feather. If this continues, what should I do - he has done so well and had a real good appetite. I saw a thrush out in the yard the other day that looked like he had no feathers around his neck - anyway, I will watch and keep you posted. Thanks for the reply.

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      ssecnirp24 7 years ago

      Does anyone know how to tell the differnce between the male and female sparrow? Just Curious!

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Paula~It's wonderful to hear from you again. So glad to hear that Mr. Piggy is doing so well and is happily enjoying his position in your family. Drumstick is doing well; thank you for asking. I'm trying to recall a time when he molted to the point of losing his chest feathers. He has times of the year when he molts, and looks pretty raggedy before the next batch of feathers come in. I don't remember him suffering from sparrow pattern baldness, though. Drumstick's tail and what would be armpits (wingpits?) have gotten pretty scarce in the feather department several times to where I thought he might have the mange. It was very short-lived, and he didn't seem bothered by it. I have seen finches which are very close to sparrows look like they were cross-bred with a hairless bird. A couple of them maybe had 20 feathers on their entire body. I would be inclined to suggest that you keep an eye on him and see if his food intake begins to dwindle. This is typically a sign that there's something wrong. If all seems well otherwise, I would venture a guess that it's just molting time.

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      Paula 7 years ago

      Hi RMR - great picture. I always wondered what you might look like. Ok - you know you are my mentor. Still have Mr Piggy - he was a year old in June and he is a hoot. I believe he must be molting - he looks real shaggy and has lost most of the feathers on his chest in the last few days along with a couple of tail feathers. Remember - this time last year when he was just a baby, I messaged you on here because he lost all tail feathers and he looked terrible. He plays and seems to feel great - just need some reassurance here - how is Drumstick?? Look forward to hearing from you.

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      taylor 7 years ago

      I have just found one yesterday it is 3 days old now. He fell out of his nest along with another sibling that i didint get to in time...But anyways i couldint put him back the nest was to high so i im keeping him. I feed him soft puppy chow and works great!:)

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      ssecnirp24 7 years ago

      Thanks for the info Keith and Nicole! He was only a day or maybe around 12 hours old when found! So his eyes were still closed, after I posted my question I found that he runs toward me when he is scared so he has definitely imprinted to us already even only being 8 days old now! I will not release him after seeing this he is starting with his own little personality also, which is cute to see. I put down a big towel yesterday to let him walk around on a flutter his wings and when ever he heard or seen something that startled he ran right toward me as to say help and started chirping until I picked him up. I am so happy he is doing so well and can't wait to see him continue to grow!

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      Keith and Nicole 7 years ago

      ssecnirp24- Regarding bacon if he was only a day old when you found him that means his eyes would not have been opened yet and since you only have one bird that means he will imprint on you since there is nothing else for him to imprint on. So the big question is was it's eyes open when you found him. Either way my three sparrows would open their mouths and verbalize but it was always for food. It did not matter for one of them how much food he had in his crop (the bulge in the neck) he would still want more. Chances are since you have only one bird he is going to look to you for food and may not make it on its own. You will know as it gets older if it seems wild and wants to go or if is is content being with you. You don't however want to release it unless it is eating seed and bugs ot it's own that it would normaly be eating in the wild around your house.

      @Anniko there is a recipe at www.starlingtalk.com which consists of a dry dog or cat soaked in water so that it gets mushy mixed with some applesauce and a hardboiled egg. Once it is all mixed together it should be the consistency of cooked oatmeal. This then can be fed with a eyedropper or a straw that is cut at an angle on the end to resemble a spoon. I guess the first question is how old is the bird and does it open it's mouth when it hears someone near by like it would for it's mother? Also why do you think it is blind? It could also be dehydrated since you can't be sure when the last time was it had eaten. You don't want to put liquid in it's mouth since it can drown or get water in it's lungs but you can try putting the water on your finger and see if it will drink from there or just put the water on it's beak. Good luck and hope everything works out for you and the little guy. Feel free to ask any questions someone here is always willing to help. Don't forget to check out starlingtalk.com

      Keith and Nicole

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      Anniko Sult 7 years ago

      I just found a baby sparrow, it dose have feather's, and it seams to be blind. I have tried to put it back on its branch several times (over 24 houres) but to no avail. It should be mentioned, that I do have 3 cat's and one small dog, and yes my dog Bam Bam did find the bird and brought it back in. Now the bird is in a box with a towel, and I think the bird is blind. Now I am embarking on feeding it, since it does have its feather's I don't know what to feed it? Any one with suggestion's, I would love to hear them

      Thanks

      Anniko

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      ssecnirp24 7 years ago

      I have a question, our little Bacon is about 7-8 days old now (we've had him 7 days and he looked to be about a day or even a lil younger when found) he has been doing very well today I noticed when I try to go into his container to clean it up he is being very verbal like he's hungry but he's more so trying to be a big bird and let us know it's his home. Has anyone else experienced this? Is this a sign he's not imprinting to us? Does it mean that maybe he will be able to be released? I want to make sure I do the right thing for him! Thanks!

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      Tammy 7 years ago

      I want to first start out by saying thank you so much for this forum! Last tuesday on the way out of Chic Fil A my boyfriend found a little peanut on the sidewalk baking! He looked all around and could not find a nest being the animal lover that he is he did not want the poor little thing to fry so he brought Bacon home(the box he came home in was a chicken sandwich box that was marked Bacon on the top,lol)After he fed him a couple drops of bird baby formula I started searching the web to find some info and came across starling talk and this site. Thank God I did! We made up the dog food recipe from starling talk and made a straw like a little scoop and our little birdie went to town. He looked so dehydrated, I read that Gatorade would help so we took a Qtip and wet it with the Gatorade and wet the sides of his beak. With in a few hours of feedings and the Gatorade he started doing better. I was fortunately able to stay with him 24/7 the first two days for round the clock tending to! (I think it was meant to be, he was found on the beginning of my two days off so he was able to get extra attention)Bacon is doing so well so far, I tried not to handle him at first because I honestly thought we would be able to help him grow and then be able to release him! Honestly I was sadden when I found out that he would not do well on his own in the wild. BUT,I am happy he is going to be a part of our strange little family though! I'm trying to give him more attention now and handle him so we too can have the fun and exciting moments that I've been reading about on here. I can't wait to see him grow more and more each day, hopefully more good news to come!

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      D'sparrow 7 years ago from Southern California

      Keith and Nicole: I loved what you said about God and the sparrow~I feel the same way.

      RMR: I am trying my darndess to teach Eva to talk! hahahaha, I came across a motion detection/mirror bird toy that is basically a mirror that you record a short 10 second voice clip. When the bird jumps in front of or on the mirror it starts talking. Eva is sooo amused. I had to work the first day she started using it and my husband said she was playing with it all day. He said she looked like she was trying to figure out where I was, was I behind the new yellow thing?? she's soo cute. Just had to share. D.

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      Robin 7 years ago

      Hi Keith and Nicole,

      Thanks for the great tips. Your "wet-finger-in-the-seed" suggestion might just do the trick!

      Robin

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      Keith and Nicole 7 years ago

      Hello Robin, Just from our experience with the three sparrows we have and one being a little older than the other two. The older one will not eat off of the eye dropper any longer he only wants the seed that is in the tray and the worms we put in. He will eat the worms from our hand or from the bottom of the cage. The middle one will eat both the cat food and seed and youngest still wants the eye dropper but will also eat seed. The best thing to do is make sure that there is seed and water in the cage for them and maybe try putting your finger in the water dish and letting them drink it off of your finger and if you put your wet finger in the seed dish the seed will stick to it and they will eat the seed from your finger. They may just need you to show them that this is food. They will eventually no longer want the "baby" food that you had been feeding them.

      Keith and Nicole

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      Robin 7 years ago

      We rescued 2 baby house sparrows about two weeks ago. They have been growing well and thriving on high protein dog food which I ground to powder in my food processor and mixed with water to feed by syringe. They appear to have imprinted on each other. One escaped yesterday while my daugher was cleaning their nest box (outside). We were not able to find in after several hours because it would stop chirping everytime we got close to it, and we just could not find it in all the underbrush. Finally, I brought the other bird outside in its box, and lt nearby with the lid open just about an inch. The chirping of the bird in the box attracted the escaped bird, and an hour later, we found both babies back in the the box! Okay, so here's my question. The birds appeared to be a couple days apart in age when we first rescued them. We are guessin they are now about 3 - 4 weeks old. They are clearly able to perch and flutter their way from branch to branch, as we witnessed with the escaped bird, but they don't seem to be trying to feed themselves with the seeds and bugs we are leaving scattered in their box. Will they get the idea eventually if we keep doing what we are doing? When should we stop feeding them by syringe? And when will we know it's time to release them?

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      alex 7 years ago

      i have just rescued a baby scissor tail who's siblings died due to the heatwave/drought here in San Antonio, and parents abandoned it. I think it's about a week old. I am having trouble feeding it. Hopefully he will acclimate to his new surroundings soon.

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      Keith and Nicole 7 years ago

      Hello rmr and everyone else. Just wanted to give an update on our three little sparrows that we found on July 21st just over 2 weeks ago. I must say that they do grow fast and also develop quite wonderful personalities it has been a very trying and exciting couple weeks though. We found them with no feathers just pink skin and some say they were ugly however when I look back at the pics I think they were quite cute. Now they are fully feathered and able to fly, we know because one day one of our sons accidentally let one of them out of the cage and he then soared up into the palm trees and disappeared. When I got home from work I could hear him chirpping, he was hungry but he would not let me catch him he just kept going tree to tree. So he spent his or her first night out as a free bird. The next morning I could still hear his chirp and keep in mind there are about 15 other babies in the trees along with about 50 other sparrows flying around. I could somehow hear and find this little guy and he was keeping his eye on me. When I went to feed the other two in the garage this little guy flew into the garage and let me pick him up and put him back in the cage. He also was the oldest by a couple days of the three birds and had seemed to not want anything to do with us compared to the other two. However that changed after his night out and he was quite happy being there getting his food and didn't seem to eager to want to leave after that. Now he gets excited when he sees me or my wife. So a couple days ago I put the cage on our back patio since the garage was getting too hot. These guys always ate ALOT and only seem to like us when we are feeding them other than that they don't seem to want anything to do with us. But the other night in fact it was last Tuesday and their first night on the patio I heard the cage hit the floor so I rushed out and a cat was trying to get them. Two of the birds were gone and one was in the cage uninjured thankfully so we brought him in the house for the night. We could not find the other two but the next morning I went out and the smallest of the three had came back thank God and was sitting on the patio. I followed him as he flew to a small tree I made the noise that I make when I feed them and he let me pick him right up and put him back in the cage. The other one was the one who had gotten out 5 days before so he knew what it was like to be out in the trees. I again could hear him so I was so happy to know that the cat did not get any of them and I made the noise that I use while feeding them and he actually swooped right down and landed on the edge of the roof next to me. He would not let me catch him right away but as time passed he flew back to his cage and let my wife pick him up and put him back in. Now we keep them in the house at night or if we leave and I let them fly in the house a little to try and build there wing strength. We do want to set them free but it definately takes some time for them to develop all of the skills necessary for life outside. Not sure how they will take to being set free one day or if I will even be able to do it since they are such nice birds, messy though. They seem to love the cat food and applesauce diet and I mix in a little dry high protein baby cereal as well. We do feed them the meal worms since I have not been able to find anything else at our pet stores and they seem to like them and eat them fine even though they have a shell. I have been watching the mother birds outside and the habits of the wild birds and got to see a mother sparrow actually bringing a small lizard into a nest. I have not tried feeding my three birds a lizard and probably wont however I found it interesting that the ones outside ate them. Our three are each different, one is like a runt and never seems to get as big as the other two and the one who has been out twice is the biggest and best looking. They are all very healthy and they also make this quiet little whimpering noise when you come close to them to feed them or pick them up. They also flutter their wings now when we feed them kinda like they are getting all excited or something. I know one person wrote in saying that her bird was trying to bite her finger so she thought the bird then was wild and needed to be released however I find that my yougest one will give a gentle nibble on my finger when I stick it in the cage but that is because it wants food. I have two parakeets and one of them bites and hard these little sparrows are much nicer than my parakeets. Well I will update later when more exciting things happen and unitl then remember that God's eye is on the sparrow. There are some good scriptures in the Bible concerning the sparrow and it says that only God cares about the sparrow so God must have placed this upon everyone's heart that is here on this website to care for these little guys. Until next time.

      Keith, Nicole and family.

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      fostermommy 7 years ago

      i found a fledgling sparrow in my yard. i had to pick her up after a day of staying on the ground because of cats - nobody was feeding her. she has knobby foot joints, but they dont seem to be painful, but not normal either.in the house she isnt flying, just hopping around. i hope to release when she is flying normal.

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      Barb 7 years ago

      Well, maybe she hasn't bonded with me. She tries to peck my finger when I reach my hand in the cage. That is good. I want to be able to let her be free. She still can't fly, though. I took her out in the open yard yesterday and let her practise. I'm afraid she will get somewhere I can't get her out of and she will starve, get eaten......etc. Any advice? Thanks. AND thank you for having the hub. Its nice to see so many people that feel the same way I do.

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      D'sparrow 7 years ago from Southern California

      ok, I had an idea to give my sparrow Eva some intertainment so I purchased an ear of corn with all the husks still on it. I pulled back the husks and hung it upside down in her cage, tied to the top bars with the corn exposed. She absolutely LOVES it! she picks at the corn and pulls the hanging husks, crawls on the top of it and slides down. It was less then $1-cheap bird toy! Try it!

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      Barb 7 years ago

      WEll.....I'm back and Spike (I noticed someone else thought that name was a good one)is back in her cage. She was wandering around in my driveway. I have 3 hunting dogs so I couldn't let her stay. I picked her up, she kind of walked away a little but didn't try and fly, and fed her a few grasshoppers which she took from my hand. I'm not sure she will be able to live on her on. She was fully feathered when I found her but I think she may have bonded with me. So any suggestions where I should go from here? I think I mentioned before, this is my first bird rescue. Thanks.

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      Barb 7 years ago

      My sparrow is fully feathered but still has a baby mouth. He has been eating lots of grasshoppers and I have been taking him out to stretch his wings. He still doesn't fly real well. My question.... he is now under a very prickly bush and I can not get him out. I have had him over a week and he was fully feathered when I found him. Should I try harder to get him and put him back hin his cage or should I let him be on his own? I'm just really worried he will not be able to survive!

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      sammie n  7 years ago

      i found a small baby house sparrow yesterday and have taken it home with me after it fell from a nest it looks around 6 days old and is doing great at the moment (touch wood)

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Megan~Drumstick did quite a bit of napping when he was little. Typically mommy birds spend the daylight hrs feeding their little ones, and then they sleep from dusk til dawn. It's hard to say if this behavior is caused from outside stress, or if he was injured by something, or if he's just more lethargic than other birds. Drumstick was quite lively some days, and others, he would just be more low-key. I've heard it said that their appetite is a good indicator of their physical condition. If the appetite is okay, then chances are that it is still just getting used to the change of environment.

      @Jaime s.~Mealworms aren't a good food source for little sparrows as their outer shell poses a choking hazard. For the first couple months, the dog/cat food formula recipe should be more than enough for their dietary needs. As for determining the sex of the bird....it is easiest to determine once they're fully feathered. (the lighter beige/light brown colored ones are female; the darker brown with a dk brown/black mask are males.) Their sex organs are inside of the birds. It's far easier to do the color test.

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      Laura 7 years ago

      I think when it's an adult you can tell the gender. You could give it a sort of standard name now, like "sam" which can be "Sammy" or "samantha". Then you could change it as an adult.

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      jaime s. 7 years ago

      I have him/her on a baby bird recipe already, but got the mealworms as a side-dish of sorts for added food source.

      As for telling what sex the baby bird is...is that possible?

      It is a standard house sparrow of five days of age.

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      Laura 7 years ago

      Megan- I believe young sparrows sleep 6 hrs a day, but I'm not sure. Rmr could probably help you there, but perhaps the cat had already bothered him and the saliva is toxic... It's a lot of ifs, but try to find a vet to check him out to be on the safe side.

      jaime s.- I would go with a formula instead of just mealworms, which have little nutritional value.

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      jaime s.  7 years ago

      I have taken a ~four-day-old baby sparrow in from the shelter to try and raise for them, but I have not raised a sparrow his age in many years.

      I have bought some mealworms, but I forget how they're supposed to be fed them at such a young age.

      Should they be mashed, cut into 1/2's, 1/3's, or are they able to swallow and digest a full mealworm?

      Thank you for any advice!

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      Megan 7 years ago

      Late last night I found a baby sparrow in my yard with no trees or bushes where it could of come from. He seems to have all his feathers and has attempted flying but only flys a couple inches high. In a cage he just hops around.

      Today he hopped out of the nest I made him and was chirping this morning but then he went back to sleep and doesn't do much else.

      I know he is still alive because I can see him breathing.

      I brought his in last night because a cat was a foot away from him waiting to attack. The poor thing didn't have any defenses.

      Is it normal for the baby sparrow to sleep this much?

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      Barb 7 years ago

      Thanks for all your help, rmr. He seems to be a very resilent little thing. He (?) is always trying to get loose. I'm going today to try and find him a bird cage. I'll try the small dish with food on it. He is moving around a lot but he is in an inclosed box.....no sunshine. I took him out yesterday and held him so he could hear other sparrows. I even let him down to run around a little though I know it is traumatic when I scoop him back up. He doesn't look like a baby except for his mouth. I have had him for a week so hopefully in another week he will be ready to go. Thank you again for all your help. I've raised muskrats and squirrels but this is my first bird to survive.

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Barb~I think what we got from the petstore were considered and called leaf worms. If this little one isn't interested in feeding himself, that is going to be the first obstacle to conquer. When feeding him, put some of the food on a small saucer, or shallow bowl in the box and feed him from there so he can see where the food is coming from. Usually once they see your hand going to this spot for food, and then you feeding him, he will make the connection between the two. If you leave little bits of the food mixture in crumbles around his box, he should slowly begin to become interested in eating without you being present. Once the little one begins to want to eat on his own, then you can start considering the thought of prepping him for release. Ideally, he will be self-feeding and being able to fly at least short distances before he can safely be released, If only one of these skills are present, his safety will be compromised, and he will be at risk for either starvation, or attack from other creatures. I'm not sure if the grubs would be okay to give to him. They are usually thicker than the leaf worms, and depending on the birds ability, may cause at the very least, a choking hazard. Also, many worms from outside are contaminated with diseases which would prove harmful. This is one of the many reasons why earthworms aren't a great idea. If he's happy with the grasshopper and moth things, keep him on those. I would rather err on the side of caution rather than cause him pain, and you distress.

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      Barb 7 years ago

      Hi, It's me. How about grubworms. My husband has been splitting wood and the wood is full of them.

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      Barb 7 years ago

      Thank you so much,rmr. I can use all the help you can give. First, what are bloodworms? How will I know when to let him go? He is trying to fly but can't quite get off the ground and he doesn't seem to want to peck at food. He is quite a little character and wants to get away.

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Barb~If he has his feathers, then he is past the imprinting stage so he could be released once he has regained his strength. Not knowing what caused him to be laying on the ground, I can't say when or if it would be safe for him to be released. (The maggot statement is disconcerting.)Until that time, however, you should continue doing what has been working for you so far. I would suggest however, maybe changing the mealworms to something similar but without a hard shell such as bloodworms; or just continue with the grasshoppers. They will provide that protein that the little guy needs. If he is going to be released then he is going to need an area where he can fly freely for a while and get his wing strength back. In all honesty Barb, it sounds like you've got it totally under control. You've done a magnificent job sustaining this little guy. Keep up the good work!! If you have any further questions, let me know, and I'll do my best to help.

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      Barb 7 years ago

      Hi. I accidently came across your web site and I am taking care of a baby sparrow also. My hunting dog was 'taking' care of him and brought him to me. I have had him a week and he is doing well. He had all his feathers and I left him all day to see if the mother would come back but by the afternoon I found him laying on his back under the tree. He already had maggots on his back. I cleaned him with witch hazel and picked the maggots off. I started feeding him moistened dog food and supplemented with moths and grasshoppers. Now he has been with me a week and he is eating grasshoppers, mealworms, and dog food. He is trying to fly around (I have to pull him out from behind things). He hasn't bonded with me. Does this mean I will be able to let him go? I have tried to let him eat by himself but he is not able yet. He doesn't make noises very much but he is skittering around in his box. I have to find a cage today. Any suggestions on his further care? This is my first time to raise a bird. Most have not made it past the first night.

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Sheila~I looked up sparrow folklore/legends to see if there was anything official on such an occurrance, or anything similar. I didn't locate anything, but it sure sounds like something that could have definitely been a scary experience for the person who was being dive-bombed by this little guy. I've heard of them landing near people and refused to leave, but never swooping in to say "hello" in that fashion.

      @Scott~Congratulations on having so much success with these little guys!! You are a gifted birdie daddy to be able to have continued success like you do. That is wonderful!! Kudos on your creative nest-making ideas. That does in-fact sound like cozy set-up that you've got going for this little guy. He's truly lucky to have found you. So, what is this little guys name?? He sounds as creative as his owner if he's into digging for a place to sleep. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story; it truly is inspiring. Keep up the good work!!

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      Scott 7 years ago

      I am currently raising my second sparrow. Had the first one a little over a year and it escaped from the cage when we were giving her some fresh air outside. Now repeating the process with a male. Have had very good luck with dry dog food, bird vitamins, tums (for the calcium) and a hint of karo syrup all ground up together and mixed with water to make a gruel that is consitant with canned cat food. Make a feeding spoon from a drinking straw that is cut diagonally at the end to simulate a beak. Growing like a weed and is almost fully feathered. Should be flying in another week or so. Made the nest in a empty box of coffee singles and shreaded paper towels. He loves it because he can crawl to the bottom and bury himself we he wants to sleep.

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      Sheila 7 years ago

      What does it mean when a sparrow flies in front of you and the wings touch your left shoulder?

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      Laura 7 years ago

      D'sparrow- Nice pic of Eva, she's a real cutie!

      Everybody has such nice birds, I'm jealous! :P

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      D'sparrow~I don't recall when Drumstick started "talking", but I looked it up and it happens typically between 15 and 30 weeks old. The more that Eva is spoken to, the more she'll mimic you. It will start off like matching tones at first, then, very gradually it will begin to take on more word-like tones. Eva's pic. is beautiful!!! What a little sweetie she is!!!! Thanks so much for sharing.

      I absolutely am looking forward to you writing a hub. Hopefully you can find time in your busy schedule to do that. I would enjoy reading all you have to say. Thank you for all the kind words, they're greatly appreciated!

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      D'sparrow 7 years ago from Southern California

      If I can find the time somewhere between Eva and work I may start a hub. Your's is my favorite and first one. My display is a picture of Eva from 2 weeks ago-such a cutie!

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      D'sparrow 7 years ago

      RMR-do you remember approximatly how old Drumstick was when youu first heard him talk? Man, I would love for my Eva to talk! That way she could just tell me night-night instead of getting all crazy at bedtime :)

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hello Laura. I'm told that they do talk. Ours has a very limited vocabulary, but he really does try to mimic certain words.

      I've also mentioned that hand feeding mixture several times throughout the comments, here. I really do need to go back and put it into the body of the article.

      Thanks.

      Rob

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Peepy McGee~ I'm glad you found the information here helpful! The formula worked fine for us, but I later learned that the wee ones also need animal protein. You can try a mixture of quality puppy or kitten food (softened with water), apple sauce and hard boiled egg. You're going for a cooked oatmeal consistency, here. You might also want to see if you can get a vet to look at that leg. Best of luck with your baby, and come back any time. I'm always happy to help where I can.

      Hi Autumn. Welcome back! 4 weeks is just about the right time to start introducing water. I would try leaving it in a small dish or lid from a jar, on the floor of his home. He'll find it there, and get curious soon enough. Until then, he should be getting plenty of fluids from his food. As far as taming, that pretty much took care of itself, for us. knowing Drumstick couldn't be released, we just couldn't resist playing with him.

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      Laura 7 years ago

      Rmr- They TALK???? Excuse the all-caps, but I had no Idea!

      Autumn- Do they even drink water at 4 weeks? I don't think so, just keep up with the formula and I believe it'll be fine.

      Peepy McGee- Little comment. I've read from multiple sources that baby bird liquid formula isn't the best. If it is liquid, the bird could drown. Starlingtalk.com has a formula that suits baby sparrows.

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      Autumn 7 years ago

      HI remember meeeee!! lol So i just wanted to tell you that lil Jack sparrow is doing great! He is a lil annoying at times man he just goes on and on and if i talk to him he goes on and on more chirp chirp chirp... lol anyways I'm thinking he is about 4 weeks the food formula is not wanting to go straight down his througt like it used to so I put some seeds in his lil feeder bowl and man he found those pretty darn quick and has been eating on them for a couple days now but has yet to care anything about his water I know if he isnt drinking water I cant cutt him off formula or do u think maybe he will drink it if I do? I've got the water sitting in one of the feeder bowls to should I have it like that? Also I just wanted to say thank you for all of your info other than a couple videos of people feeding them on youtube your about the only place that had anyhting not to mention everything u need to know :D Thanks Again !! So any tips for taming? Oh by the way he is annoying but i love him (her) very much :D lol

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      Peepy McGee 7 years ago

      Thank you for this hub. I found two baby sparrows during lunchtime at work in the parking garage 6 days ago. One was very dead and I left the other hoping the parents would feed it even though it was out of the nest. It had some feathers, but still lots of pink skin showing. It looked almost exactly like the picture posted last. At 5 the sparrow was still huddled in a corner and upon closer inspection seemed to have a broken or injured leg. I took it home and my daughter and I started feeding it soggy bread. It was ravenous. We googled info about baby birds and found your site. Before long we were at the pet store getting baby bird formula and a syringe. The little bird's feathers have filled in and she appears to be a girl. She's doing well despite her injured leg. Thanks for all your info.

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      rmr 7 years ago from Livonia, MI

      D'sparrow~You are such a good birdie mama. I have read that the sparrows personality is a reflection of it's owners conversations with it. If the person is animated and excited when talking with the bird, then the sparrow will try to replicate that same excitement and attitude in response. If this is true, then you must have a wonderful personality if Eva is that animated with you. I think it's wonderful that she is so loved and happy living with you. It sounds like you are both very fortunate to have found each other.

      @Macheen~If this little guy has fallen from a palm tree, there's a good chance that he was hurt from the fall. It sounds like you're doing a good job of doing all you can for him. As long as he is kept warm, and eating every half-hour; then for now that's really all you can do. It was very generous of you to look out for this little one and take him home with you to give him a decent chance of survival. Had you not brought him home, then his fate would most definitely have been grim. Just keep doing what you have been, and if he wasn't hurt too badly, then slowly over time, he should get better. However, if he was thrown from the nest or injured severely upon landing, then regardless of how perfect the care, sadly, he will end up in "birdie heaven". Hopefully your story will have a happy ending. Keep up the good work, I know that little guy appreciates all you have done to help him survive. Keep me posted on his condition.

      @Keith and Nicole~You're doing the right thing by keeping them outside close to their home if you are seriously considering releasing them. The less human contact they have, the better chance they will have when they are let go back into their old environment. Being outside, they can still listen and chirp along with the others just like they ordinarily would. That was a wonderful idea you had!

      I had read that sparrows can talk but never really believed it until one day I walked past Drumsticks cage and simply said "hey, bird!" As I walked away, I heard "hey, bird!" in response. I had to turn back around and say it again. We had this 2-word conversation back and forth until Drumstick got tired of repeating himself, and went and hid behind his mirror. I had no idea that they had so much personality.

      I hope all works out well with your 3 little ones and their release. Let me know how they're doing from time to time. If they're released into your yard, they will more than likely come back and visit you and then take off again. I know they are thankful that you came along to help them and give them a chance at life.

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      Keith and Nicole 7 years ago

      Hello rmr and everyone else. I live in Florida and have five tall palm trees which are home to probably 30 or more sparrows of different types. Some seem very colorful and pretty birds while the females I assume are usually all brown. Three days ago we found three babies that had fallen out of a nest and with all of the wild cats in the area we new they would not make it. I did put them in a cage and attached it to the tree they fell from however by the next day the parents had not fed them. My wife and four kids decided to raise them for release and then later that day we found two more on the ground. Now we had five however two of the youngest which looked like they were only a day old died. We now have three very healthy sparrows and are feeding them the dry cat food,applesauce and egg mixture we found on another web site and they seem to be doing fine. We are torn however as to whether we should keep them or let them go. We have left them in the garage so as to not get acclimated to the A/C and noises inside of the house and we leave the garage door open all day so they can hear the other sparrows in the yard. I love the stories everyone has told of their rescue experiences and drumstick and the others seem like they have some fun and interesting personalities. Since we have three we should have a good chance of letting them go when they can fly, however it is hard not to hold them or talk to them. Do sparrows really talk and say words like a parrot or parakeet? Thanks for this hub and all of your comments they have been helpful and fun to read.

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      Macheen 7 years ago

      Hi I am new and glad I found this site. I have what I think is about a week old baby bird. IT was on the ground below a large palm tree, no put back and no parents we did wait. He/she was chirping about once every 30 seconds. Anyways I boxed him/her/it up. I have no idea what kind of bird it is, probably a sparrow. We brought the bird home at the end of the day. I did give it some water (oop's) a few drops. Then I ran up to our local pet store they had the kaylee. I got an eye dropper. He/she/it wasn't too interested in feeding I did force some down though. I don't have a way to weigh the bird, but am not overfeeding. Now were on day two, and he/she/it has been mostly lethargic. Will eat if I encourage him (him from now on), I read the part about temperature and I am correcting that. But he does open his eyes when I feed him, and swallows. I rubbed his crop some, it feels ok and his poop is normal being white and black pretty even mix, not watery so he is passing food ok it seems. No chirping today though. I am a little concerned, or is this generally normal behaviour for this situation and either see some improvement soon....how soon? Or maybe birdie heaven for the little guy. Any advice would be great, I would like to see the little guy make it. I know this is usually a venture in futility, but I couldn't stand the thought of him getting eatin. I am hopefully at least providing him a fighting chance.

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      D'sparrow 8 years ago

      RMR-yea, my Eva is the same way with food, and if I happen to put something in her small treat-only bowl that she does'nt like, then off to the bottom of the cage goes the bowl-what a brat!! hahaha, anyways I love her so much and I want to make her life as happy and interesting as possible. She definatly does that for me.

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      Laura 8 years ago

      Wow! Five years. It's nice to hear from someone who has had such great success!

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      sparrowhill 8 years ago

      I am so happy that I found this Hub. Five years ago, we found a tiny, featherless, little sparrow on our front porch. It had fallen through a small hole in our porch ceiling and we were afraid of hurting the little thing if we tried to squeeze it back through the opening. The only injury that she had sustained in the fall was a broken toe.

      She was raised on wheat bread that had been saturated with milk and egg yolk that had been warmed a bit in the microwave. I fed her with a curved tweezers that resembled her mama's beak. Her name is Farley and she has been my constant companion. She has her own seed cup and water dish, but every meal she is sitting on my left thumb and helping herself to anything she wants on my plate. She loves spaghetti, peas, baked beans and every night at exactly 8:20 we have to share popcorn. She flies free all

      day in the house and sleeps in a cage at night. She can say her own name and also my name and my husband's name. She tries to rule the roost and will not hesitate to put our two german shepherds or my two, 6 foot plus sons in their place if they come between her and something she wants. She loves to cuddle up under your chin or in the crook of your arm to take a nap. She thinks she is a person. The many sparrows and other song birds who frequent out birdfeeders just outside the windows do not interest her. Anyway, I am so glad to read that so many other people are willing to rescue this intelligent, lovable little bird. Farley is one of the great loves of my life and I hope I am blessed with her companionship for many more years.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Laura~The fact that they fly off to hide is a wonderful sign that they have a healthy fear of humans. If they get too used to having human contact, that would significantly increase their vulnerability and put them in danger of being harmed. Bless you for being so devoted and dedicated to helping these little guys. I know they appreciate you watching over them. Keep up the great work!!

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      Laura 8 years ago

      I've had moderate success with the birds. We (My friend and I)rescued 2 fledglings this week! It's so cute how they fly off to hide when you put them in a bush.

      D'sparrow- Eva is a nice name. That's adorable how she knows her nightly routine. Good for you for getting this far!!!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      D'sparrow~That is so wonderful that everything worked out so well with Eva. It sounds like she's spoiled rotten, just like Drumstick. Our little bird has his own bedtime ritual. He will eat and then go to his nest and run around in a circle screeching. If the room is too dark for him, he will complain until we turn the light on. If there's a snack he wants, he goes to his food perch, and stares into the kitchen where the cheese puffs live. If we walk out of the kitchen without a cheese puff, he yells at us til he gets one. He has 2 food cups; and if one is empty, he will look into it and then make eye contact and then look back into the empty cup. This will continue until someone gets the message. They really are brilliant animals. I'm so glad that your story has such a happy ending. Thanks for the update!!

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      D'sparrow 8 years ago

      OMG!!! you're back!! Yeay!! I have'nt been on here for awhile thinking you were gone. I had to end up keeping Cricket(her name changed to Eva). She loves her cage and has such a personality! She plays with every toy I put in there. She turned out to be extremely smart too. She goes up to her night-night perch everynight about 7:20 pm and yells at me to cover her cage...soo cute!

      She finaly started eating on her own last week...ugh..finaly. no more hand feedings! yeay! but sometimes, as a treat, I can't resist. :)

      Glad you're back-

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Sarah~When the baby is about 4 weeks old or so, then you can start leaving little bits of the food around the nest after you have hand-fed it. Gradually, it will begin to prefer eating on it's own. By the time it is 6-8 weeks old, it should be completely weaned and eating on its own. After he has been self-feeding for about a month, then you can begin the transition from the formula to seeds and insects. We started with bloodworms and cut them up.

      A good start would be a parrot cage with a few perches. We also added a nest purchased at a pet store, a mirror for company, and a little cat toy looking ball with a jingle ball inside. We have a millet holder in his cage, and a water dish, one food cup with seeds, and another cup with rice krispies. He also gets bits of bread with peanut butter on it poked thru the bars in the top of the cage. We never did the treat stick thing, we kept it simple. Since yours is still very young, these things won't come into play for a while. When your bird begins to look like he's going to begin to fly, put him in a cage, and get the stuff for him to play with. He should be happy.

      @Tamy~I wouldn't suggest trying to release this bird again. He clearly missed you and looks at you as his family. You can begin feeding him the dog food formula again, since he was so young. Weaning won't happen for another couple weeks. Read the above response for tips on weaning when yours is the appropriate age of about a month.

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      Tamy 8 years ago

      It's Tammy. I wrote earlier about our baby bird that decided to take flight. Well..good news. He is back. It took 6 hours to locate him. What a challenge that was. We would call him and he would chirp back but we could not find him. We were beginning to loose hope as night was approaching and all the other birds had left the area. In last attempt we thought we would try again. We were not disappointed. Now this may sound a little far fetched but trust me...no lie. That bird managed to hop down a few branches and took a leap of faith right back into our arms..yes he came when he was called..I know but true. We were all so happy to have him back. Now I have other questions....can this bird actually be reintroduced to the wild? What do I feed him now and how do I wean him?

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      Sarah 8 years ago

      I have an 11-day-old sparrow that was given to me to care for from a friend who found it when it was around 4-days-old. I have been raising it with no ill effects and with the intention of releasing the bird when it was old enough.

      Reading so many articles however, I am sad to learn that my single sparrow, which I've been calling Goober, has imprinted upon me and will not be able to be released.

      I did not have intentions of keeping him but now I guess I'll have to. Don't get me wrong, I love the little thing to death and have a house full of birds, I was just hoping for a better outcome.

      That being said, how exactly do I care for this little guy now? I've not spent virtually any time with it, hoping that I wouldn’t imprint, and I don't really know how or when to start the weaning process. What do you feed your sparrow now that it's fully weaned and how and when did you start?

      And what about living situations for him? I understand a cage but then what? Would he interact with toys? Would he want lots of perches or a few? And again, food? Cuttle bones, mineral blocks, treat sticks? You can find all kinds of information on the diet of pet birds, but wild birds kept as pets?

      I didn't plan for this and would just hate to think that I took this little one in and got him this far along doing really well, only to screw things up in the end. I care for him way too much.

      Any help you can off would be great.

      Sarah in Idaho

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      John~There is a wonderful recipe for baby bird formula on Starlingtalk.com. Several people have tried it with pretty good results. A diet high in protein is a necessity. The recipe consists of dog food soaked in water, mashed up hard-boiled eggs, and yogurt/applesauce. Your little one is also going to want to eat about every 20-30 minutes.

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      sue 8 years ago

      A sparrow made a nest in my hanging plant and had 2 or 3 babies. The babies are approx. 2 to 2 1/2 weeks old. Today when I went to peak at the babies, either the mother or a baby quickly flew out of the nest. It couldn't be a baby right? It was probably the mother? I'm just so nervous that the baby wasn't ready to leave the nest and I messed it up.

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      john 8 years ago

      hey these sparrows made a nest on our porch. there was 4 of them that hatched. but this cat got to it and it knocked over the nest. three of them died and one survived. the mother i believe is scared and it hasnt come back all day and i dont want anythign to happen to the bird is there anything i can do to help i dont know what to feed it

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Autumn~Since these birds are mostly feathered, hopping and are active; their average temp. should be around the 75 degree mark. (If your home is typically around 70 degrees, that should be fine.) When Drumstick was that age, I believe that we had removed the heating pad, and since he began hopping, moved him directly into a cage. This allowed him to begin working on his wing strength and gave him more room to play.

      @Tammy~usually baby birds are released when they are a few months old, and have been transferred to a seed/ protein diet. Little birds have a way of becoming airborn at the darndest times. If he is in the same basic area where he was found, he may be able to reconnect with other birds from that vicinity, and learn from them how to hunt for food. There are also probably bird feeders in the area that he will come across. I have had a few readers write and tell me that when they set their birds free, they kept coming back. Since his disturbed nest was close to your home, I would like to consider this a possibility, also. He may end up showing up just to say "hi". Tell your son it's okay. The more he exercises his wings, the stronger they will get. You could always get a little bird feeder and put it up and see who comes to visit it. You may be pleasantly surprised......

      @Laura~I'm not sure of the toxic effect of feline saliva. You raise an excellent point though--I will have to look into that. Thank you for your input. 

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      Laura 8 years ago

      Cats are bad news. I believe that their saliva is toxic to baby sparrows. Any of the babies who have been even near a cat or dog should probably see a vet.

      But I'm not positive. You should probably ask another person to be sure.

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      Tammy 8 years ago

      About 8 days ago we found two baby birds. They had been disturbed by a cat..I assume that the nest was in a hedge that was close by. The first bird died but the other thrived. We have really enjoyed him. Today the kids brought him outisde to give him some sunlight and to exercise his wings and he took flight. He flew into the forest and landed on the ground..we have not been able to locate him. Although he does well flying a short distance, we are worried that he will not survive on his own. My son is very upset that he will die. At what age are sparrows ready to be on their own?

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      Tammy 8 years ago

      About 8 days ago we found two baby birds. They had been disturbed by a cat..I assume that the nest was in a hedge that was close by. The first bird died but the other thrived. We have really enjoyed him. Today the kids brought him outisde to give him some sunlight and to exercise his wings and he took flight. He flew into the forest and landed on the ground..we have not been able to locate him. Although he does well flying a short distance, we are worried that he will not survive on his own. My son is very upset that he will die. At what age are sparrows ready to be on their own?

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      Autumn 8 years ago

      Hello we have had a sparrow for 3 days now, my fiance was at work and the boss made someone clean the nests out of the gutters and the mom came out and attacked the guy and then flew straight into a car so anyways he brought him home and we have done pretty much eveything but the heating pad thing so im starting to wonder if he is old enough 2 maybe not need the heating pad he has most of his feathers besides on his butt he cant fly yet and has been jumping about a lil and he chirps alot. Do you think he will be okay? He seems to have more energy everyday...

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      Laura 8 years ago

      OK, fledglings in a bush, raise hatchlings.

      I'll be able to keep them as adults, and honestly, I don't think many shelters here willl take them.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi Laura. If the birds have few or no feathers, and you can't find a way to get them to safety, your last resort is to take them in. Unfortunately, a single bird is nearly impossible to raise for release. If you can't keep it as a pet, your best option is to find someone who can, or try a rehab facility. I've heard from a few people who released them into their back yard, and had them live happily there for years, but I would consider that rare.

      As for the ones with feathers, those are fledgelings. They often spend a day or two on the ground while they are learning to fly. Putting them in a bush may be sufficient. Their parents are usually still feeding them and keeping an eye on things while they're down there.

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      Laura 8 years ago

      Most of them are pink and almost entirely featherless, so the only thing is that I've seen a cat there too, so I'd be nervous about having them sit on a shelf. Also, they usually fall in an aisle where installing any shelf would be impossible. The nests are also not all in one location. Some babies fall at opposite ends of the barn than others.

      With fledglings, would it be OK to put them in a bush, or would they still be reliant on their parents? If I only raised them until they were able to be released, would they still become tame?

      (Also, thanks for the quick response.)

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Typically, the first course of action would be to move the baby somewhere near to the nest. However considering the location, this would be difficult. Odds are, that if it's a fledgling, it was making an attempt at flying and does not need help. If there is somewhere close to the nest where you could put a box to keep it out of the way of dogs and horses, or on a shelf out where he could still be by his family, would be your best bet. If it's a baby, and you do not want to keep it as a pet, you can keep it in a box out by his family, and only come into contact with it while it's eating so it will lessen the chances of imprinting, and it can learn their songs. If you have that many birds around, you stand the chance of having your own aviary full of sparrows that have come to you one bird at a time otherwise. If they are nestlings, then you can still take care of them until they are able to be released. I might suggest installing a shelf out there so the box will be up off of the ground and they will be safe. If you decide to keep them, that would be okay, too. As long as it's kept warm, and is eating, that is your main goal.

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      Laura 8 years ago

      Hi, I've been reading this and it has some great info. (I started at starlingtalk.com too. Very helpful.)

      My problem is this- I ride horses, and quite often a baby house sparrow (I'm positive on species, passer domesticus is the scientific name I believe.) nestling or fledgling on the ground. The nests are in the rafters of the barn, so there is no possible way to return them. I also cannot leave them on the ground because of dogs and.... horse hooves. Would the best thing be to attempt raising them myself? People tell me to leave them in a bush, but I know they'll die there. Please help!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      What a cutie!!! It sure does look like it could be Drumsticks sister or brother from another mother. Thanks for the pic. It touches my heart to actually "see" the little one that is loved so much. It kinda looks like it is smiling. :)

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      Patty 8 years ago

      Thank you!

      I'm trying to show you a picture, hope it works b/c this posting won't allow me to include a HTML. I think it looks like a sparrow.

      Thanks again for all of your help!

      http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g68/purepatty/bi...

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Suavek~Usually when the little birds are around 4 weeks old, you can begin to get them ready to eat on their own. If you bring a shallow bowl, or small plate down on their level, and use it while you're feeding them, they will get curious about it and begin to go around it to get more food when you leave it out for them in their cage. They should begin to pick at it on their own once they have identified the plate as a food source. Gradually they should be wanting to self-feed more. Once they have become totally self-feeding, then you can begin to introduce the seeds into their diet for them to peck at. They should slowly become more interested in the seeds and ignore the formula.

      @Patty~Different birds have different personalities as well as different volumes. Drumstick was barely audible, mainly because he didn't have to be. It was just him; and he didn't have to use the "Squeaky wheel gets the grease" logic. Perhaps your little one is of a similar mindset.

      It is possible that he became bruised when he landed. He may or may not have internal injuries. If he does, all you (or anyone) can do is just do the best job you can with keeping him warm, and fed. Nature will take it's course hopefully with positive results for both of you. Either way, it being under your constant care certainly increases the odds of survival over sending him back out into the blazing hot sun with predators lurking about.

      We do not claim to be professional ornithologists; but we just try to coach fellow bird caregivers on what worked best for us and Drumstick. Starlingtalk has outstanding information, that's for sure!!! So glad you found us--it's always a pleasure to find others who value the lives of the frail and helpless.

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      Patty 8 years ago

      One more concern...I watched a youtube video on a one day old sparrow and it was chirping rather loud. Mine is probably about 3-5 days old (primary feathers on wings, but hasn't opened his eyes) and he does chirp, but it is as light as someone flicking their nails. Also on one of his sides he has some really dark markings, I'm wondering if that is bruising.....

      There are no vets in my area with bird experience. I've called about ten so far and all they told me is to put it back in the nest, when I told them I have no idea where the nest is they told me to put it back where I found it (on my driveway, in 110 weather, with cats in the neighborhood!)

      PS thank you soo much! I looked on the starling website before I found yours, but it is nice to actually communicate with someone who has done this!

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      suavek 8 years ago

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      Good info, thanks. We found this sparrow (we named him Tater Tod) laying on the ground in the neighbor’s yard. The neighbor heard him crying for about 9 hours. He must have not been older than 4 days. We follow the line about watching for the mother to claim him for a couple more hours longer, to no avail, so we rescued him. We've been hand feeding him the formula for the last 3 weeks. Now he is flying with no problem. In fact he ran out a couple of times, and spent most of the day outside on the nearby trees chirping on top his longs. He always came back, though because he doesn't know how to eat on his own. I tried the blood worms with mixed results. I didn't mash them, though, but I did cut them into smaller pieces. We put him on the screened patio during the day with seeds, warms and water around, but he still doesn't eat by himself. I thought, by now he would get curious about seeds and water.

      When do they start picking food up on their own? Is there anything I can do to help with that?

      Sly

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Christen~I'm sure that Piko will be elated with your decision to adopt him. He will definitely have a better life with you than he would if he were left with his relatives. You've done a brilliant job with him, and he will be changing almost daily now. Before much longer, he will be on the move, and in need of a cage to call his own. I look forward to the updates.

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      Christen 8 years ago

      Thank you once again for your knowledge. I have decided to permanently adopt the bird and have since given it a name: Piko. Thank you for explaining why the other sparrows acted the way they did. I will take care of Piko and keep you posted! Piko seems stronger than he was yesterday and chirps more loudly. It also started preening today, so I hope it'll develop into a fine adult sparrow!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Christine~Well, it sounds like you have just solidified your position as mommy bird. It's a safe bet that if his brothers and sisters were reacting that violently, his outlook for a successful release would be minimal. Sparrows are very territorial, and the fact that he was basically attacked indicates that they would not welcome him. It sounds like it would be in his best interest for you to keep doing what you have been, and continue your mommy bird routine. It's possible that it may have been kicked out of the nest by a member of it's family, and is now being shunned. I would suggest that this third attempt at reuniting him with his family be his last. It sounds so tragic the way you say they were treating him and ignoring him when they weren't beating up on him. It's probably best that he be kept away from them. If you're thinking about releasing him, there are specific steps to aid in this process when he is more able to eat on his own.

      I'm so happy to hear that the new formula worked well for him. Hopefully he will continue to grow and gain strength.

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      Christen 8 years ago

      Thanks so much! I just made a third attempt to reconnect the baby bird with its Mom. I went in hiding behind a door and watched the bird as I left it under its nest for about an hour. I saw about 7-8 sparrows approach the baby bird, most of whom resided in its nest. However, they were attacking it and none were responding to its calls. It was so heartwrenching watching the baby bird following the birds around chirping, only to see each one of them either running away from it or attacking him. Is it normal? Does it mean they're rejecting him? They flew away together after a while, leaving the baby bird hungry. I'm feeding him again. Should I put the baby back in its nest? I'm scared that it'll be attacked or that the Mom isn't even there anymore, since she never responded to its chirping. By the way, the formula on StarlingTalk worked great!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Christen~I'm glad that you were able to find something there useful. I know that website was my birdie Bible in the early days of Drumsticks life. They were a true blessing for us. Hope that your little one will take to the recipe and really gobble it down!! Keep me posted--I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for you.

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      Christen 8 years ago

      I just visited StarlingTalk and found the information very useful. I also compared the pictures with my sparrow and it seems to be around 10 days old-ish. Thanks so much again! I'm making the recipe right now!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Christen~We have found the information on Starlingtalk.com to be an enormous help to us in the beginning days of taking care of Drumstick. There is a recipe on there that has had good success with several of the people who have tried it. I believe that recipe combines soaking dog food in water til soft, and mixing it with yogurt, or applesauce, and a mashed up hard-boiled egg. I'm sure that if he enjoys the fruity taste, then you can add extra fruit into the mixture just so he'll be getting the necessary nutrients from the other ingredients but it will still have a sweet flavor that he may be able to tolerate.

      I wanted to mention to you also that when you visit the Starlingtalk website, there are also pictures taken day-by-day of a starling so you can monitor the development of your sparrow. I hope that you will be able to find enough information to ease your nerves a bit. I printed out pages and pages of information from all different sites, and kept reading them over and over again. I already knew what the pages said; but somehow it made it more comfortable for me to get through.

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      Christen 8 years ago

      Thanks for being so kind and generous with your knowledge and experience! I experienced a breakthrough just now... It ate from the coffee straw without me having to pry its beak open! However, it only eats voluntarily when I give it fruit. I want to make sure it gets enough calcium, fat, and protein though. When it eats from the straw, it goes not open its mouth very widely... it usually lucks the fruit and then gobbles it up by sucking it in first. It does not even try to eat the dog food formula... Is there an online recipe you can recommend? I'm really inspired by your experience with Drumstick. Thanks for all your advice so far; I'm truly grateful.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Christen~I've been trying to think back to when Drumstick was getting his feathers. I remember his tube casing things, and then the next thing I can recall is that he had actual feathers where previously there were straw coated things where his feathers were gonna be. I don't recall if he had shed them in pieces, but this would make sense if he was trying to remove them. Drumstick wasn't real active when he was about that age either. We had created a nest out of a rolled up washcloth that was low enough for him to rest his chin on and look over the top of. Since they are known for making nests in small, confined areas, this should help him feel cozy.

      Drumstick was only 2 days old more or less when I found him at work. He was about the size of a quarter and was the sole survivor of his family after a strong storm had impacted their nest the night before. I was his mommy from as far back as he can remember, so to his knowledge, the box was just where he had always been so he was immediately comfortable. His eyes weren't even close to opening when he was brought home to live with us.

      No worries about asking so many questions...this is an incredibly intense process; and they are so little and helpless it would challenge even the most seasoned birdie professional. Follow your instinct--you're doing a great job.

      @Patty~As long as the little one is still eating, it should be fine. Considering you're feeding it so often, his appetite is going to vary in intensity. Just keep him on his schedule and he should be okay. If you are going back to work in a few weeks, that should be a long enough time away for him to be able to go 4 hours between feedings without a problem. Gradually, the time span between feedings will grow to where they are more easily do-able, and not so demanding.

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      Patty 8 years ago

      Hi, I just found what I believe to be a baby sparrow yesterday morning. It was on my driveway, with no tree nor nest anywhere in sight. I assumed that something brought it there and then got scared off. Yesteraday, it was eating fine...about two or three small scoops (on an cut-scoop straw), but today, it will only take one at a time. I'm feeding it about every 1/2 hour to 40 mins. Do you think this is normal?

      Also, if this little guy survives, I'll probably have to keep him as a pet. I live in las vegas and called the bird rehabilitator and she had a message saying she is not working this summmer. she left another phone number to a vets office that has since shut down. My concern is that I go back to work in three weeks. I can feed it in morning and on lunch,,,,but it might have to go four hours. At three weeks old, do you think it can make it that long without food?

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      Christen 8 years ago

      Thanks again for the quick response! I try to feed the baby bird until I can see that the crop gets to be about 75% the spherical size of a marble. I will try looking for signals to determine whether it is hungry or not. Also, I noticed that it has been "combing" its tube feathers with its beak and talons and the tube casings on the feathers have been falling off like scraps of tiny, transparent straws. is this normal? Sorry I have so many questions! by the way, my baby bird seldom moves around. It just stays in one place... What can I do to make it less anxious/frightened? How long did it take Drumstick to get used to you and his new home?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Christen~Since it's a fledgling, the 40-minute intervals that you have been feeding it should be perfect. Since it's really not "begging" for food, I would suggest watching it's body language to see when it looks like its losing interest and no longer wants any more. Typically, when Drumstick was going through this stage, he would refuse to open his mouth, look away, or turn around as if to say "I'm done now--go away." Not really knowing for sure if you can still see the "crop" on the side of its neck, it's a bit more difficult to tell how full it really is. As with real babies, it will be hungrier on some days more than others. All you can really do is keep trying to feed it however much it will allow you to.

      Sounds like you're doing a brilliant job being a stand-in birdie mommy. Keep up the good work!! I think that your little one wil appreciate the mirror. It should help him not feel so alone.

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      Christen 8 years ago

      Thanks for the quick response! I just fed him/her. I plan to adopting this little fella, since I'm scared it won't be able to survive by itself in the wild. I just fed the baby birdy and it's sleeping right now. It seems to like fruits more than the online dog food formula. Thanks for your advice! I will keep feeding it and hopefully it will accept me as its new mommy. By the way, how much should I feed it if it never begs for food. How often should I feed it? I have been force-feeding it once every 40 minutes or so (because it doesn't beg for food, so I can't tell if it's hungry)... And to answer your question, it chirps in short little chirps and does not keep its mouth open or gaping for a long time. It simply chirps and closes its mouth, and chirps again. Once again, thanks so much. I will visit the pet store and provide it with a small mirror for now. Looking forward to your response!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Christen~If you're feeding it the "formula" posted online, it should be okay--since it's a little bit older than the newborns, it may not have adapted to the new diet taste and consistency if it has been fed a diet of insects from its mother. It also sometimes takes the little guys some time to adjust to it's new surroundings, so the appetite may not be at it's best. Your best bet might be to keep on trying to feed it however much it will accept. That's the most important factor. If you're planning on keeping this little one, it should be okay to hold it all you want. If you would like to release it, then you should have minimal contact with it so it won't become too imprinted. In the early stages of caring for this little guy, a cardboard box should be fine until it starts hopping and flapping it's wings.

      You mentioned that it's chirping, but not eating. Is it sitting with its mouth open, or gaping like it's waiting to be fed? It sounds like it may be hungry, but not interested in what you may be feeding it because it's not what it's used to. There are several different recipes online that it may like better. There is also a handfeeding formula that you can get at any major pet supply place.

      I understand your anxiety about taking on this task. It is very emotionally draining, and nerve-wracking when you want to do so much good for the little guy, but feel helpless in the process. For now, your main goal is to keep trying to feed him, and the heating pad and box should serve nicely in the warmth factor. Once he is a little bit older, and has moved on to an actual cage, then, he will enjoy anything lightweight, shiny and noisy to play with. Dumstick loves his mirror. He will sit next to it for hours and talk to the bird in the mirror. Again, any major pet supply place should have a great selection of toys to choose from.

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      Christen 8 years ago

      Sorry to double post, but I was wondering if there is anything else I can do for the bird besides feeding it and keeping it warm. Does it have any other needs? What kinds of toys should I get for it? Should I hold it in my hands? Is a cardboard box and heating pad good enough? What does it mean when it chirps but won't eat? I'm feeling really distressed! Anyway, thanks!

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      Christen 8 years ago

      Hi! Thanks for giving such great advice. I have a fairly large backyard and have confirmed that there are at least three sparrow nests in various locations. Yesterday, I found two of my dogs eagerly trying to capture a fledgling that fell from its nest. I was fortunately able to rescue it in time by confining my dog indoors and leaving the fledgling under a shady bush. Its mother and friends appeared after half an hour or so and I'm pretty sure it learned to fly or was guided to a safer place. However, while I was relaxing in my backyard during the evening, I saw a fledging fall off a different nest. Luckily, my dogs were still inside my house. I waited in a distant and discreet location for an hour or so, but the mother never came. I felt pity for the fledging as it was hiding under a show cabinet we had outside and would not come out. It neither chirped or moved. When it got darker (about three hours later), I went back to check on it and it was still there. Thus, I took in the fledging. The thing is, it hasn't developed fully yet and feathers are still missing from the bottom and rear parts of its body. Its wings have few feathers, mainly tube ones. I fed it mashed fruits and wet dog food (I found this advice online) every 40 minutes or so, but I'm having trouble getting it to eat. I have to get its mouth to open with my nails, but its very time consuming and usually takes several attempts before I can successfully get it to swallow some food. I checked its droppings and it seems to be pretty hydrated... How long will it take before it will open its mouth by itself during feeding time. I've tried tapping its beak, but it does not respond. Anyway, any advice would be greatly appreciated. I woke up at 5:00 AM this morning and left the fledging under the nest it dropped from. The mother was there, but would not attend to the fledgling even after an hour. It then flew away and hasn't returned yet... I really would like to save this bird. Please help!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Julie~It does, in fact, sound as though this little bird has imprinted. With that being the case, she sees you as not only her birdie mommy, but her food source as well. Typically, birds won't last too long out in the wild if they have been in close contact with humans, and have been reliant on them from their early days. Considering the fact that she would also be released with a "handicap", she will be easy prey for other birds. Animals have a very intense sense of when another animal is injured, and they will use it to their benefit for dominance against the injured animal. It may not be a bad idea if you looked into a rescue organization in your area that may be able to assist you in your decision. Several people who have commented have had great success with finding just such an organization. Many are a baby bird sanctuary, or a raptor rescue.

      All animals are going to communicate with each other when they're in their natural element; however, I'm not so sure that your little one would be able to actually thrive in her natural element.

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      Julie 8 years ago

      I have had 2 experiences like yours. The first was last year when I cut down a tree in my back yard that, unbeknownst to me, was the home to 5 newborn sparrows. When I found them, I put them in a safe place but when the mother came back for them, she had no way to get them into a secure place for the evening. She never left them for more than a few minutes, despite the fact that I was standing right there. Eventually, I gave up and took them in for the evening. I spent the next 8 days raising them as you've described and on the 9th day, Momma bird came back and flew them away one by one. One of them had to stay an extra night with me, as she was the youngest and could not get the upward flight to get out of my back yard. She continues to swoop down on me in a happy greeting and she will land inches from me and sit and chatter at me. Now, 10 days ago, my sister (who had no knowledge of the proper methods) found a nestling in her yard and immediately scooped her up and brought her to the "bird lady" (me) to take care of. This one has a broken leg and I was sure she was going to die as her eyes were not yet open even. She is now 10 days old (give or take) and thriving but you are right. She has completely imprinted on me. I take her outside every day in hopes that she will find joy in her natural habitat but she hops right back to me and snuggles up under my hair. The neat part, however, is that the last female that left my care last year has taken an interest in her. She will come and sit on the wire above my head (where her mother or father??? had sat a year before) and just chatter at Kookie (my new bird) and they both seem to know what they are talking about. It has been a really neat experience. My question for you is... should I risk letting her fly away? If she wants to, I would like to let her have a normal life but I am concerned about 2 issues: 1- She has definitely imprinted on me, and 2- Her leg is broken at a 90 degree angle and she has no use of that foot (therefore cannot perch, at least not yet). Do you think she'd be safe? Or should I hold her captive (which seems so cruel to me, assuming she wants to leave). Any advice is appreciated.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      dme~I'm so glad that you were able to find a bird sanctuary that was willing to take your little one in "under their wing", and care for it. You're very fortunate, indeed, to have found such a place to take him to. It sounds like you did him a huge favor.

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      dme 8 years ago

      Well, I took my sparrow to the Animals in Distress Bird Center in Boise, ID. I'm glad they are there. They put all the sparrows together and feed them every 30-45 mins. Thanks for your help.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi, Para. I don't know if they have a preference on the gatorade. Maybe something fruity? Or, I have read that Pedialyte for children could also be used. (That comes unflavored, too.) Just try putting it on the tip of their beaks. If you put it right inside, there's a chance they could choke to death.

      Birds that young might also still need a heating pad under the towel. Just keep an eye on them to see if they get too warm. It sounds like you have things well in hand.

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      Para 8 years ago

      My brother has found a nest of baby sparrows while he was removing a rotten beam from his shed.I guess one had died since he got them out, they are all very skinny and have small feathers so he thought they are around 5 to 7 days old? So far I have a little 5 gallon fish tank *drained* with a towel lining the bottom and making a small wall on the sides and another towel that I made into a little ring for them to snuggle down into. I have been on starlingtalk.com and I got the dog food recipe for them once he brings them to me. I also plan to run to the store and get a gateraid for them, this is going to sound stupid but would like prefer a flavor? Is there anything else I can do for them? Me and my mom have taken care of many baby birds in the past all of them we let go and we believe they are still living.In fact one of them comes everytime I fill up the bird feeder so I know he/she is still thriving. Any feedback would be loved. Thanks for making this hub rmr, I can tell its helped a lot of people!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      What a fantastic story, Bill. Thanks for sharing it with us! I'm glad you found a home for Howie. It sounds beautiful. I know you'll miss him, but you can take comfort in the fact that he can fly til his heart's content, and will live a long and happy life with his new friends.

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      Bill Whittle 8 years ago

      Hi Guys...

      Well, we took Howie to the California Wildlife Center on Saturday. The facility is located in Malibu Canyon, five miles from the ocean, surrounded by woods and a stream and far from any other human activity. Driving up the dirt driveway was like driving into birdie paradise.

      We left Howie in the car in case we decided against turning him over. I told the director he was being kept in "an undisclosed location." She took us inside for a tour of the facility.

      First thing we saw were several large bird "cages" -- "areas" would be a better word since they were so large. They had everything from full-grown crows to a 2-day old humming bird the size of the tip of my little finger.

      One area has several sparrow and finch fledgelings (turns out Howie is a finch.) A young volunteer was feeding them formula and weighing them, and the temperature was controlled to within a degree. They had two sparrow fledglings and one finch practically identical to Howie. They told us that Howie would be weaned for a week or two indoors, in the company of other finches his age, and that he'd learn the language. Then he would move to an outdoor aviary where he will get his flying lessons for two more weeks before the entire cohort is released together.

      Needless to say I was worried about ethanasia too, but they were already caring for an identical finch fledgling so my fears were eased. When I started filling out the forms I could barely read what I was writing, I was so upset.

      The specialist said he'd have the same chances at survival as any of the others, but that his chance of finding a mate were lower since he had missed some of the songs he would have learned from his mother. Still, it beat living in a cage for the rest of his life. They rescue everything from dolphins and seals to deer, hawks, hummingbirds and ducks. So even though I could not imagine a better place for him, I could barely drive out of there, I missed him so much.

      I know they imprint on us, but we imprint on them, too. The first time I fed him he just went right to the heart of me. The whole first day without him was miserable. It was better the second day and much better the third. I still miss him terribly, but I know he is with other birds his age and the vet said that as soon as she put him in with the others he started chirping and flying around excitedly. The main reason I decided to take him was that he was getting lethargic, so him perking up was what put us over the top.

      By the way, I had been using the EXACT ALL BABY BIRD FORMULA, and that had fettened him up okay, but the avian vet said that Finches are insectivores and need a lot more animal protein than the seed meal that may work for other birds. They were feeding the other finches from a special formula.

      This was a tough thing to do, but I honestly feel that his life will be better out there with other birds. And despite what she said about the mating, I think little Howie will be okay, He's a very handsome little dude and he has some great stories to tell. As for me, I've never felt so good and so bad at the same time.

      Thanks to all of you for doing the right thing.

      BW

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      Karen 8 years ago

      Thank You so much! God Bless You for all your helpful advice on this site.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Karen~His wonderful health condition is a true testament to just how good of a birdie mama you really are. When they are perfectly healthy fledglings, the success rate for raising them is astonishingly low. Needless to say, when they come to you in a compromised state, the success rate is even less. The fact that this little one is alive and has healed so well is all because of you and your birdie intensive care unit that you had created for him. Job well done!! My sincerest congratulations go out to you and the newest addition to your family. If you have further questions in the future, I will continue to do my best to help you. Good luck!!!

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      Karen 8 years ago

      Ah, thanks so much for getting back to me so soon, I've become his "mom" so I've been so distraught over what to do with him now that he is healed, thanks, I'll keep him here with pleasure. Cannot believe when I first saw him I actually thought he was dead, now he's doing just wonderful and is beautiful. :)

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Chris~Generally baby birds start flapping their wings around the end of their second week. They won't actually fly because their wings aren't strong enough. They sure will be able to get away though. It is instinctive that they flap their wings; and it isn't something that you need to help them with.

      @Karen~I wouldn't suggest releasing him back into the wild. Even if he hadn't become imprinted, he would still be at a physical disadvantage against predators. Animals can still detect weaknesses in their species. I would hate for all the effort you put into this little bird to be for nothing because another animal could have an unfair advantage over him.

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      Karen 8 years ago

      Hi,

      Several weeks ago I found an injured sparrow in my garage, he had a very bad injured leg and claw and no tail feathers..he since then has grown the feathers back and leg/foot is healed. If I release him will he survive, as he's been in my house for almost a month now. He wasn't a baby, but pretty small. Thanks! I want the best for him..

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      chris 8 years ago

      when is the time that they start to fly,, fine is 4 days old and do u have to teach them how to fly or do they learn how to fly by themselfs.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Todd~I agree that her diet is fine. Drumstick molted several times in his first year, although I can't recall exactly when he got his grown up feathers. Currently, he is molting. He has taken some of the feathers and has lined his nest with them. It sounds like Cheeps may be getting ready to molt as well for the spring and summer months.

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      Todd 8 years ago

      Her diet is mainly puppy food, mealworms, and seed. She eats great so I'm going to assume that her diet is fine. She is about six months old. Could she still have her baby feathers or should the adult feathers be growing in by now?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      The feathers may be in the process of molting. Drumstick goes through phases where he looks really mangy and sickly because of his feathers on his wings and tail are all frayed and sparse. As long as your bird is eating a healthy diet with animal protein (if she is little like the one suggested in Starlingtalk.com) and otherwise seems happy, energetic, and chatty, it may just be a simple matter of waiting for her bigger, better feathers to make themselves present.

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      Todd 8 years ago

      I have a sparrow named Cheeps. She's doing great. She's playful and chatty. Her feathers, however, look awful. Am I missing something in her diet? What can I do?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Krisitina~The birds should begin to get their feathers in around the second week of life. They will begin to form on the wing and tail area first, and first emerge as little sticks before the feathers come out. As far as the broken leg issue.....if you take it to a bird rehab center, odds are that they will offer euthanasia as the only solution since sparrows are viewed as nuisance birds. You might try a local vet to see if they may be able to offer you suggestions on how to best care for the injured baby.

      @nncom~The baby bird should begin to show signs of feathering around the beginning of the second week. They will first appear as sticks growing mainly first on the wing and tail areas.

      @Rick~It sounds like the baby that you found was probably a little over a week old if he was beginning to show signs that his wings were going to be coming in. He is still going to need to be kept warm in a box with a heating pad set to low under him with a towel placed on the heating pad. It may also be a good idea if you cvered the box with a towel as added insulation which won't let the heat escape. That should be sufficient for him until the rest of the feathers come in.

      @Paul~Since there were a few birds being raised together, it would be possible to release them when they are older provided that you do not handle them a lot during the feeding process. They will have been able to imprint on each other. There are specific steps for raising the babies for release. If you wish to keep them, however, once they are grown they are going to need a large area in which they can fly and yet still be contained.

      @dme~I hope that the bird sanctuary will be able to take your little one in. Quite often, they won't--as sparrows are viewed as nuisance birds. I hope that you have found one that will.

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      dme 8 years ago

      Well, you know how you get in toned to the bird's chip. I keep hearing it all in the distance all day. She was found in my neighbors walnut tree. Chipping all day and I know my cats would have her for a evening snack if I didn't catch her.

      I walked over to the chip and guess what she was hungry and waiting. I put the spoon of food up to her and then my finger. She was ready to get back in her cage. On Friday 6-26-09, I didn't let her out and now probably won't because no other bird cared for her the two different days she was out all day, until 6:00 pm

      I think the other birds where moving her away from their babies, if that is possible.

      It time to find a bird sanctuary for her. I want her to be free not a pet. I heard their was one in Boise, Id.

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      paul 8 years ago

      hey evry now and then when a storm passes i go outside to check that no baby birds have fallen out of their nest,, but i usually find eather a baby 1 or some eggs still in the nest but still abandoned this month iv only found 3 little baby sparrows and i am taking care of them,, they r about 4 days old,,,, but when they open their eyes and when they are all grown up should i keep them or let them go because i really dont wat to let them go cause there is only a small chance of them living in the wild... what should i do.

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      rick 8 years ago

      i have a question,,, my baby sparrow is spending his 3 night with me,,,, but when i found him outside after a storm he was already growing the things in his wings that let him grow feathers,,, how old would u say he was when i found him..(and would u recomend me putting him in a box with towels and a light over him or buying him 1 of those things that look like a bubble and it gives him warmth while he is in it),,,

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      nncom 8 years ago

      when do they grow feathers

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      Krisitina 8 years ago

      Hi! well, my kids brought 2 sparrow babies home because they said that other boys were hitting them with sticks. My question is that how many days does it take a baby sparrow to grow feathers? and I have a problem that first of all i have 2 baby sparrow then one of the sparrow's leg is broken and what can i do about it ?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      nom~typically their eyes are open by the end of the first week of life. The baby should respond to you more by this point as well.

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      nom 8 years ago

      how long does it take for a baby sparrow to open its eyes iv had mine for 3 days so far but i was just wonderig ow long it took,,,

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      dme, sorry I missed your comment. Let me know if you were able to retrieve him, and will answer any questions you may have.

      anonymous, thanks for that. It's nice to know that this hub was helpful!

      Hi Bill. I think you chose a fantastic name. I know what you mean about having no interest in birds. We never dreamed that we would come to love a bird. They're not warm and fuzzy like a cat or a dog. They're not going to cuddle for a snooze on your lap. We just didn't see the draw. But when we saw the little guy gaping for food, and totally dependent upon us for survival, we were hooked. I think with each passing day, we imprinted on him, as much as he did on us. As his personality emerged, he quickly became a beloved member of our family.

      Please let me know what happens at the rehab center. It has been my experience that they view sparrows as nuisance birds, and are either uninterested, or take them in to euthanize.

      Since he was alone, I seriously doubt if Howie can be released, but that doesn't sound like it's going to be a problem for you!

      Thanks for sharing your story!

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      Bill Whittle 8 years ago

      Dear RMR and everyone else...

      We have a small airplane at Santa Monica airport. We hadn't flown for three weeks, and when we did the prefilght inspection, we found a nest built on top of the engine. When I pulled the nest down, there was a single fledgling sparrow. He had just gotten all of his feathers. The nest could not stay. Since he was born in an airplane we decided to name him Howard after Howard Hughes.

      I went to the pet store and got a small cage, some birdie sleeping bags, feeding syringes and the EXACT ALL BABY BIRDS formula. Howie wouldn't eat anything the first night. We took him to the vet the next morning and she showed me how to open his beak and get the tube in deep enough so there was no risk of him drowning (even though the feed was pudding consistency.)

      Getting the tube in the beak took a little doing, but once that happned he went at it! He was totally silent and motionless for the first 18 hours, but once we got some EXACT into him he started chirping and flapping around.

      We've had him for six days now and he is a fat and happy little bird! I have been hand feeding him the whole time. Two or three nights ago, I thought we were going to have to pay "Pry open the beak" again, but suddenly he just opened his mouth wide and since then he's been super easy to feed.

      Today was the first time I got Howie to eat any seeds. He pecked a few from between my fingers. I tried holding something like seven hundred seeds in five hours, and he managed to get five or six down! I'm staying on the EXACT, and going to start adding some hydrated cat food and I'll look for safe bird grubs at the pet store.

      There is a wildlife rehabilitation clinic out in Malibu. We're going to go visit it tomorrow, but I have decided not to take Howie the first time since they may insist on keeping him and I want to know from them FOR SURE that he has a good chance out there. I have had to take him to work for the past week and have been hand feeding him and letting him rest on my finger. From all of the great comments and the article I am worried that he is completely imprinted on me and if that means he has next to no chance out there then I'll keep him for as long as he lives.

      I have NEVER had the slightest interest in birds of any kind. But there was something about seeing that little guy in his nest, and the fact that I was responsible for pulling it down (I can't ground an airplane and any nest materials are a big fire hazard.)

      The sad fact is I don't know if I can bear to see him go! I have gotten so attached to this little guy that I can't put into words how much he means to me. I want to do the right thing for him, and I would like him to be free, but I heard the survival rate for small fledglings is about 20% in the wild and I don't like those odds.

      My hope is that I can wean him and get him strong and fully grown. But can he return to the wild that late? And is it too late already? I guess I'll find out at the rehab center.

      Anyway, Howie says hi and thanks from all of us for the great advice and the support.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      found a baby sparrow in my garden recently and returned it to its nest thanks to info i found here and on the net

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Mahnaz~Not only is it a possibility, it sounds very probable. Sadly there aren't any animal dr.s who would want to take on a "nuisance bird". All you can really do is keep him fed and warm, and let nature take its course. You're doing all you can do for the little guy. Keep up the good work.

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      dme 8 years ago

      I should have told you I just let the sparrow loose 18 minutes. He went straight into the trees. He just started flying. I can hear him crying in the trees. He still needs to be feed and I'm worried no other sparrow will feed him. I will find him dead tomorrow.

      If he is still crying at midday, I am thinking of feeding him or putting him back in the cage. I called our wildlife guy put he hasn't returned my call. I know he isn't interested in sparrow babies.

      Does anybody have in suggestions or recommendation???

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      dme 8 years ago

      I had a sparrow for a week of hand feeding and then let it go. Will it be ok. I put it back in the trees where it fell.

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      Mahnaz 8 years ago

      Hello again... Just an update on my little birdie... He lasted another night and we are into our 4th day... He is still not making any noises or gaping for food and he still has the clicking sound when he breathes. His breaths look labored still... But on a good note he is eating and his pin feathers on his little wings are growing... Eyes are still closed though... Don't know what the outcome for this little guy will be, but I am willing to do anything I can to keep this baby alive... I am starting to believe that he didn't "fall" from his nest.. I am thinking that maybe something is wrong with him and the mother sensed it and threw him out... Is that a possibility?

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      Cat's meow 8 years ago

      Thank you for this excellent site. Our cat brought us a baby bird that did not have its feathers yet, and we were disappointed because it was dark out. We have since looked for the nest, but the cat could have found it on the ground anywhere.

      I placed the fledgling in a shoebox and placed the box in a very warm spot. I didn't expect that it would survive the night, but early this morning, it was still going. I have since fed it two worms (cut into pieces) and then found your site.

      I have a toddler, a dog who is about to have puppies, and a number of construction projects to do this summer, I really don't want to add a sparrow to the mix. However, I feel that I am responsible somewhat for the cat bringing this baby to our door from wherever it came from. I don't think the cat climbed any trees. I'll keep you posted.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Mahnaz~I'm at a loss with what to say about the clicking sound. I'm unsure what that could be, as I have never experienced this sound with our baby bird. If he looks like he is "panting", he may be too warm. If he doesn't look like he's gaining much weight, you need to make sure that he is eating all of the ingredients in the baby bird formula from the starlingtalk website. There is also baby bird powder for wild birds that you could use just until he gains more weight. The most important thing is that he at least attempts to eat about every half hour. It's a very difficult and delicate process to get through. The fact that you're now on day 3 means that you're doing something right. Keep me posted on the growth/eating progress.

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      Mahnaz 8 years ago

      So a few questions... There has been this clicking sound ever since I picked him out of the yard... what is that? It also looks as if his breathing is labored. I am so new to this bird thing. I really didnt expect to be able to keep him alive but this is the third day and he has survived two nights. He does not seem to be gaining any weight or anything and he still looks so thin... You can see all his little bones... :( What do you recommend? By the way thanks for all your help! You are giving me hope and motivation to keep trying no matter what.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      It is probably best to try and get as much food in him as possible before he goes to "bed" for the might. Just go slowly with the syringe. Let him guide you as to how much food he wants to eat. The crop area of the neck is what I used to monitor how "full" Drumstick was, or how much he would take in at the time. Many times when they are really little, they won't have much of an appetite at every feeding, they still need to be fed every 20-30 minutes though to gain strength.

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      Mahnaz 8 years ago

      Thank you for the help... I have been comparing him to pictures of Sproggy online and he is quite a bit smaller... Since he has not eaten much today should I feed him through the night? Or feed him and then let him sleep and start over tomorrow? Also do I keep putting food in until the crop is full? I am using a syringe to put it in...

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Mahnaz~You are doing the right thing in making him eat. Make sure that you are also mixing the soaked dog food with a hard-boiled egg, and plain yogurt. The recipe for this formula can be found on Starlingtalk.com. They have excellent information there. Baby sparrows need to eat every 20-30 minutes during the day and then sleep through the night. You can see how much they have eaten by looking at their throat. There is a "crop" in their throat, or a spot where you can see the food through the neck skin to see how much room there is left. Try tapping on the tip of his beak to get him to open his mouth so you can begin feeding him.

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      Mahnaz  8 years ago

      I found a nestling sparrow in the yard last night around midnight. I brought it in and fed it dog food soaked in water. I set him up a nest in a shoe box and have been keeping it warm. It lived through the night and today he has been eating and has pooped about 4-5 times... I read that there is no way to feed them too much, but last night he was gaping and today he didnt at all. I have still been making him eat. Am I doing the right thing, or should I wait till he is gaping once again? From the pictures I have seen online it is no older than 2-3 days old and has no feathers. The eyes are not even open. I really want the best for this little guy... Please help!

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      Kathy999 8 years ago

      Great story. The same thing happened to me and it was an experience of a lifetime. I got my sparrows the day they hatched!!! I had no idea they would even survive. But, as you said they are one of Gods creatures, so I felt I had to try. 2 of then survived and one became very tame. I though it was going to be with us forever, but one day we were outside and I had to go inside for just a minute and when I came out she was gone. We still see her around so I know she is OK.

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      D'sparrow 8 years ago

      Just wanted to let you know "Cricket" is doing wonderful! We named him/her that because he makes sounds exactly like a cricket. and what a personality already!

      Thanks for all your advice and caring. Hope all is well with your family and hope you come back soon.

      Dena'sparrow

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Karen, ours lost all of his feathers when he was young. Don't worry, they grow back. He also found that, as they fell out, they made for a handy source of insulation and padding for his nest.

      Just a note: For all of you kind people who have read this hub and still need advice; I will be taking a bit of a hiatus from Hubpages. I strongly suggest that you visit starlingtalk.com for a comprehensive guide to the care and feeding of baby sparrows and starlings. The people there are extremely knowledgable and helpful! God bless.

      Rob

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      Karen 8 years ago

      My Sparrow in the last few days has lost some of his long feathers in the back. Is this normal? he is acting just fine, eating, alert, etc. He's not a baby, but not an adult either. Thanks!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      D'sparrow~I'm so glad to hear that this little one made it through the night. I agree with you--it sounds like word is out in the birdie community that your home is a great rehab center. Since you've done this before, you're very familiar with their needs, and the best way to help them. Keep up the good work--it sounds like you're a pro at this. You and the nestling will be in our thoughts and prayers. What a good heart you have!!!

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      D'sparrow 8 years ago

      I just wanted to update since last night. The baby made it through the night and looks a bit better but eating not as well as other birds I've rescued. But at least he's doing better and eating something-also staying nice and warm. :) we'll see. Prayers welcome.

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      D'sparrow 8 years ago

      ugh...another nestling fell right in front of my porch. I'm beginning to think the word is out and these parent sparrows are dropping their kids off at my doorstep. Anyways, this one may have been hurt from the fall. He was cold and he gapes and seems to be having trouble breathing. He landed on cement (which probably hurt like hell) but I don't see any injuries. No chirping either. All my others have chirped like hell whenever I bring food-this one, nothing.

      Any advice would be very welcomed. It's hard to tell whether he's sick or hurt.

      I just don't want him to suffer. :(

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~ Since you had more than one, it will be more possible for you to release Star. There's a chance that they had imprinted on each other. I'm not familiar with the possibility of them dying due to sadness, heartbreak, or separation. Understandably, Star's buddy is gone, and now he's alone. I'm not surprised that he appears unhappy, but it would take further research on your part to be able to weigh the pros and cons about keeping him versus releasing him when he is strong enough to fly. It would be my suggestion to begin to separate yourself and continue weaning him; and encouraging him to eat on his own instead of hand feeding him so he can continue to get stronger. It is my hope that Sun has found other birds to be with who can continue to show him how he should look for food and water.

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      S18 8 years ago

      rmr i think you will want to read a comment that i wrote. please scroll up. i need advice.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Decadan~The reddish tiny bugs sound like mites. They feed on the blood of the birds, as well as humans and your pets. They will burrow into woodwork and your carpeting as well as furniture. You might want to check out Avianweb.com for some ideas on getting rid of them as well as helping out the babies at the same time. I have not had to deal with this specific issue; but hopefully knowing what they are now may make your resolution a little easier. Good luck!!

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      S18 8 years ago

      Try to get the baby spiders off of them! They bite!

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      decadan 8 years ago

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      decadan 8 years ago

      Hey, I found 2 sparrows today in my yard and watched them for about 1 hour without seeing their mother come looking for them. I wasn't able to see where the nest was either. Both of the birds seem to have all their feathers and one is a little bigger and seems very close to being able to fly whereas the other one can't make it more than 2-3 feet per attempt.

      I decided I'd take them in at least overnight since we have a lot of stray cats in the area. I just got some food from Petco for them and only the smaller of the 2 would eat anything. They both seem to have a lot of very small reddish bugs on them, especially the bigger of the 2 birds. Anyone know what these bugs may be and if they can cause the birds any harm?

      Thanks

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      Karen 8 years ago

      Thanks so much for getting back to me so quick! The bird did have one tail feather left, he just lost it. He does seem to be happy, I brought him out into our living room so he's always got action to see. My dog on the other hand is very curious of it, and of course if I'm not in the room my dog isn't either, accidents happen. Should I keep my dog from even going up to the cage? Can dogs catch anything from a wild bird? I've also been just feeding it reg. bird seed. To S18- I'm sorry your bird flew away. :( Us humans get attached very easy. Karen

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      S18 8 years ago

      sadly today when i brought the cage outside sun got out. We looked 4 him but could not find him. do u think he will die? should i release star? he is very sad. is it possible for a bird to die in fear ur sadness? At least sun can fly. he cant self feed yet. as you said he caught a good wind and was gone in the trees. i will miss the little guy.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Tenele~Since you found this bird at such a young age, he has already been imprinted upon. He has associated you with his food supply as well as caregiver. He will not thrive if released back into the wild, and will lack the basic survival instincts necessary to live on his own.

      In regard to the feeding, live bloodworms would be best when he is a little bit older. Typically they continue with the formula feedings until they are around 8 weeks old.

      You can also go to Starlingtalk.com to get further info. We have Drumstick in a parrot cage and that has been his home for the last 5 yrs.

      Karen, if he wasn't a baby when you found him, he may be able to be released. you should keep a close eye on things, though. If he's having trouble with his legs, that may be a bad sign.

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      Karen 8 years ago

      Hello,

      I found a Sparrow in my garage almost a week ago, not a baby, but I don't think it's an adult. I thought it was near death but I started feeding it and as the days went on it seemed to get better. I found it with no tail feathers and it appears as though he was and still having some problem with its legs. He also cannot fly. I had to eventually put him in a cage, a very large one, now he's in my bedroom. I peaked in the bedroom just now and he is looking all over, maybe he wants to be free? What's the best thing for him, I want him to be happy. Thanks!

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      TENELE 8 years ago

      A FEW WEEKS AGO I FOUND A NEWLEY HATCHED BABY SPARROW. IT WAS IN ITS NEST ON THE GROUND. IT WAS ONLY A FEW DAYS OLD AND HAD NO FEATHERS. MY MOM USED TO BREED COCKATEILS AND PARAKEETS AND ALWAYS HAND FED THEM. SO I TOOK HIM HOME TO HER AND SHE HAND FED HIM WILD BIRD FORMULA.HE ALMOST HAS ALL OF HIS FEATHERS AND WHEN HE STARTED HOPPING A FEW DAYS AGO WE MOVED HIM TO A BIRD CAGE. HE WILL NOT EAT SEED OR ANYTHING EXCEPT HIS FORMULA. HE SITS ON OUR FINGER AND LOVES TO BE HELD AND PET. I WILL TRY BLOOD WORMS, CAN THEY BE THE DRIED ONES OR DO THEY HAVE TO BE ALIVE? ALSO SHOULE WE SET HIM FREE OR KEEP HIM AS A PET? I WANT TO KEEP HIM BUT MY MOM THINKS WHEN HE CAN EAT ON HIS OWN WE SHOULD FREE HIM AND INSTINCTS WILL TAKE OVER. I AM VERY ATTATCHED TO HIM AND I WANT TO KEEP HIM, BUT I DONT WANT TO BE CRUEL. SO BASICLLY WHAT I AM ASKING CAN YOU DOMESTICATE A WILD BIRD? WE HAD HIM BEFORE HIS EYES WERE OPEN AND HE ONLY KNOWS US. WILL HE SURVIVE IN THE WILD BY INSTINCTS TAKING OVER? AND IF WE SHOULD KEEP HIM WHAT SIZE CAGE DOES HE NEED? HE IS JUST STARTING TO FLY. WILL HE NEED A FLIGHT CAGE OR SOMETHING SMALLER SINCE HE IS A SMALL BREED BIRD? IF ANYONE KNOWS THE ANSWERS TO MY QUESTIONS I WOULD GREATLY APPRICIATE A RESPONSE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THANK YOU.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~With the rapid progress that they've made due to your outstanding mommy bird care, I would be nervous that they may catch a good wind, and be gone with no way to fend for themselves adequately.

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      S18 8 years ago

      I guess they just need to get used to the cage. That means I cant let them just fly around outside? Thanks 4 getting back so fast

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~I'm sure they don't hate you. They sound like they will definitely benefit from a cage to live in now. You're going to want to keep them in there once you do get it. They need to have one small area to call home that they can feel comfortable in. When they are making nests, they choose very small and cozy spaces that make them feel protected. If you're letting them out, they are probably nervous because their instinct is to be nestling somewhere. When we take drumstick outside in his cage, he is very uncertain about his environment out there and his whole demeanor changes. Once he comes back inside, he goes back to his usual self because he's in a familar setting.

      You may have better luck when they get into their permanent cage, and they can get used to it. They are still little and probably will get less nervous as they continue to age and are allowed to stay in their cage all the time.

      If you prefer to allow them to fly around inside, make sure that it's an enclosed room where they can't get into anything. I would hate to see your daredevil little guys get hurt.

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      S18 8 years ago

      This morning Sun got behind the dry wall. It took 3 hours toget him out! Will they grow out of being afraid? I hate that they seem to hate me.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~They're just doing what their natural instinct tells them to do. Since you have been such a major part of their development, it wouldn't be a wise decision to attempt their release. They have grown used to being hand fed and interracting with people. They lack the survival instinct to be able to properly thrive.

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      S18 8 years ago

      rmr im sure that Sun and Star hate me they always fly away from me. Does this mean I can release?

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      Teresa 8 years ago

      I went to the pet store and found something called hand feeding formula. they seem to like it and are doing well. i'm leaving them in their nest in hopes the mom returns. I don't plan to keep them, i'm hoping they will go out on their own after a week or so. i handle them very little and just feed them right in their nest.

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      S18 8 years ago

      Hi rmr. Sun and Star still seem afraid of me. They have begun to fly as well. Time for a cage!!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Lisa, if you can't keep Ava, your best bet is to find someone who can.You might be able find a wildlife or avian rescue shelter in your area. If she wasn't raised for release, she won't be able to feed herself. She also would be easy prey for neighborhood cats or other predators.

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      Lisa 8 years ago

      So if I release Ava she is most likely going to die?!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Karly, S18 is right. The dog food mixture is ideal for starlings. If the birds were injured by your cat, they probably need antibiotics. Cat saliva can be deadly for young birds. Keep them warm, and have a good read, over at starlingtalk.com. Those people are real pros.

      Lisa, that's right. If he wasn't properly raised for release, he will probably not thrive on his own. He lacks basic survival skills, and is too comfortable around people.

      Teresa, I'm afraid I've never dealt with wrens. As far as I can tell, they are similar to sparrows in their diet, so the dog food mixture mentioned above should work. I'm no expert, but I would try leaving them out there, and placing some food in the house with them, for now. You should definitely call a vet (preferably an avian vet) to find out more. You may also want to look into the legalities of keeping them, if that's your plan.

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      Teresa 8 years ago

      I have a wren house with 3 or 4 babies in it. they have been chattering for a day now. i've been watching all morning and no sign of the parents. what should i do? I shined a light in and it looks like they have most of their feathers. I'd say they are almost 2 weeks old.

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      Lisa 8 years ago

      RMR~ I have been raising a baby sparrow since she was tiny. Now Ava is almost full grown. My parents think that she can be released. I know she can't because she was not raised for release. Please help me convince them! I dont want Ava to die!

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      S18 8 years ago

      Karly whatever you do DO NOT FEED THEM WORMS!!! I feed my babies 1 cup of Natures best dog food (soaked in HOT water) Mix in a quater cup of appelsause and 1 hardboiled egg. Mix it all together! Check to make sure if they have any scraches from your cat. If they do you may need a vet. If they dont have feathers and shake a lot keep them warm! You may want to try starlingtalk. Good info

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      karly 8 years ago

      I need help urgent!My cat just broght in a whole nest of baby starlings and killed their mother! What should i do!?

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      frdm 8 years ago

      Great hub. Do you (or anyone else) know where I can find a photo or timeline of a baby sprarrow from hatchling to adulthood? Thank you!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I'm guessing it means they're just enjoying some freedom. I'd be willing to bet that they would desperately love to see you at feeding time.

      Also, I'm not familiar with Canadian laws, but a quick internet search would probably yield an answer about keeping them.

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      S18 8 years ago

      I guess that the babies are getting restless because i just went fishing! Star ran strait into the pool. From now on Im keeping them in a box when we go out! He dried off prety fast but just to be safe I put him on a heating pad.

      Also they run away from me. Does this mean that they havent imprinted on me? Or do they just run because they are birds?

      Please get back to me on this! :O

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      S18 8 years ago

      We just had quite a scare!!! I was cleaning out the bird pen so I took my babies out of it. When I finished I turned around just in time to see Sun and Star sprinting towards the furnace. I grabed Star but Sun, the faster of the two, dissapeared under it. Eventually my housekeeper got him out but he was very warm so we put him next to Star and fed them.

      Do you know if its illegal to keep a bird if your in Canada? I am thinking about keeping the little balls of feathers.

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      S18 8 years ago

      When i take the babies out it looks like they are pecking for food. Is it time to start leaving a dish in their pen? they are only 3 weeks old! They are very speedy too!!!

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      S18 8 years ago

      I think they have imprinted on my house heeper as well because when im at work she feeds them. Is it possible for them to have imprinted 3 times!?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi S18. It's probably a good idea to keep feeding them the same food they're used to, for now.They probably have imprinted on each other, but that doesn't mean they will be able to be released. They haven't been raised for release, and you are the only source of food they know. You've done a great job so far! Just keep doing what you're doing.

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      S18 8 years ago

      They dont like it when i pick them up. Is it posible that they have imprinted on each other? I have handled them alot.

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      S18 8 years ago

      Sun and Star both look like birds now. If they are not flapping teire wings they look fully feathered!!! Should I sart giving them bugs?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Zac~Since these little guys are so little, it is imperative that they be kept warm. Typically a heating pad set to "low", or a hot water bottle is easiest to use. As for the feeding, there's a baby bird formula powder that is sold at any pet store that you can use. There is also a recipe for a dog food based formula at www.starlingtalk.com It is important that they have a protein based diet that is soft enough for them to swallow. Since you will need to feed them by hand, they will eat until they are full, and you can see through the neck skin on their throat how much food they have in their crop. They will also wanna eat about every 20 minutes, or so.

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      zak from france 8 years ago

      hi, we have 2 nestlings that just hatched this afternoon, we are feeding them wingless flies and earthworms.

      I need some suggestions on keeping them warm enough and how to know how much to feed them.

      We're not sure exactly what they are but their nest fell out of the wall of our stone house while we were working on it.

      I think it is either a sparrow or a great tit (possibly a wagtail).

      Any helpful tips will be greatly apreciated!!

      thanks!!

      (ASAP)

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hey, Christoph! It's great to hear from you! This hub has been going crazy this month! I've finally had to talk my wife, Debbie, into fielding most of the comments. I see she's doing a great job.

      Drumstick is healthy and happy. Although he seems to have developed a cheesy poof habit. The pics at the bottom of the hub are fairly recent.

      Thanks for the compliment, and the new monniker! Hubcatraz! Ha! Debbie has been calling herself the "Crazy Bird Lady", so I'll take Birdman of Hubcatraz.

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      Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

      Wow. Everytime I go to check out some writing from your past, I end up amazed. And how is Drumstick today? I'm gonna have to start calling you, The Birdman of Hubcatraz!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~ The probability of them being 2 different species seems highly unlikely. Every bird has their own sound, attitude, demeanor etc....If anything it would seem more likely that one was a boy and one was a girl. Once their feathers fill in more you'll be able to tell a significant difference on their sexes (if they ARE different)at that time. The females tend to be more brownish or lighter colored; whereas the males are darker colored.

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      S18 8 years ago

      thanks. is it possible that Sun and Star are two different types of birds? Sun sounds like a sparrow but Star sounds like a starling. I doubt that this is so but still.....

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~Typically, when they're about 4 weeks old, you can put a small shallow bowl/small saucer in their cage with them and begin feeding them (still by hand) right from there. They will acknowledge the bowl/saucer as a food source and will begin to play with the food off and on from there. This should continue until they are about 6-8 weeks old. During this time, they are going to be weaning off of the hand feedings and gradually prefer to be self-fed. You can at that point begin to leave the food bowl in there for them to pick off of between hand feedings. It's also at the 4 week mark that you can begin to leave a shallow jar lid of water in there as well. You will know that they have been weaned when they prefer to feed themselves rather than being hand-fed. When they are weaned, you may begin putting small seeds in their cage along with the formula mixture. Gradually they should begin to want the seeds more than the formula.

      As far as the outdoor temperature being an issue, once they are more fully feathered, the temperature shouldn't be as big of a concern. Until then I wouldn't take them outside when it's considerably cooler than the temperature indoors was that they've become acclimated to. Drumstick never ventured outside much until he was older and began "chatting" with the birds outside. Then he would go out in his cage for a little bit.

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      S18 8 years ago

      When is it ok to start feeding them bugs, seeds and water? Also, how hot should it be for me to take them outside?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~That's terrific to hear!! I'm relieved that the car ride didn't prove to be a problem. It had to be exciting for you to be able to show off your birdie-raising accomplishment to your friend. I'll bet they were amazed and impressd. It sounds like those little ones of yours are certainly developing their own little personalities! Keep up the good work!!

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      S18 8 years ago

      I am happy to say that this morning Sun demonstrated his first sparrow call when I went to feed them at 6:30 (WOO HOO!!!) Star is still pushy and they are both well despite the car ride.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thanks Frieda. When I wrote this, I didn't realize there would be such a huge response!

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, too. We haven't had to rescue any bunnies yet, but they do run rampant through our neighborhood. You're absolutely right about the birds, too. We were amazed at how quickly ours grew! There was no goodbye for ours, though. He's been a member of our family for 5 or 6 years now.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Steve and Risa, raising for release can be even more difficult than keeping the little guy. It is important to remember that you should have no physical contact with the bird, other than feeding. You should also keep him in a place where he can see and hear the outdoors. He needs plenty of live insects, just as mom would feed him. When he reaches 6 weeks of age (he should be flying by then), and has been self feeding for at least two weeks, he should be ready to go. He will, however need access to the place where you kept him for several weeks, to get food and water. When he reaches the point where he's only coming back every few days, he should be good to go.

      Regarding the rehab center- You may find that they're not interested in sparrows. They are considered a nuisance species. If they do take him, they will likely euthanize him if they determine that he has imprinted.

      It's very kind of you to undertake this difficult but compassionate task. It is a huge commitment and I wish you much luck and success! Keep me posted!

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      Frieda Babbley 8 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

      I just want to say how fantastic this is and so great that you logged it for us and the photo's are awesome. We've done similar with baby bunnies, and once a with a baby robin (not quite as young), but oddly enough, we found out who the parents were, we noticed them looking for it and staying close. We kept it for a few days then we let it out when the parents were there. I have to say this is very odd indeed and doesn't normally happen, but the robins knew us, the family has come to our yard for years and I guess we were familiar? It's not the first time we helped out, but the only time we felt we had to help out in this way (too many cats and it wasn't sturdy or quick enough). Dave's mom is an expert with all this stuff so she was able to guide us through it. They grow unbelievably fast. Before you know it, you say goodbye.

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      Steve & Risa 8 years ago

      Please help us. My girlfriend and I found a baby sparrow and it was the only one left but it does have lots of feathers. It is definetely a baby still. When it spreads its wings you are able to see were feathers have not yet come in along its body. We have been feeding him a diet we found on the internet and have not handled him at all, so far he has been great. We are certain its over 2 weeks old because Grandma kept a close eye on the whole process of the mother raising her babys in grandmas garage door. But long story short nature gave us a baby surprise. So we have done some research and it looks like it might be possible that we can release our little guy, Im calling a Nature Rehab tomorrow. But I just wanted to know if u had some advice or any knowledge about releasing this baby bird. Please Help

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      Dani 8 years ago

      Thank you rmr and S18 for the comforting words! That was my first rescue and surely not the last one if the situation presents itself again. In this case I'll be much more prepared thanks to this website! Thanks, rmr!

      And good luck to you S18 and your little Sun and Star! They are very lucky for having your care.

      Take care.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~Wow! Well, considering their age, I would have to think that it would be less traumatizing to leave them home and feed them immediately before leaving and then immediately when you return. They go all nite without being fed, and if you begin transporting them, they may not travel well and become overly stressed out. Now, realize that you will probably be getting yelled at by them when they see you again, so be prepared. I'm sure that they'll have a few choice "words" for you. This one is kind of a judgment call on your part, though.

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      S18 8 years ago

      No prob. I just want you to know that its exactly what your doing! I will keep you posted on their well being. One question.Is ot ok to take the little guys on a road trip? Im going to a friends for a few hours and I dont want them to be hungry!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~I'm so happy to hear that your little ones sound like they're doing so well. Now that those feathers have begun to make themselves present; they're REALLY going to be picking up speed. Every time that you look at them they will probably look different than they did from the last time you saw them.

      As far as when can you be sure that they won't die....well, it's difficult to say. However, I can say this....you have done an absolutely AMAZING job with these little ones and they have grown, developed, and strengthened so much that if you just continue doing what you have been, then that's all that you can really do. You know what needs to be done, and you've done it. The result.....you now have 2 little beady-eyed birds who call you "mama".

      I want to thank you for the sweet comment about saving the lives of other little birds. Having had success with Drumstick, we know first-hand how attached we can all become to these little guys if given the chance. We've also come to realize how much of a difference we can make to the little birds if we give THEM a chance, too. Thanks again!!

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      S18 8 years ago

      I am pleased to announce that Sun and Star opened their eyes wide and saw the world. Instead of just a sliver I saw 4 beady black eyes staring up at me 5 minutes ago. When can I be certain that they are not going to die? By the way I think your hub has saved the lives of many birds. Take sun and star for example. They are doing great! Thank YOU!!!!!!

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      S18 8 years ago

      They stoped shaking! I think I woke them up to early! Im glad that from now on I dont have to get up at 5:30! I just fed them and they are now snoozing. Its much to cold to take them outside but I can put them in a sunny spot inside! Star's cut is just about healed which pleases me! Star just squaked at me. I better go feed her.

      P.S The feathers are coming! The Feathers are coming!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Dave~Thanks. I look forward to the update. Hope all works out well for both of you!!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Awww S18~That is wonderful!! I'm so relieved to hear that Sun has bounced back so well, maybe yesterdays jaunt outside into the fresh air REALLY relaxed her and wore her out. *grin* It sounds like they're doing really well!! I'm not really sure how to address the shaking thing...Drumstick never really did that before when he was a baby. He does it now if he gets really excited about something. It's more like he's impatiently waiting for food to show up and he doesn't know what else to do.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Dani~I'm so sorry to hear that your baby bird didn't make it. I applaud your effort. I want you to realize that even in the best of circumstances, these little birds are very difficult to rehabilitate. They're extremely delicate; and even in perfect health, require an exhausting amount of effort. S18 is right---he may have been too bad off for you to help him, but you made an attempt, and that's what truly matters. This little one was cared about; and without you, that would not have been the case. Thank you for trying. It did make a difference to this little bird who without you, would have died in a much worse condition.

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      dave 8 years ago

      thank you for the tip ill keep u posted on his whereabouts

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      S18 8 years ago

      I have good news! Sun and Star are both on their fourth day with me! Sun is happy and eating and Star is bossy and demanding. I love both of their pesonalities and so does my dog! my only concern is that they tremble. I keep the heating pad on low and I put a towel over them so they cant be cold!

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      S18 8 years ago

      im so sorry Dani. I know how it feels to lose something that you care about:( Remember that he died happy. Instead of leaving him to fry in the hot sun or be eaten you brought him in and made an effort.

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      Dani 8 years ago

      I'm sad to inform that the little fledgeling died a few minutes ago. :-(

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      Dani 8 years ago

      Hi! Yesterday I found a fledgeling sparrow on the super hot driveway of my building, struggling to stand on his feet, completely unbalanced. I took him home and noticed that although he moves his right toes, his left leg seems to be paralized. He flaps his wings now and then, attempting to fly, but with no success yet. I am willing to keep him as a pet, but it has been 24 hours past his 'rescue' and he hasn't eaten anything (the homemade formula), besides a few drops of water. He won't even open his beak! I also tried to take him back near the place where I rescued him, watching him from afar because of the large population of cats in the neighborhood, but no other bird answered to his chirping, besides the also numerous crowd of sparrows here.

      If I could at least make him eat it would be a great progress. Any advice? At this point I'm out of ideas and feel like the clock is ticking against that cute little creature.

      Thanks!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18~it's difficult to say if there's reason for concern. If they're being kept warm, and being fed per their demand, there's really not much else that you can do to ensure their good health. Hopefully all 3 of you will have a good nite's sleep; and Sun will be back to her old self in the morning. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed!!

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      S18 8 years ago

      I just put the chicks to bed. Star is eating more than Sun. Should i be worried? Sun seems less energetic than star as well. I hope that they make it through the night!

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      S18 8 years ago

      They are doing much better! i think that they were just sleepy this morning.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Chloe~Typically if there has been minimal human contact with the babies there is a good chance that they can be re-released. Hopefully they have had a chance to imprint on each other rather than with a human if this is your intention. You are very generous to accept these little guys into your home. I'm wishing you much success as this may turn into a delicate situation for you (depending on their age). Keep me posted on how they are doing; and if you do in fact, end up releasing them. Good Luck!!

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      chloe_5937 8 years ago

      Hi,

      Ok, I live in michigan and have handfed tons of birds before. Well, as a rescue i never turn anything away. Of course..i would never take in a hawk, eagle or falcon..not a crow either. I have found a wildlife rehab for them. BUT! There are no options for the smaller birds. Doves, pigeons, sparrows, and finches. I have been asked to take in 3 sparrows that are unknown in age. I read your article on imprinting. I am aware this may NOT happen with 3 babys as long as they survive. I hope it is true. We will see soon.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      As I recall, S18, Drumstick had quite the fluctuation with his poop, too. As his body continues to develop, you will probably be coming across many new things that make you think "well, THAT'S new!" Do they seem to be doing better than early this morning??

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Kristen, thank you for the comment. This is quite an undertaking that you and your husband have committed to. I wish you both much luck!! If you have any questions, I will do my best to help both of you out in any way I can.

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      S18 8 years ago

      But I havent added water recently. I dont think its to severe.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Dave, the feather development is totally normal. They tend to get their larger feathers first. I have added this link which will take you to Starling Talk and there they have a day-by-day development of a sparrow for you to take a look at so that you may be able to more accurately pinpoint his age. http://crow1.homestead.com/sparrow.html If you are considering letting him go, don't handle him too much. Since this is a little bit older than most of the babies that are rescued, you may have more success with release.

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      Kristen 8 years ago

      I was just outside and found a baby sparrow. It looks like an older baby. It has most of it's feathers. My husband and I are going totry to raise it. I just couldn't let it die. Your post is very helpful. Wish us luck

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Well S18, I'll bet that the babies enjoyed their time in the sun. It is important to remember though, that they also need to be kept warm until their feathers have fully come in. So if it's breezy and cool in your area, outside time might wanna be kept to a minimum until their feathers have developed a little bit more. We never added any additional ingredients to Drumsticks feeding formula. We used a commercial baby bird formula (Kaytee brand that we found at a local pet store.) and Drumstick loved it and never had any complications from it.

      Many times if you have helped more than one baby, they are still able to be released because they would have had a chance to imprint on each other. It sounds, however, that they are more taken with you for imprinting purposes; and that would not make them able to go out on their own and have a decent chance for survival. They consider you their mommy as well as their food source.

      Their diet should be sufficient in nutrients for them for now. Just monitor how much they are eating. Many times this is a clue that something is wrong; or that they are not feeling well.

      I just read your newest comment regarding the scrape and the loose bowel movement of Star. If the scrape doesn't look too severe, then it may have been a scrape from the beak of Sun if they were nuzzling, or got too close to each other. As for the loose poop, if you recently added additional water to their formula, this would cause this result as their bodies don't require a lot of liquids due to the fact that when they grow up their main diet consists of bugs when they're in the wild. If there's a big difference in the consistency of the thicker formula that they were having a difficult time eating, and after you added additional water, this could be what caused the runniness.

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      S18 8 years ago

      Im a bit worried about Star. I just discovered a fresh scrape on her underside. it dosent look to serious but i have no idea what to do! Also her pooh is verry runny.

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      dave 8 years ago

      the one i picked up yesturday has most of its feathers but has none on his chest or belly but the wings seem to have strong feathers is that how they grow the wings first and then every thing else how can i find out about how many weeks old the sparrow is? thank you very much for your help, so far hes healthy and responds to feedings hes not flying yet.... but with a little help from me mabey hes got another shot at soaring!

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      S18 8 years ago

      Glad to hear it! I can see the tips of their feathers peeking out. i took them outside for a while to get some vitamin D. is it OK that i didnt put antibiotics in the formula? they are doing fine without it. Since they have imprinted on me it means that they cant be free correct? Do you have any suggestions on their diet? Thanx

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I'm so sorry to hear that Moon didn't make it, S18. It is very difficult to say what could have been the cause. Baby sparrows are a very delicate species, and have a history of not thriving in new environments. I don't believe that it was anything that you did wrong; or that there was necessarily something that you could have done differently. Sometimes mother nature isn't the kindest. I know that this is probably of little to no consolation to you; but it's important that you realize that what you did actually DID make a difference in the life of this little bird. You helped guide him through the most vulnerable days of his young life successfully. For that, you should be very proud of yourself. You have amazing dedication and devotion to these little guys. Keep monitoring Sun and Star; pay attention to their appetites in particular. If they are opening their eyes and chirping at you, or when they hear your voice from a distance, you have been imprinted upon, my friend!! You are now the "Birdie Mama". Congratulations!!

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      S18 8 years ago

      I think that Sun and Star are starting to imprint on me! They open their eyes and chirp when im with them!

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      S18 8 years ago

      Sadly last night Moon died suddenly. The other two are not doing the best but its 5:30am! Do you know what could have been wrong with Moon? How can I help Sun and Star? Im glad Drumstick is healthy.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Well S18, they may not be fully feathered, but they should definitely be looking a lot more bird-like, and have a healthy amount of feathering on their bodies. You'll be amazed at the difference when you wake up in the morning and go to check in on them.

      Drumstick is doing well, thank you for asking. He thinks he's a person and likes to sing along with the radio when it's on. I'm not always such a fan of this as he has been "blessed" with a shrill ear-piercing chirp. He's very familiar with the kitchen and starts dancing and jumping around when someone walks in there. He goes to his highest perch and awaits for food to be delivered to him.

      So far, Drumstick is our only feathered child. We're really not sure how he would feel if there were to be another feathered friend around. He's very possessive of us and his house. We've wondered how loud it would get if we were to come across another sparrow in distress. He gets pretty vocal when he hears other birds outside chirping. He doesn't seem really comfortable outside though. He's used to his corner where he can have his back against a wall and be sure that nobody is going to sneak up on him. When he's outside, he's always on the lookout for someone to approach, and can't relax.

      I'm so glad to hear that Sun, Moon, and Star are thriving. Keep me posted as to their progress.

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      S18 8 years ago

      So they might be fully feathered by Monday!? I saw progress today. How is Drumstick doing? have you raised any sparrows since?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18, please scroll up and read the sections on feeding and weaning. I think it will be helpful. If your estimate of their age is accurate, it could be a couple of months before they're ready for seeds.

      Re feathers, they should come in pretty quickly, at this point. With ours, we sometimes saw progress over the course of an hour or two.

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      S18 8 years ago

      Caterpillars are so hairy! When is it ok to feed them seeds and bugs? I think Sun, Moon and Star are about 5-6 days old. they have pin feathers on there wings and tails. When will they be completly covered in down?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I'm afraid I don't know very much about robins. But sparrows eat more insects than anything else. Mostly soft ones, like caterpillars.

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      S18 8 years ago

      Is it the same for baby robins? They LOVE worms. Is it ok to feed them worms when their older? What do the parents feed them?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Glad 2 hear it, S18. The problem may have been then that it was too thick for them to swallow properly. Typically when they're really little, it should be about the consistency of very runny oatmeal (kinda like really lumpy water). As they progressively get older through the days, their pecking instinct will kick in and then the formula can gradually become more solidified. I would also shy away from the worms for now, and concentrate on the formula type food. (Especially if it's working.) Often, worms can carry a bacteria/disease which can be harmful if not deadly to the young birds. Their immune systems aren't ready for processing so much while they are so little.

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      S18 8 years ago

      I put a bit of water in it and it seems to be workig much better

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      S18, the formula could be too thick. Did you warm it up a bit? Also, don't put it directly into their mouths. Try gently tapping on their beak, and letting them take the food as they need it.

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      S18 8 years ago

      i brought the babies in and fed them some homemade formula I found on starlingtalk. They seem to have a hard time swallowing it. Is there something wrong?

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      S18 8 years ago

      I found a nest on the ground. I think the babys are sparrows. I put the nest up in a tree where it would be safe, then I walked away to watch it. No mother came in the 20 minutes that I sat there. I fed the babys some worms but im worried about them its raining. Should I bring them in?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      bproud, please go back and read the article. There is a lot of information there, to get you started. If it has an injured foot, you may want to try a veterinarian. For additional help, you might also try http://www.starlingtalk.com/

      Bailey, you can try tapping very gently on the ends of their beaks. That often gets them excited to eat.

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      Bailey.T 8 years ago

      i found two baby sparrows alive and two that were dead. I left the dead ones there and I took the ones alive that my dogs were just about to snatch up. I put them in a kitchen towel and then in a basket. They haven't started chirping at all. But I don't know what to do if they don't because I know they need food, they just won't tell me when to give them any.

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      bproud 8 years ago

      My family and I just found a young sparrow fully grown it looks like it has a broken foot.. We put it in a cage so animals wouldnt hurt it, how can we keep him alive and healthly?? Can we keep the cage indoors?? We could use some help please! :)

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi Victoria. Not knowing where you live, it would be difficult to address the legalities. I have been assured that in the U.S., where I live, it is legal to rescue and raise comon house sparrows.

      As far as releasing them, I suspect that, depending on the nature of its injuries, at least one of them may not thrive, if released. If you plan on trying, you should definitely not be handling them more than is absolutely necessary. And I would not try it until the injured one is able to fend for itself.

      This is a very kind task that you have undertaken! Please keep me posted on their progress.

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      Victoria 8 years ago

      Thank you very much for all the information that you had been posted here. My daughter found a House sparrow in the front yard of my building, he can't fly but has feathers and was ok. We though that he has been fallen from his nest and needs help (the trees are very high and we couldn't find his nest), so we bring him to our apartment. I inmediately start to research in the internet trying to find information how to take care of baby birds. I didn't know anything about birds before. After read a little bit I realize that the best thing was to release him and we went back and leave him. But while my daughter was watching him running she saw another house sparrow in the side walk turn around trying to turn again whitout results, this one seem to be hurt. My daughter take it and it doesn't move too much like the another one and we bring both to our apartment. I feed them and the one who is hurt was very hungry and eat a lot. We put them in a box and they both are sleeping right now. I found a wildlife centre but is not acepting songbird right now and the only option that they offer is the euthanasia. They said that it's illegal to raise a wildanimal, but I can't take the birds with them to be killed and I can't keep them too. I am glad to know from you that if it's more than one bird they can be released when they are ready and I'm glad that I bring the first bird back with the second one. My daughter was watching, speaking and carry them all night until we put them to sleep. I just wondering if I release the first one tomorrow their parents could be able to feed him again or not, because he is not eating by himself. And also I wondering how long take it to the birds imprint on to the humans, days or weeks?. Do you recommend me to keep both togehter until the second one is healing and it's ready to be release. Or it's better to release both of them tomorrow to give them the opportunity to find their parents?.

      Thank you again for your site and for help to protect and save birds!. That's very humanitarian.

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      Kat 8 years ago

      Good luck Paige! It exhausting, worse than taking care of a newborn but very rewarding. I found "Froggy" when he was about 7 days old and didnt get much sleep for the first 6 days after i found him. Luckily I work nights so he didnt eat much while i was gone but he is doing great. Its a great feeling to know that you have done something so wonderful for something so little that has hardly any chance of survival. Good Luck!

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      Paige K 8 years ago

      Love this site! My DH and I had a nest of house sparrows in the back yard. The parents disappeared, nest was visibly disturbed and one egg cracked on the ground. The cracked egg was fully mature, probably ready to hatch so we watched the nest. No birds in four hours and it was getting cool so we brought them in. One of the eggs hatched while I was turning them and another about an hour later. We must have gotten them in just in time as another egg in the nest was also fully mature, but died in the shell.

      Anyway, long story short, between this site, YouTube videos and starling sites we have two brand new hatchlings. Wish us luck. They're just about 24 hours old, warm (nest about 90 degrees), eating and pooping. If they live we'll keep them as pets...too many cats, dogs, coyotes and hawks around outside.

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      Nikki Brown 8 years ago

      Very helpful!! A nest of sparrows where I worked were taken out of a hole in the building due to remodeling. They were put on the ground and the mama bird never came back. I rescued one, but the other 2 were stepped on. He (she?) is eating and looks okay, but I dread it if he passes away. I'm already attached.....Prayers for Cootsie....Thanks!

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      Kat 8 years ago

      Froggy is doing great. Today is 11 since i found him, which makes him about 18 days old. He has all his feathers except a small patch toward the back of underside. He eats alot and still begs to be handfead. When do they start pecking at seeds. I put a small food bowl of seeds in his cage and he just seems like he wants to (bath) in them?? And even though he hasnt regained any movement in his foot he seems to be hobbling around quite well and even flying a bit. I left the cage door open yesterday and he fluttered up to the opening and sat there for a few seconds and then fluttered out onto the floor. Im so glad I found this site its really been a blessing. I will continue to update everyone and hopefully have some pictures soon. By the way, when do I start putting water in the cage. He still is being handfeed...

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      robbinluver9 8 years ago

      ok thanks

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I'm not an expert on the migratory bird treaty act, but i do believe Robins are protected.

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      Robbin=good 8 years ago

      Is it illegal tokeep a baby robin?

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      robbinluver9 8 years ago

      is it illegal to hatch a baby robbin then keep it if it lives.(Dont worry i found the egg on the ground)

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      Sparrowgrl2 8 years ago

      If you have had the baby since in started growing feathers it has probably imprinted on you making it imposible to free so it looks like you have a new pet!

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      roxy1 8 years ago

      I am so glad to have found this site! I, too, have rescued a baby sparrow, which had fallen from the rafters in a Lowe's garden center. I've had him for 3 weeks, and he is thriving on a diet of crickets which have been fed a good quality dog food. He is flying now, but is still eating only from my hand. I have seed and grit on his cage floor, seed and water in seed cups, but he only wants to be hand fed. I have high hopes for him to be at least semi-free, hanging him outside now, in a cage, where other birds have taken great interest in him. I've even had an adult sparrow land on his cage. I'm hoping to open the cage door in a couple of weeks, with food always inside, and let him come and go as he pleases. I've talked to someone who actually has done this, and years later, the sparrow still visits the cage and her. I know this is a lot to hope for, but I wonder how likely it is...I don't want my little "Squirt" (because he does! : ) to be eaten by a cat or hawk. Has anyone out there had success with this? Should I get over my guilt of depriving him his freedom and just keep him as a pet? He actually seems very happy in his cage, and also flying around in my house. I'd like to know what you think. Thanks, from Roxy in Louisiana.

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      Raspberry 8 years ago

      Thank you

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi Raspberry, this is RMR's wife, Debbie, again. Let me begin by saying I know how much energy, effort, time, and love you have invested in this little bird. I want to make sure that you understand though EXACTLY how good of a job you DID do....

      What I have found is that just like with humans, animals also have a highly evolved "maternal instinct". They can sense when there is a problem with their offspring and they are not shy about abandoning the weak ones, or the ones with health conditions which will end up in a short-lived life.

      I have gone back and read your initial question, and if I'm understanding correctly, you found these little guys when they were really itty bitty. This was when they were MOST susceptible, and at their weakest. The fact that you were able to sustain even one of their lives to the point of them beginning to grow feathers, is a testament to how good of a job you DID do, not to how good of a job that you did NOT do. It sounds like this was yet another case of "mother (bird) knows best". She sensed what you could not about this tiny creature, and unlike you, decided it was not worth the effort.

      What you did was give him the opportunity to flourish and thrive. However, as with many things in life which are not fair, this was not meant to be. You created the perfect environment, and became the model surrogate birdie mama. Even though it stings your heart to have lost this little bird, please don't lose sight of all you did and the love and bonding that came from you finding him. Unlike his brothers and sisters, THIS little bird knew what it felt like to be loved. I can't imagine a greater gift that you could have given him.

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      Raspberry 8 years ago

      Thank you rmr. Hopefully he is in a better place now with his brothers and sisters. I still feel like its my fault.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I'm so sorry, Raspberry. It doesn't necessarily mean you did anything wrong. The survival rate for rescued birds, especially when they are as young as yours, is very low. All we can do, is try to keep them warm and fed, and hope for the best.

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      Raspberry 8 years ago

      Hi rmr. Sadly my little sparrow passed away last night. I dont know what I did wrong. He was doing so well.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi LM, your neighbor sounds like a real charmer! Condolences!

      MZ, not knowing how old your bird is, it's hard to say what you need to do. If it doesn't have any feathers, a quality hand feeding formula would be best. If it's older, moistened dog food works well. Especially if you mix it with a little bit of hard boiled egg.

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      mzcastillo 8 years ago

      so my dog brought me a baby bird yesterday n im pretty sure its a sparrow i do not know where it came from so i just put it back in a tree well today i went out and he was on the floor so i put him in an old hampster cage and put a towel in there. so my question is what do i feed it? and how?

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      Raspberry 8 years ago

      Laughing mom i think you r talking about swallows. Swallows build their nests out of mud. Sparrows however, like bird houses. Thank you for the advice rmr! Ill get back to you on his condition later on.

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      Laughing Mom 8 years ago

      Never found a baby sparrow to rescue, but I will tell you that those birds that build nests out of mud on my front porch drive me crazy!! By law, you're not supposed to disturb their nests, but when they build one one afternoon while I'm at work that covers the top crack on the door, it's use the back gate and deal with the encounter of 2 very large dogs tackling me all the way to the back door for several weeks, or tear the thing down and hope my neighbor across the street doesn't see me. She'd definitely turn me in to the bird police!

      You and Debbie have alot of patience.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I doubt that he could be released, so I guess he's a keeper, as long as he's a sparrow, and not some protected species. If he survives infancy, he should be plenty strong enough to travel by the end of summer. I suspect that whether or not you can take him on a plane depends on the airline's policies. Good luck to you and your new friend!

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      Raspberry 8 years ago

      We would move at the end of the summer. Would i be able to bring him?

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      Raspberry 8 years ago

      Thanks for the quick reponse! Do I get to keep him? He is only about 4-6 days old.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      That sounds pretty normal, Raspberry. I would think twice about taking him on a plane. He requires a LOT of attention right now, and I doubt that he would be allowed as carry-on! And it would also be a pretty traumatic experience for the little guy.

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      Rasberry 8 years ago

      He tries to stand and he wiggles his wings. Sometimes he seems to vibrate. Is that good?

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      Rasberry 8 years ago

      Hi, i just found 4 baby abandoned sparrows 3 days ago and now only 1 is left. Does this mean i get to keep him? he is just growing his feathers but his eyes are still closed. ive raised baby robbins before but they were older and were eventually released. ive been feeding him worms. he likes them. Should i continue feeding him worms or buy formula? Is it ok to take the little guy on a plane? We are moving to vancouver. i dont want him to die.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      One thing to be careful of is that he doesn't get TOO warm in his little box. (I know, as if you didn't have enough on your mind at this point) when they have too much heat, they will lie/sit with their mouth open looking as if they are waiting to be fed only without the incessant chirping sounds. This is their way of regulating their body temperature. When baby bird is eating, you should be able to see the food in his crop (lower neck and watch its progress through the transparent layer of neck skin.) Just like with a human baby, the little bird should begin to lose interest in eating as vigorously the fuller that it gets. With our bird, we would feed it until the crop/gullet looked full. After feeding, if you simply put the baby back in the "nest" right-side up like he would be looking around if he had the neck strength, he will put himself into the most comfortable position. He will gain strength quickly, so don't be surprised if one of these next times, he looks like a baby buzzard hunching over something. We had to hold our bird to feed him, too otherwise there was no way to be able to get the food anywhere near his mouth without risking poking him in the eye.

      It sounds like you are doing a great job with birdling. I know its nerve-wracking; but you really ARE doing a wonderful job!

      I'm RMR's wife, Debbie. I'm the one who actually found our little bird about 4-5 years ago. Rob's fallen asleep, but I will be more than happy to help answer whatever questions you may have.

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      dawn 8 years ago

      would they usually lay face down or face up in the nest. he isn't strong enough to roll over. side does't work. Trying to tip head to one side doesn't work either.

      I know I'm being neurotic about this but I don't want the poor little thing to die.

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      dawn 8 years ago

      his gullot (sp?) doesn't ever get bigger than swollen grain of rice when he eats. Is that the right size for him to be full.

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      dawn 8 years ago

      rmr

      Thanks for getting back to me so quick. As soon as I finished typing I fed him again (he's very insistent even in the dark with a cover over his box). He then pooped in a nice little sack just as described. So I know he's not dehydrated or over hydrated.

      I think I forgot to mention that we put the hot water bottle in a t shirt, then put straw in and made a nest. We put all of it in a shoe box and covered it with another shirt. Its nice and warm in there. I know I have to stay up all night changing the darn hot water bottle. which means that I will keep waking him up and then he'll want to eat. The poor little guy can't even stand up yet.

      Believe it or not, he seems to eat better when I ever so gently put him in my left hand and support his head with my thumb. I know you are not supposed to handle them too much but the way he flops around in the box scares me. I'm afraid he'll hurt himself or choke.

      I wish I had a heating pad.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      The good news is that he shouldn't need to be fed over night. They generally eat about every 20 minutes, for about 12 hours at a time The dog food should work, but you need to be VERY careful! I think the hot water bottle will be ok, as long as you don't let it get cold. Ours also preferred to have a small towel over the box that we kept him in. I would be nervous about keeping him in my pocket. I'd be afraid of falling asleep. As far as pooping, ours took a day or two to get regular, then the flood gates opened.

      Best of luck, Dawn. I hope this is of some help.

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      Dawn 8 years ago

      My son found a hatchling tonight that was either pushed out or fell out of the eve of a house. My understanding is that there is no way for mom to get the baby back in the nest. So he brought it home for the night. It can't be more than 48 hrs old. If I get it back in the nest tomorrow, if it survives the night, it should still imprint with its parents, right?

      I'm really afraid he's just not going to make the night.

      I'm actually afraid of adult birds (Alfred Hitchcock when I was too little to watch), but this little guy is just so helpless I can't leave him to die. He is still transluscent. He seems strong as he is very demanding about food but he does flop around quite a bit.

      He has a very yellow beak but he has dark circles around his eyes. I'm not convinced its not a robin.

      If mom kicks it back out, I'll take it to rescue org I spoke to tonight. They think he's either a starling or sparrow. Surprisingly, they were actually willing to take it whether it was a starling or not.

      Here are my questions:

      I have softened iams dog food and am feeding it with tweezers. My worry is that it may be too stiff for him to swallow (sometimes he shakes his head a little). My son had mashed some worms up and fed him those before we found out that they shouldn't eat them because of parasites.

      I tried dipping it in a little water and shaking of the excess and that seemed to work a little better but I'm afraid I'm going to drown him or give him pneumonia.

      I don't have a heating pad. I have him on a hot water bottle which is wrapped in a shirt. Can I put him in a pocket against my body? Would that be warm enough for him.

      I don't mind staying up the night but every time I have to change the water bottle I wake him up and have to move him and I'm sure that is stressing him out.

      Also, he hasn't pooped yet. His abdomen looks swollen although I'm told its supposed to. I saw someone said soak his bottom in warm water but I'm afraid that if I did that he would catch cold. I've tried rubbing his tummy and the itty bitty bump that I think might be his tail gently but no luck. How often should he go?

      Help me please!

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      Kat 8 years ago

      Today is day 6 for Froggy and he is doing great! He has such a great personality. He fluttered his wings yesterday and actually made it out of his box, time for a cage! He seems to have less of a problem getting around now, even with the use of only one leg. He uses his wings to catch himself if he falls to either side. Its great that he is doing so well, now to put that cage together :D

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      Sophia 8 years ago

      Hey! My BFF, Gwyn, just got 3 baby sparrows that just came out of their eggs. Their names are- Gwyn, Sydney, and Michael! They are adorable. Can you e-mail Gwyn on some helping tips for raising her new birds? Her e-mail is- cushypillow@gmail.com. Or gwynownz23@gmail.com. Thnx! Bye!

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      Kat 8 years ago

      We are now in day two and our little rescue that we have named "froggy" is doing well and eating to no end. my husband says froggy is already spoiled because it will only eat for me and i make little whistling sounds over its head and it responds to me. I noticed this afternoon when froggy started moving around in its shoebox that its not using one of its legs, i cant find a break in it, but what should i do? my husband says that even if i manage to keep froggy alive that it wont fly because it needs to stand to fly. is this true? do you think that this little bird has a fighting chance even without use of his leg? other than its leg it gets around fine with use of its wings and the other leg, jumping a little like a frog lol. do you have any advice or suggestions?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Carmiland, this question would be better directed at a veterinarian or, better yet, a qualified rehabilitator. I'm afraid I'm neither. All the information on this page is from my own personal experience and a fair amount of research. It does sound as if your Lily Bird may have been beyond the imprinting age. But I tend to think the fact that she's not afraid of you doesn't bode well as far as releasing her goes. It sounds as if you're doing very well by her, though!

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      carmiland 8 years ago

      We are on the second week with our baby sparrow - Lily Bird. She plopped on my head when a barn cat got hold of her family's nest - poor thing was the only survivor. She had all of her feathers and could flutter around in the dirt. We didn't feel like we could leave her there with the hungry cat! She's been eating fine - we feed a combination of soaked dog food, apple sauce, hard boiled egg and a sprinlkling of the Kaytee baby bird food. Initially, we hand fed her, now she will gobble up food from a flat saucer. She has started to fly a bit around the house. While she isn't afraid of us, she may have been past the imprinting stage when we brought her home. Do you think there is any chance she would survive in the wild? I'm afraid if I take her outside, she will just flutter over the fence to where I couldn't retrieve her and she certainly doesn't know how to forage for food. When we put her cage by the window, she seems very interested in anything going on outside and listens for other birds. I would feel bad keeping her as a pet if there is a chance she might make it in the wild. Any advice would be helpful.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thanks for jumping in, kim. I would definitely noy say that you killed it. In this case, I don't think its own mother could have saved the little guy. I was hopeful for you, though.

      Kat, best of luck to you. It sounds loke you're of to a great start!

      Janie, if you scroll up to the top of the comment section, I went into a little detail on the legalities. Basically, I believe it is dificult for the untrained good samaritan to tell the difference between different species, if they are too young to have grown feathers. I have always believed in erring on the side of caution, and thought it wise to enlighten people to the fact that they may be breaking the law if they pick up the wrong bird. Thanks for coming by.

      Emily, I am sorry to have missed your comment. I do hope you come back and let us know how it worked out.

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      kimr 8 years ago

      re: Janie S Ellington

      Wow, I wouldn't use the word "kill" in reference to good samaritans trying to save a life. There is enough research and advice out there that if you search, as I did, you should be able to provide the fledgling enough support for life. However, God and nature do have their own plans for all of us. In Felix's case, his siblings are still in thier eggs, so he was (as of today) 4 days premature and counting. Not my fault and I wouldn't say I "killed" him. Everyone should at the very least be responsible in their efforts and do more than the best they can for these babies! It's a lot of work. Felix went to work with me and I fed him every 15 - 20 minutes throughout the day and evening. It was just no match for his premature development. But I do know, he felt loved and cared for!

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      Kat 8 years ago

      I found a baby bird this morning and from what I can tell the applesauce and baby cereal concoction that I've made up is working. I rescued this wee one from a mess of ants and though it has bites on it, it seems to be doing ok. Its eating well and pooping a lot. It doesnt have all its feathers but has enough that it looks like your early pictures of the sparrow.

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      Janie S Ellington 8 years ago

      I believe it is only illegal to keep wild birds that are protected. Unfortunately, through no fault of their own, sparrows were brought here from Europe and now are being destroyed in a lot of areas. My understanding is that natural species are protected and therefore are illegal to keep. However, even then, being a good sumaritan is usually not penalized by the law, I think. The danger is that if you don't know what you are doing, you can very easily kill the bird.

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      kimr 8 years ago

      Sorry to say that despite my dedicated efforts, Felix passed away last night. I awoke this morning to silence. Poor little guy, he was a fighter. I just think he was forced to emerge too early from the safety of his egg. At least I tried and I tought my son (as I always do) to not give up on creatures that need you. :(

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      Emily Cicchetti 8 years ago

      there is a cute baby sparrow living in my garage! My dad wont let me hold him though. he says the mom might still come back but she has been gone for like 3 hours! I am worried he might die in the cold over night!

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      kimr 8 years ago

      Go ahead and welcome me aboard everyone! I have been caring for a baby House Sparrow now for 21 hours. My son found it half in its egg shell on the front sidewalk last night and we were sure he would die. He is still alive currently and eating like a pig! I have fed him every 15 - 20 minutes today and will continue until sunset. He started off eating Science diet dog food softened in water. Now he has graduated to Gerber hot dogs and Gerber fruit (only tried the fruit once so far). He was only minutes old when we found him. I spotted the nest, which looks abandoned with two other unhatched eggs in it. I am watching it though to see if adults show up. Our baby's eyes are still closed, obviously. Just curious if anyone knows the behavior patterns of the adult sparrows when they have eggs in their nest? Is it typical for them to leave the nest vacant at times during the day while they have eggs to hatch any day?? I'm afraid it's abandoned and I will be a proud Mother to "Felix" for a LONG time.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thanks guys. I was hoping this hub would help people, but the response has been more than I imagined!

      Sparrowgirl, read up. If you don't find someone to take it, you may have a long road ahead of you!

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      sparrowgirl 8 years ago

      i just found a baby sparrow in the gutter!

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      eaasi3574 8 years ago

      Great job on this hub. I'll be visiting often to view your others.

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      eaasi3574 8 years ago

      Fantastic hub... I will be using some of your advice.

      -Nicki B.

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      Debbie 8 years ago

      We found a nestling today. it looks to be a sparrow. We found a wildlife rehabilitation number and took him to a very nice lady to take care of him. We raised a mouning dove several years ago. His nest fell from our tree during a storm and his parents "flew the coup" and his sibling didn't make it. He had a few wing feathers and his eyes were closed. I didn't think he would make it, but we had him for 3 1/2 years before he died. We had a vet tell us that was much longer than he would have had in the wild. We named him "COO" and loved his songs. He loved the shower and also the fireplace in the winter. He would stretch out his wing toward the fire and then turn and stretch the other one. He imprinted on me and I was his mom and he thought I was his mate. He was jealous of my husband and would peck at him if he came to close to me. He didn't seem to mind any of us, but did not like strangers and we had to be sure his cage was covered when we had company. strangers made him extremely anxious. He was not afraid of our collie-shepard and they had a love hate relationship. We tried several times to release him in the wild, but he would come flying back and land on one of us every time we went out so we gave up and bought him a nice big cage, let him out daily and loved him a lot!

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      CO 8 years ago

      hey guys,

      i once took a baby cedar waxwing in when i found it with almost no feathers and looking very distressed on my stepping stone one afternoon. I gave it a drink because it was too weak to get to the water even though it wanted to. i named it peanut and she was very attached to me. she ate ants that sometimes wandered into my house and squashed bluberries. i loved the little thing but sadly she flew into my window the first time she tried to fly : ( i was devestated. is there any possible way to prevent this from happening again? thanks

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Bird Girl, I'm so sorry it didn't work out. I've been told by experts that the survival rate for rescued sparrows is very low. It may have just been ill when you found it. There are just too many variables to guess. Don't be discouraged.

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      Bird Girl 8 years ago

      Hello, we recently adopted a small sparrow my son found at school. It was eating, hopping, doing well and then died suddenly. We are broken hearted and do not know why it might have died. Any ideas? We fed and cared for a sparrow about 8 years ago and it was a darling member of our family so we are lost and bewildered about our recent loss. Any suggestions???

      Thanks,

      and GOD Bless ;)

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      He should be fine without the pad now, D. We knew it was time to remove the pad when ours appeared to be panting a lot of the time.

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      D'sparrow 8 years ago

      I just wanted to thank Kristi for letting us now it is'nt illegal to keep english house sparrows. I was worried I was breaking the law-allthough still willing :) My 2 week old sparrow Pretty is doing wonderful. After 2 weeks of getting up at 4 or 5 am for feedings....alot of work but very rewarding. She has definatly imprinted me. Today we went outside to get some sunshine and exersize for the first time, well, Pretty ran straight for my feet to safety. I guess it's cage shopping for me.

      I do have a question for rmr:

      once they have all their feathers then heat is'nt neccesary any more? my baby is 2 weeks old with all the feathers with the exception of a few little spots around her neck. It stays about 80 degrees in there now. is that ok?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Todd, I'm sorry I missed your first comment. I sure am glad it worked out, though! It sounds like Cheeps is quite a character. Congratulations on this addition to your family!

      Ladilin, it sounds to me like that bluejay knew exactly what he was doing. He must have heard about your love for birds, and played the pity card to get into your house!LOL!

      Thanks to both of you for adding to this ongoing discussion. Drop by any time!

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      Todd 8 years ago

      I decided to keep the little ball of feathers after all. His name is cheeps and he is most definately a member of my family. My students adore him as well. He sits on top of the television or rides around the classroom on my head. That appears to be his favorite spot. It tends to get a little messy. The pain starts when he decides to sit on my shoulder. It seems my ears are ripe for pecking.

      I feel pretty special to have the relationship with this special little bird that I do.

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      Ladilin 8 years ago

      I had the experience of raising a baby Bluejay that was found hanging on my window screen. She only had a few feathers so I think she fell from her nest (how she ended up on the screen is a mystery). I did contact a wild bird sanctuary who takes in single injured or abandoned birds; however, at the time I called, they were not ready to accept any birds due to disinfecting the area when some of their birds began dying. As a result, I raised the little Bluejay, named her Baby Jane and she lived with us for a few years before she died.

      Since I have hand-raised parrots and have birds of my own, I knew what to feed her and how and kept her in a cage which I left open during the day so she could fly. She used to ride on my shoulder and preen my hair. She also learned how to imitate the ring of my telephone and had us going crazy for a while until we figured out it was her and not the phone. She definitely imprinted herself on us and was a joy for as long as she was with us. I enjoyed reading your article.

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      Todd 8 years ago

      I am a teacher and was given a baby sparrow by a student. The sparrow was very young. We raised it with as little human contact as possible but I still believe imprinting has happened. We have two Jack Russel Terriers who will not tolerate another pet so I'm going to have to release. Is there anything I can do to improve my birds chances when I release?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      That's great news, Betsy! Thanks for sharing it here! I'm so glad that I was able to help.

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      Betsy 8 years ago

      I put the baby sparrow on my patio and the parents have found it and are feeding it . It still cannot fly but has made it as far as a window sill, with the help of a few plants next to it. We are getting there!

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      Betsy 8 years ago

      A Baby Sparrow hopped into my office yesterday. I live in the middle of a very busy town in mexico, no trees nearby just a lot of cars and buildings. The poor little thing was clearly exausted and was not responding to his mother's hysterical calls from a telephone wire across the street. I left it alone for a couple of hours to see if it would fly away, but it did not. It looked very weak and did not look as if it would live so I found your page and got all the 411 I needed. It ate a little bit last night and perked up some but I was dreading looking in on it this morning. What I found when I lifted the cotton cloth off of the basket that I covered it with for the night was a lively little bird with its mouth wide open. I have determined from internet photos that my little bird is about 12 days old. He can not really fly yet but this morning we did some little birdy flying exercises and it is getting the hang of it. I lie on the floor and he perches on my finger, I raise my arm up and then let it drp and on the way down he flaps his little wings. After doing this a few times he "flys" off my finger to the floor. We have a typical Mexican house with a patio area enclosed by 4 walls. I figure that when he is able to fly out of the patio and onto the roof he will be ready tp go. he is eating voraciously, but only when I stick a bottle cap full of mush up to his face. I am feeding him a mixture of chicken baby food, hard boiled egg, dried blood worms, a few sqashed insects, a calcium tab and a drop of emu oil. He loves it. How do I get him to eat on his own? Do I offer the mush or live insects or what? When will he fly away? I really thank you for provding the informatio here. Great Site.

      Betsy

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Hi lisa. There's not that much to do, once they have grown. I just make sure he always has fresh water, bird seed and millet. They also enjoy insects, and an occasional piece of friut. He also loves to play with the toys in his cage, and stare at himself in the mirror.

      As he grew up, he definitely developed a personality, and loves to "talk" to us. If something is not the way he thinks it should be, he does not hesitate to let us know!

      Best of luck!

      Rob

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      LisaH 8 years ago

      One of my kindergarten students came to class today with a baby bird. He said that the next blew out of the top of a tree this weekend and the other two babies died. He told his mother that if anyone could save this bird, that "Miss Lisa" could. I've never tried this before. I do have a 3 1/2 month old sun conure, two dogs, two cats, two guinea pigs, and two red foot tortoises. I guess because of my menagerie, he thinks I can raise anything. Anyway, I tried to find a place that would take him, but it's hard to find anyone on the big island that is able to do a possible sparrow rescue. So, I borrowed an eye dropper from another teacher and scooped some seed into a blender with a small amount of water. I made a seed pudding, basically. I tapped at the baby bird's beak (my sons are calling him Thor) and managed to get some in his mouth. I tried again an hour later and managed to get a little bit more. I called my husband and asked him to go to the pet store and get some bird formula. He brought it and after the next feeding, I could see food in his crop (still no feathers covering that area). Now he's chirping about every 50 to 60 minutes and opening his beak wide for the food.

      I'm thrilled that he's doing okay, but I am dismayed that he's imprinting on me. If I am lucky enough to keep him alive, would I be able to keep him in a cage on our lanai with him having the opportunity to fly outside? My conure has clipped wings because it can be so dangerous flying around the house with all of our huge windows and sliding doors. We also have ceiling fans in every room. She goes pretty much wherever I go, by riding on my shoulder. Can you tell me a little about how you take care of your sparrow now that it's grown?

      Mahalo

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      ajak74 8 years ago

      hi rmr....i found a baby sparrow which had fallen off its nest 3 days ago.Ive been feeding him with bread soaked in sugar mixed water.the legs of the bird looks like being inflammed(reddish) and the feathers below the neck area looks like its balding...can u advise me wat to do?thanx

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Vix, if you check out www.starlingtalk.com, there are a couple of recipes for home made hand feeding formula. We did just fine with the store bought powdered mix, though. The trick was to put a drop or two at a time just inside their beak.

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      Vix 8 years ago

      Thanks so much for getting back to me. That sounds about right. he was such a wriggly thing. I watched a few videos on You Tube and people seem to feed cat food to baby birds in the way you described. They actually took it off a tiny spatula. Would I have been better with cat food? the problem with the feed that I had was that I was told at the pet shop to make it quite runny, like paste, by adding warm water, but then birds can't take this in themselves as there is nothing to grab hold of. Would I have been better with a lumpier/mushier kind of food?

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Sorry that you lost him, Vix. You have to be extremely careful when hand feeding a baby bird. It kind of sounds like the food missed his crop (a pouch that the food initially goes into), and got into his lungs. I usually put the syringe just up to their beak, and let them take it from there.

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      Vix 8 years ago

      What a lovely story and a great thing you did rmr. I had an experience myself just the other week. I found a baby sparrow (didn't know what it was until I found your pics online) and looking at Drumstick I would say he was only a few days old at the time, possibly a week. He was under a very large tree outside my classroom where I teach and there was no sign of a nest in the tree at all. I watched and noone returned to feed him so being the last day of term I took him with me. He was a little bruised and swollen on one wing with slight bleeding but in a couple of hours he perked up and chirped to be fed. I went to the local pet store and they gave me some hand-rearing mix which was powdery and had to be made up with warm water and a feeding syringe and he wolfed this down every 30 mins. I had him for 6 days and on the 6th day - Xmas day, he was sitting on my finger with strength in his legs, little brown feathers were just starting to grow (the first hint he may be a sparrow) and then while i was feeding him at lunchtime he looked as if he may be choking. I tried everything to clear his airway and resussitate him but he went limp and passed away. I was so mortified. He really looked like he was doing so well. Did I do something wrong? Had I not made the mixture correctly? Too thick? Too runny? Or maybe he had injuries I couldn;t see. i would really like to know if anyone has any ideas as I live in an area where there are sooo many birds and nests. I had a very successful rescue and care of a baby Tui (native NZ bird) for over a month which ended with 'FlyFly' being detamed at a Native Recovery Centre and being released back into the wild. Since then people have brought me birds (usually just stunned ones which have flown into the window and I have released the same day) but I now feel I couldn't take anymore in case I do the wrong thing again. I would appreciate your honest feedback.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Melanie, I included some thumbnail pics above. If you click them, you can see what a male sparrow looks like. Females are similar in appearance, but less colorful.

      As far as diet goes, they like insects, seeds, millet, and some fruits. Mine has also been known to eat hard boiled eggs, and is quite fond of peanut butter. Make sure it also has fresh water for drinking and bathing.

      I wouldn't put another bird in the cage. Sparrows can be very aggressive, and would likely kill a finch, or parakeet. If his eyes are better, you might try putting a mirror in the cage, and see if that helps. It did wonders for mine.

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      Melanie 8 years ago

      We were able to rescue a bird from the jaws of our dog. His eyes were swollen shut and wing was broken. Now he is in much better shape, although he will never be able to fly. I think I have a sparrow, but am not 100% sure. I've tried to look online, but have given up trying to really ID him. Anyway, I have two questions:

      1. He has developed a yellowish crust on the sides of his beak. I think maybe I have missed something from his diet. I feed him a universial blend of seed and add a hi-cal grit. When he was first injured I tried to feed him meal worms, but he would not take them. Should I try this again? Or does he need fresh fruit or something?

      2. Although he has a fabulous cage and gets lots of attention, he seems very lonely. He chirps a lot and bounces around his cage. I would love to get him a friend. Pet stores don't sell sparrows. Is it possible to mix species in the same cage? I though about a finch since they are small and social. Or a paraket since their wings are clipped and Ray Charles can't fly anyway. It would be easier on me when cleaning their cage. Or, do you know of any rescue where I could get another sparrow?

      Thanks so much for any help!!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Paula, I see you're a hubber, now. Why not write a hub about Mr. Piggy? You can add photo capsules, there. Have some fun with it!

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      LaLa Baby 8 years ago

      rmr - it's your friend Paula. Drum is sooo cute!!! Very different from Mr. Piggy. I have a couple of pictures of him but not sure how to download them on this page. I will see if I can e-mail you a couple to see how different our "babies" look. We couldn't have gotten where we are without your kindess and guidance. He is a hoot and actually a joy to have around.

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thanks, Patty. We considered Wingding, but he just looked more like a Drumstick. I have definitely seen birds in the malls. Mostly sparrows. I'm pretty sure that they would drive me nuts in the theatre. Although, if the movie was "The Birds", that may lend an added touch of realism! Thanks for commenting.

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      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from North America

      BT - I just made some Mighty Hunter with Redneck Gravy, so have some and forget the tiny Drumstick. He is too small yet.

      rmr - Drumstick is a cute name. In our malls here, there are many wild birds flying around and building nests in the rafters. They fly into the multiscreen cinema lobbies on the second floor of the malls and eat up the spilled popcorn. It is like going to the zoo.

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      B.T. Evilpants 8 years ago from Hell, MI

      MMMMM. Looks tasty!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Paula, thanks for coming by. Drumstick is doing just fine, thanks for asking. I added a few new photos, at the bottom of the hub. Have a look.

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      Paula 8 years ago

      rmr - been kinda quiet here - no one on the page in a while - sure enough, Miss Piggy is Mr. Piggy for sure!!! All our feathers are in and he is eating finch seeds very nicely - prefers those with greens over the fruit. Also loves a little lettuce, celery leaves and broccoli from time to time - and no doubt, a Wavy Lays every now in then. He seems facinated with trying to pull on my hair and then I thought - looks like good material to him to try to build a nest!! So I bought a nest and nesting material and we will see if this helps. Loves mirrors, ringing the bells and swings!!! Look forward to hearing from you and "Drumstick" - how is the little guy these days????

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      Paula 8 years ago

      Ron - I have raised a jillion of them in my life and it never crossed my mind until I read the comments on this hub. By handling them and feeding them, all they know is you. It is called imprinting. The chances of survival are slim if you release. I too was going to release mine however, we don;t have what it takes to teach them the things their parents do in the wild. If they are good friends and are happy, enjoy the new additions to your family. As rmr says in his opening comments, it is a task that is not to be taken lightly. God Bless you and the others on the page for saving and loving a helpless animal. Hope this helps you make a decision.

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      Ron 8 years ago

      Ive raised a baby sparrow that was thrown out of her nest in a storm. I soaked plain dry cat food in water and fed it 3 or 4 times a day with a syringe. Now its full grown and im torn on how to release it, of if i should. At the same time i was given a baby pigeon which i hand fed and now it is grown. They are friends and are never far apart. ive actually donated a spare storage room at the back part of my house so they can fly around. My friends think im nuts but i dont care. The pigeon wont be that hard to release, but the little sparrow is another story. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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      Paula 8 years ago

      You are so nice. It was very heartwarming to me as well to have you respond and help me. I am just a sucker - I have raised all kinds of "babies" in my life. Would never leave any thing to die - not even the mean old blue jay.

      Update on Piggy - I think Miss Piggy might be Mr. Piggy. The wing feathers have come back nicely but the tail still has a way to go. The wing feathers seem to be longer so it hides what tail is there. Looks like we are loosing some feathers on our head - looks somewhat like a miniture buzzard right now! Do you remember Drum looking like that?? Also, black marking on the top of the chest. Still has the beige looking eye liner around the eyes but I am seeing more gray and darker, richer colors like the males have. What does Drumstick look like these days??

      Nice to have you back rmr - we missed ya! Look forward to your comments again!

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      rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

      oops! I haven't been here in a while. Regarding the vitamins: I haven't tried them, so I really can't offer an informed opinion. Drumstick seems to be happy, and healthy without any supplements. I don't usually give medications or supplements to my animals, unless there is some indication that they are needed. And never without the advice of a vet.

      I also want to thank you, and everyone else who has commented, here. It warms my heart to see so many people willing to undertake such a difficult task, in the interest of helping the helpless. When I wrote this, I didn't expect to find this much interest. What a surprise! Thanks again!

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      Paula 8 years ago

      Hey - where is everybody?? Vacationing?? Miss reading all the feedback!!!!

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      Paula 8 years ago

      I tooam so glad I found this site. rmr has been a great mentor and now we have added an animal nurse - this is great!!! I've had my Miss Piggy since around the 10th of June. She must be molting - lost quite a bit of feathers, all of her tail feathers, but growing back out. Looked on the starling website and it says they molt at about 8 weeks and get adult feathers around 20 weeks - we have several weeks to go. She is very happy, playful and there is absolutely nothing wrong with her appetite!!! She has started eating seeds (i picked up some finch seeds as they are smaller) because she did not like the wild bird seed. I see her eating these along with freeze dried crickets I found at Petco. I crumble those up with her seeds. She also enjoys fresh apple slices I hang in the cage with a clip and she loves watermelon. However, she still likes to be hand fed. I only hand feed her every five to six hours and there is nothing wrong with her appetite. In addition, I bought feeders with mirrors and other mirrors with bells. She swings, plays with the birdie in the mirror and LOVES to ring the bell. I will just be glad when she gets the adult feathers - she looks a lot like she did when she was just a couple of weeks old, you know with the short tail. rmr said not to worry, it will work itself out. She is a lot of fun to have around.

      I do have a question for rmr and our animal nurse - what about the liquid vitamins for birds. In reading on some of these sites, some people are adding liquid vitamins to the food. Do you think it will help her?? Just want to make sure I do everything right for her health. And rmr, you were right. Got a spray bottle and mist her - she loves it if you do it the right way. And sometimes, she will get annoyed, open her beak and just turn around and look at it!! Let me know what your opinion is about the vitamins.

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      Kris 8 years ago

      I've read not to give birds milk or bread at all. I'm feeding mine baby food pureed beef and bananas. There are several formulas listed on the web. You can also follow instructions for raising a stearling.

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      Rick Widdifield 8 years ago

      I have three sparrows i found on my patio,,,one is thriving and two are floundering...Anybody out there know why the difference....I am feeding them room temperature milk/sugar and bread liquified in the milk. Any help appreciated.

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      RMC 8 years ago

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      RMC 8 years ago

      Help I posted above regarding a bump on my baby sparrows beak.  It's since gotten a lot bigger!

      We too Stripe to the avian vet on Friday and he said it looked like an injury, clipped it off and it grew back 4 times as large in 3 days. 

      I've posted some close up pics of baby Stripe with his huge beak bump, can anyone please help identify what this might be?

      http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f314/duffman454/...

      http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f314/duffman454/...

      http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f314/duffman454/...

      http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f314/duffman454/...

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      Kris 8 years ago

      I had a terrible smell coming from my air conditioner. I opened it up to find a rotten egg, a dead baby and one live baby. I cleaned out the nest as it was full of maggots and the parents stopped coming around. So now I am caring for a featherless house sparrow. I've ready many posts on this today. There really is no way to release them once they can fly and find food on their own? No rehabilitators in the area will take the bird. I was told to let nature takes it's course. But I just can't bring myself to let the little guy die. I'm feeding him soaked parrot pellets and I plan on following the sparrow receipt I've found.

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      RMC 8 years ago

      Thank you! Thank you, animalnurse! We've been losing sleep checking round-the-clock on baby Stripe.

      The reassurance & knowledgeable support you so compassionationety shared gave us a much needed sense of relief. Your validation of our efforts was priceless & we'll thankfully await any further vet info you may have. We'll actually get some sleep tonight thanks to you! 

      I can't begin to tell you what your thoughts regarding our efforts meant for our peace of mind. The ongoing Neosporin 'dabs' 2-3 times-per-day seem to be helping. I've also continued to give Stripe less than .25 cc's of Albon until otherwise advised. As of tonight, he doesn't seem to be experiencing any negative effects from it. Baby dove, Periwinkle is also happily thriving & doesn't yet appear to have any similiar symptoms as Stripe, yet we're still seriously concerned about these horrible knemidokoptic mites we've read about on the internet (I sure wish we hadn't! double yuck!).  

      My husband suggested I mention to you the fact that when we first noticed the tiny red (blood?) line on the right side, under Stripe's upper beak, he was still in his little solid plastic 'incubator'. You know, those bright colored containers pet stores sell for small furry animals. It was extra padded with a nest & bedding, so he had not been exposed to the bars or wires of a cage yet. It's possible our little wild man flailed around & conked himself at some point, though! The slightly bloody bump was already present when we transferred Stripe to a larger regular cage, since he's spreading his wings this last week...beak bump & all!! It continues to ooze very slightly but also appears to be trying to scab over (cautiously optimistic!). It has not gotten any larger or worse. Prayers sent...fingers crossed...guardian bird angels on duty! 

      Please know, your reassuring comment regarding one vet's experience concerning a bird's appetite was so unbelievably comforting. Stripe continues to chirp...eat...play...eat... fly...eat...sleep...eat...& eat some more!!!   

      The vet you work with is a lucky doctor indeed to have you. In my experience, whether we're dealing with human or animal doctors, the nurses are as incredibly important as the doctor themselves. 

      Thank you, our own wonderful Florence 'Nightengale' for taking to the time to reach out to two very concerned bird parents!

          

         

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      flutterbug77 9 years ago from USA

      Wow. Alot of information I never knew. My husband rescued a baby squirrel that fell out of the tree. We named him Curyly (the squirly). He died and we cried. Sorry for the ryhme.

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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thank you for stepping in, animalnurse. I haven't experienced that particular issue, yet.

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      animalnurse 9 years ago

      To RMC, hello. I just have to say I chuckled with your baby's name, because it is so very true. Anyway, as a vet tech. for a small animal hospital I deal with mostly dogs and cats, some rodents and a cicken once in a while. The one thing that I do know is a birds appetite is the most important thing for us to monitor. A bird that is not eating, as one vet put it, is a dead bird. It sounds like Stripe has a great appetite. I would be careful with the albon, but keeping that area clean and applying neosporin is a good thing. I will check with one of the vets I work with and get back to you on this, but you are doing a great job already. It could just be irritated by him rubbing that area. "Jack" or "Jackie" has started to do that quite a bit when I feed her, she seems to hate the bird formula on her beak. She is eating seed, but still asks for her handfeedings, but the 3cc's has turned to 1cc and she wipes her beak as if she is no longer happy with the cook. lol! I too feed her with a 1cc syringe and it never touches the outside of her beak. The other thing that it could be is if he is starting to fly is he pushing his beak up against the wires of the cage? Well I wish you the very best and I will do my best to get an answer as soon as possible for you. God bless you and all your furry and feathered friends.

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      RMC 9 years ago

      Need help urgently! I was thrilled to discover this forum! My husband & I, both extreme animal lovers, are apparently in good company with many other fellow 'baby bird magnets'! My husband works at a mountain golf course...lots of trees, lots of opportunities for baby birds to be left orphaned as a result of the many predators in the area, such as birds of prey, coyotes & cats. 

      In the last two years we successfully hand-fed & raised an orphaned baby band-tailed pigeon, Ferdinand to incredibly handsome maturity & recently found ourselves (in the same week!) the lucky adopted parents of TWO orphaned baby birds, an itsy bitsy, all-attitude hatchling sparrow, we named Stripe, from the movie 'Gremlins' (sparrow parents can relate!) & a precious, dainty hatchling dove, Periwinkle. 

      We can relate to EVERY experience all of you have shared here! Trying to do what we thought was right by saving the babies, we learned the hard way that not only do we imprint on the precious baby birds, but the harder part is they imprint on our hearts. We've been told by pet store 'experts', bird breeders & avian vets that once a bird is hand-fed it cannot be released back into the wild because it won't be able to fend for itself. So now, our happy family, which includes our beautiful 20 year-old chihuahua princess, 5 stray cats, an orphaned mouse & a band-tailed pigeon, is growing again!  

      But we have a problem we hope one of you wonderful bird parents can help us with without our having to resort to morgaging the house for avian vet bills!

      The baby sparrow is now about 3 1/2-4 weeks old, active, feathered & starting to fly. Less than a week ago we noticed what seemd to be a slight red line under where his feathers meet the top of his beak, I think it's called the 'cere' area. Then about 4 days ago he developed a white bump next to his nostril on the top of the beak that bled slightly. We panicked, checking the internet for possible causes. One of the possible causes suggested an injury from hand feeding. We had been syringe feeding him formula with a tiny 1cc size syringe & were very gentle & careful, so we thought we could rule out that. 

      It seemed to start to get better, then it swelled up again. When he rubs it on the perch it sometimes bleeds slightly, but it definitely appears to be more of a nodule or tiny cyst, similiar to a white-head, than an injury. With the baby being so tiny, this bump appears huge on him, causing us a great deal of anxiety. 

      We're worried it could be those damaging mites some baby birds are born with. In an effort to do SOMETHING, we clean it with a cotton swab & put a dab of Neosporin antibiotic ointment on it. We've also started to administer a very, very small dose of Albon avian antibiotic we had from another bird in case we're dealing with an infection of some sort. Except for this distressing beak boo-boo he seems happy, alert & has a VERY healthy appetite! Has anyone raising baby sparrows (birds in general) heard of or seen anything like this??

      We'd so appreciate any help at all with this.  

              

           

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      animalnurse 9 years ago

      Thank you so much for your insight. I am a veterinary nurse and have been for nearly 10 years. Birds are much different than cats and dogs. lol! I have been very blessed while hand raising orphaned birds of many kinds, doves, pigeons,chickens, scrub jays, and of course sparrows. However, I had never thought to check out the internet to make sure a release is the right thing to do> I assumed, and we all know what that does, that they would probably be ok, although I did worry about them fending for themselves. We usually keep the doves and pigeons, they imprint to readily, but it seemed that the "wild"birds would be best off by allowing them to be free. So we take them to this beautiful park that has plenty of shelter, food, ponds and gorgeous trees. I wish I would have read these hubs and websites before! I feel horrible about releasing my other babys and hope that they had their little guardian angels watching out for them. I have a "house" sparrow, they all look so much alike, I think she is female , I named her Jack so she could easily be called jackie> :) I have lost track of time, but she/he is eating seed and not asking for food from me as much as she use to. I use Kaytee bird formula for all my babies, works great for me. well for them...I tried to only have contact when feeding her and would not let the rest of the family, two legged or four legged come around so that she would not be accustomed to them. She knows who I am and flutters her wings but still gets very nervous if I try to put my hand in her cage to put in seed or change her water. So I am very torn, It breaks my heart that she will never experience flying out in the open, I can't let her fly around in the house she would hurt herself or the 4 legged critters would. Should I make her more accustomed to me and the family so that she does not appear so affraid or "spooked" by us??? I want to do what is best for her and if that means keeping her then I will but I want her to be happy. We have 20 acres, but there are cats and hawks out here, I am afraid she would not make it here. I cannot take a cage to the park and set it up for her to come and go until she is ready, if ever, because, well it is a park. I also live in the Central Valley in California and it gets extremely hot here. 112 a few weeks ago, bit of a cooling trend lately low to mid 90s, but it is creeping back up to the triple digits, that was one of the big reasons I had not released her yet. I did not realize that other sparrows might also be mean to her> how do we know that??? is there someone who watches and studies this??? lol! anyway I guess I just need reasurrance that I am doing the right thing by keeping her> She is not loveable like it appears that some are, I am sure because I have tried to have minimal contact. Please offer your suggestions, I made a promise to let her go if she made it and now I may have to go back on that. Thank you so much for your time. You have inspired me to start a hub of my own on hand feeding orphaned kittens and puppies and the special precautions that need to be learned about these special kids. God bless you! It is very refreshing to see how many people feel like I do about any living creature. I too have heard my share of negativity regarding animals in my career, such as the comment above asking why would you take care of a bird, I have learned that education and compassion towards these wayword people works best. An animal will touch their heart at some point in their lives and then they will understand what we already know! Prayers and blessings to all of you and the babies you are caring for.

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      epictruth 9 years ago from Frisco

      I absolutely love your hub. My family and I saved a blue jay growing up and had it for almost a year. I now imagine it flying in the trees with all of its friends. :)

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      jorgenson1717 9 years ago

      My little Sparrow Blueberry is now 2 weeks old. I am so glad we have the weeks behind us. The first week was so full of worry. I am so proud of myself, when I was at work last week, I didn't call home to see how Blueberry was doing. My boys have all pitched in to care for the little bird. blueberry is almost completly covered with feathers. I'm thinking my Sparrow is a little girl. The markings and coloring so fare resemble a female. Unless thats how all the young sparrows look. I just moved Blueberry from the ice cream bucket nest to a 10"x15" rubbermaid container with a mesh cover. The sides are about 8 inches high. Last evening was her first night in the new home and she huddled in a corner surrounded by paper towels and tissues. I have about an inch or tow of Aspen on the bottom. This morning she was exploring more and playing with the toys. I have a small bird ladder laying down so Blueberry can get use to grasping the ladder rungs with her feet. She still seems to have a leg and foot problem. I am still feeding her the Kaytee formula from a syringe and have a jar cover finch seed in and also a millet sprig hanging in the new home. I'm not sure when to offer water yet. Maybe this week as I am on vacation and can concentrate on caring for Blueberry and possibly weaning her from the formula. she sure is having fun trying to fly and was playing on a towel this morning. she was acting like she was having a sand bath as I've seen the wild Sparrows do in our driveway. I'm going to get Blueberry some play sand and make a small sand box for her. My friend from work who is an expert on birds gave me a beautiful cage and accessories for Blueberry. She is the one who gave me the little home Blueberry is in now. Its so nice to have someone I can talk to about birds. I really needed her advice these past 2 weeks. So all looks good for Blueberry. I just love being able to hold her and her hear chirps when I walk in the house after work. Life is finally calm and good around here with Blueberry in our lives.

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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Yup. He lost a few feathers. It all worked out, though.

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      Paula 9 years ago

      rmr

      Got a reply from you a couple of days ago about Ms. Piggy's tail - did drumstick loose some feathers as well? I have noticed she is loosing a few feathers.

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      If it's injured, your best option is to seek a shelter, or veterinarian. Without knowing the nature, or extent of the injuries, I can't tell you much more than that.

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      angiee 9 years ago

      i have a bird. its been injured. and i need helpp? its young

      :[

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Health Conscious, thanks for reading! With the incredible amount of diversity at hubpages, animals and animal lovers seem to be a common theme. It's just one more reason to love it, here!

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      Health Conscious 9 years ago from South Florida - USA

      It is refreshing to see so many animal lovers.

      I've never raised a baby bird but the 1 dove, 2 robins and a seagull all got well. The dove and robins were around for the season and the seagull stuck around for almost 2 years. He would show up in the yard about sundown everyday.

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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      http://www.starlingtalk.com/ is where I got started. Over the years, I have visited too many websites to remember, but this one is probably the best.

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      Paula 9 years ago

      Thanks for the information. I assumed since every recipe has applesauce, the apples wouldn't hurt. She seems to love peaches as well. I am not good at this internet thing - where did you find the research??

      I sincerely appreciate your reply - do you think I can continue with the apples and peaches?

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Paula, don't worry too much about the tail. Ours had the same issue, and it worked itself out. As far as bathing, if you leave some water in the cage, it will bathe, when it feels the need. I have also misted ours, with a spray bottle. He seemed to enjoy it.

      If you are giving yours fruit, you may want to do a little research. I seem to remember reading that some fruits may be toxic to them. Ours likes white grapes. We cut them in half, so he can get at the soft flesh.

      As for the cage, everyone tells me that I have to let Drumstick fly around whenever I can. Well, I've tried. He actually did, once. But, usually, he just beats a quick path back inside. I did hang a small nest inside the cage, and he loves that!

    • profile image

      Paula 9 years ago

      rmr

      I left my first comment right after I found "Ms Piggy". She loves her cage - so much so, if you try to take her out, she just won't have it! We still feed her however, she is beginning to peck. I put a couple of feeders I bought at the pet food store in the cage with her - she doesn't seem to like that or bright colors. She had begun to eat some seeds and freeze dried crickets. I started leaving small pieces of apple and plum hanging inside the cage with a chip clip. She LOVES the apple however, in her jumping and playing (feeding is a game), she backed up to the wet, sticky fruit and it got all in her tail. Her tail looks wet and is stiff. I tried putting water on it (she does not want to take a "birdie bath" yet. As a matter of fact, it looks like one has broken off. She is very happy, playful and talkative but I am not sure what to do. One is broken and I don't want the others to break however, nothing I have tried is working. Her tail feathers now look like long, thin dark sticks. I have tried researching this on the internet to no avail - any suggestions on what to do or who to ask??

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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      jorgensen, please refer to the paragraph, above, titled Weaning. It it not the only explanation available, but it worked for me. once they're weaned,seeds are good but, sparrows need the proteins from insects, as well. Mine also goes crazy for millet.

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      jorgenson1717 9 years ago

      Hi,

      I found a baby sparrow where I work laying on a slab of hot cement. I figured it was was only a day old. the sparrow nests are about 2 stories up so it couldn't be put back into a nest. The first couple of days were trial and error on how to feed it plus lots of worring. We finally went and bought kaytee Exact formula. I am so glad we did. The baby bird named Blueberry is now thriving on this. My 3 boys and I are committed to caring for this little bird and know it will not be able to be released into the wild. The imprinting has begun as its eyes opened when it was 5 days old. It is recognizing that we are the ones who provide its food. Its wing and tail feathers are getting longer and I can see where feathers have begun to grow on its head and back. I was worried about its legs but it has recently started to shakely stand on them. I have a few questions. How long will I feed the formula to the baby bird? Should I start feeding it the Kaytee Exact conversion and weanind diet? If so, when should I start that particular Kaytee conversion foodd. I read on the Drs. Foster and Smith site about the food When it is old enough to eat seed, do I just buy good quality wild bird seed that had seeds fruits and nuts in the bird seed? I don;t want my Blueberry to eat cheap seed. I figure it will also need grit. After its big enough to go into a cage, can I buy it Finch or Parakeet toys? When can I introduce toys and other safe items to keep it entertained? Seeing its a Sparrow, do we have to worry about how warm its to be inside our house during the long winter months when it is fully feathered and in its own cage. Our house is usually around 70 degrees year round. Right now its in our homemade incubator and loving it. Our little Blueberry is already spoiled and has become a wonderful pet for our family. I just want him to have a happy and healthy long life with us. I would any advice.

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      Nancy 9 years ago

      xotinyyxo Why would someone raise a baby bird. It's called compassion. I have raised many baby birds who have flown off in the past and now I have a morning dove that I have had for a year. Some people out there just have no compasion in this world. They have just as much right to live as humans do rather or not they are wild. Have you seen some humans in this world that roam the streets and do more damage then any bird could ever do. Even if your not a bird lover it is comapasion not to see a animal suffer so yes I took your comment as being rude. If you don't like birds or want to rescue them then stay off sites like this. This site is not for rude or riduculous comments. Sorry to all you bird lovers but that comment really upset me.

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      Abrar 9 years ago

      Sorry I have forgot to describe the actual age of my sparrow bird.It came out from the egg two days ago its mother sparrow struck in celing fan and died 7 days ago.Actually I want to separate the nest from the exhaust fan.Exahust fan is very essential in the summer season particularly in the jun and july.I had no idea in my mind that there would be a bird in the nest in the Exhaust fan chamber.She rushed out side and struck in the celing fan and died.I am feeling very sorry after that time.I put the nest out and settled it under a tree.there was three egg in the nest. After two days there was one baby in the nest.

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Xotinyyxo, I always try to help those in need. When we found this bird, he was nearly dead. All of his nestmates were dead, and the nest was destroyed. We simply couldn't turn our backs.

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      xotinyyxo 9 years ago from atlanta

      I'm sorry if your taking

      this comment as "rude" i might say

      but why the heck..would you raise a bird.

      Sorry if this was..uhm rude =l

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      abrar, it depends on how old your bird is. We hand fed ours with EXACT hand feeding formula, and it worked well.

      Foxcorgi, adding a friend can be dicey. Sparrows can become quite territorial. I tried putting a plastic toy bird in with ours. He attacked it, immediately. Eventually, I put a mirror in the cage, and he seems to accept his own image as a friend.

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      Foxcorgi 9 years ago

      I found a sparrow baby and he/she is doing well - this is week 3 and I am presuming it was a 5-7 days when I found it. It only had tube feathers. From reading the site and my experience with this little fellow, it is apparent that he has bonded with me. I am ready to accept the responsibility for his captive life, but would like to introduce a friend. What type of "tame" bird would you suggest. I read the entire hub and someone mentioned a cockatiel. My little guy is about 4" and has just this week developed his tail feathers. Any suggestions?

      Thank you for documenting your sparrow rescue. This is the first that hasn't ended in tradgedy for me. God Bless.

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      abrar 9 years ago

      do we feed them with dry bread pieces efter softing them with water .?

      how much time duration for water demand ?

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      Jess Ba-ad 9 years ago from Philippines

      "it will need to be hand fed every 20 minutes"

      No wonder a nestling I tried to rescue when I was small didn't survive.

      This is great information. Thanks.

    • Bob Ewing profile image

      Bob Ewing 9 years ago from New Brunswick

      Great hub, I had a friend who kept a crow that was injured, it was considerable work but that bird did listen to her, although at times he was a hell-raiser.

    • Shirley Anderson profile image

      Shirley Anderson 9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Me too, Marisa. The kids and our cats always seemed to be finding a variety of baby birds that were abandoned or injured. Guess I'm a bad bird doctor, none that needed help survived that I can recall. Most of the time, if they were feathered and didn't have any apparent injuries, we would leave them be. Often, they were gone by the time we checked back a few hours later. The really young babies though, I wasn't much help for, I'm afraid. Same thing for my son's lizard. Guess I'll stay out of medicine.

      Great hub, rmr.

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      Marisa Wright 9 years ago from Sydney

      Excellent, thorough advice. I've rescued a couple of injured birds in my time, but they have never survived. If it ever happens again, I'll know what to do!

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      pj 9 years ago

      2 days back I found a baby sparrow on the ground he was fully grown baby. when i found him he didn't fove or try to run I watched him from a distance about 50 ft, I was there about 2 hours I didn't see any sign of its mother as it was getting dark i brought that baby with me, to my wonder he was no struggling to escape of show any sign of distress. next day early in morning about 5 am I fed him with bread crumbs and took him out to the area where i found him. and put him on the branch . i wass happy to see him fly and joining his group.

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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      I always enjoy hearing about the success of others with these poor birds. I have always said, nuisance or not, they are still God's creatures, and deserve a fighting chance.

      ProCW, I'll see what I can do about updating the hub with new photos.

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      iloveearngcash 9 years ago

      I have also enjoyed many experiences raising wild birds. Once a common house wren when I was young that did leave the next and actually came back the following spring to say Hi. I was outside and it landed right beside me and I touched it. Didn't see it again after that, but it was really nice knowing it has survived.

      As an adult I have raisied many starlings. The really hated bird but when a baby needs help, I don't care. I succeeded in raising them most of the time and they also left the nest. I contribute my success rate to the fact they love to eat. Would wake me up in the morning screaming for food. Once they got so big, I would take an empty milk carton and cut out a hole in it. Then place dried grass and a bit of the towel they had grown up with in their nest. We would hang the carton outside to start thier freedom trip. I remember one of our birds yelling at me early the morning of his first night outside. He was upset. I would then leave them on their own, place tidbits of bologna around where I knew they would find it to be sure they weren't hungry. Eventually the birds left home. I have a video of one of them sitting on my shoulder while I was talking on the phone outside. It's a wonderful memory.

      Thanks for your wonderful article that brought back some great memories.

      Barb

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      ProCW 9 years ago from South Carolina

      rmr

      do you have any recent pictures of drumstick? i didn't know that sparrows could be that adorable!!

      ProCW

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      Sharyn Hill 9 years ago

      Hello, I am a new owner of a baby sparrow. We had to adopt it because the nest was destroyed and all of the babies died except "Spike" our sparrow...It has been two and a half weeks and he is just flying and is very active..He loves our family therefore we can not release him,,,We are quite sure he has imprinted on us...I found help with Starling Talk website and the moderators we very helpful....thank you for posting your story..Every bit of information helps with our new journey..Sincerely Sharyn and Spike. :o)

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      GoogleCashMoney 9 years ago from Mumbai, India

      RmR. I Love your Hub. Great Work.

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      alysha 9 years ago

      th anku for your help, i look forward to trying him with new things, he is a little piglet so it shouldnt be too hard, thanx again xxx

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      If you go back and read the hub, I gave a brief outline of feeding a bird at this age. Sparrows are basically insectivores, but as they get older, they may enjoy seeds, and some fruits. There are other resources available online if you do a little research. I hope that helps.

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      alysha 9 years ago

      i mentioned last week about our little sparrow rescue, i am pleased to say he or she is doing really well, seems to growing really quickly and is also trying to take flight with no joy as yet,poor soul. could someone give me some tips as to what i could feed him now he is getting bigger, i think i should start introducing something other than soaked dog biscuits but im not to sure what, any advice will be greatly appreciated, thanku xxx

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      Nancy 9 years ago

      For all you people who just found a sparrow. I can only tell you this much. I have heard and experienced for myself that if you just have one wild bird of anytype they imprint on you. They don't have any other birds to see as one of them so they see themself as one of you. Usually they can not be released into the wild if you have just one baby bird. However if you are a animal lover and you can allow them to come out of there cage once in awhile and fly around the house they make great pets and enjoy your company. My morning dove that I have had for a year likes to take just a little fly then land on mine or someone else's head in the house and then just sit on us on our finger or leg. The dove has been known to even land on the dog and catch a ride on it's back as my dog is looking like get this thing off of me. My dog is very good with my bird. Good luck raising your little guy and enjoy him

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      Peepers Pal 9 years ago

      Great reading. We just found a little featherless sparrow. He's on day four of his emergency rescue. We found him and a sibling on the ground together and thought it might be best just to leave them. The small one didn't make it but in the morning the other one did, so we took it in. We harrassed a veterinarian with hundreds of questions and they recommended Gerber baby food-a mixture of meat, fruit and vegetables heated up a little warmer than lukewarm. He's already started growing feathers and seems to be thriving. I'm sorry to hear that he will have to be in captivity (sorry for him), we think he's delightful. Question--Will we be able to let him go outside and come back or will he fly away at his peril? We are all amazed that he's still alive. I know God answered my prayers.

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      Reena10589 9 years ago

      Hi :) My husband and I came across a baby bird a few weeks ago. It was just starting to get it's pin feathers in. We had a hard time figuring out if it was a sparrow or starling, but it is deffinitely old enough to be identified, lol. My question is now the little bugger is 22 days old (loves flying through the living room, lol) and quite the talker. Is there anyway that it could ever be released? It was about 10 days old when we got it. (it was on our patio when we came home one day. We left it out there for 4 hours, but then it started to rain. We made the decision to bring the little squirt in when the patio started flooding.)

      Just wondering if I could ever let her go. :)

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      Matt 9 years ago

      Hi, good hub. it really helped me. I also have a sparrow and have had him since yesterday.

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      Paula 9 years ago

      I too found just one. And yes, she is doing well. I've had her for two weeks and took her out side today. She definitely will be like drumstick. Do you keep him in a cage when you are not at home? I guess you take him out side to fly a little. I would very much like to converse with you as I am afraid when she is old enough to release her. She is very attached to me and my mother and if I have to keep her, I want to take good care of her.

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      alysha 9 years ago

      we adopted a baby sparrow, roughly 4 weeks old, we have had him a couple of days now, he is doing really well, eating well ,making lots of noise and obviously enjoying our care, he is a very content little thing who has taken a liking to mashed potato!!!! im hoping we can give him the start in life he would never of had, he is lovely and seems very strong and determined, so fingers crossed, we will keep you informed of his progress xxxx

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      Nancy 9 years ago

      I am sad to say that on the evening of June 11th one little baby sparrow died, the second one died on June 12 and the last one appeared to be doing great. However he died during the night last night. Like I said in earlier posts I raised baby birds and released them when I was younger. I raised a dove last year and still have it and did nothing different with these little sparrows. I had made a comment to my boyfriend that they got big so fast but then they were at a stand still. I had found them on a big rock so they probably fell a good distance. Maybe they had some injuries from that and just couldn't live anymore. I tried my best and although sad I feel as though I gave them a better short life then just leaving them on the rock hairless for the several cats in my neighborhood to eat them or for them to fry in the hot sun on the very hot rock. They are all laid to rest in a container of a face cloth with a cloth covering them and will be buried today. Thanks for the help with this site and the feed back I got.

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      Dena 9 years ago

      It probably was attempting it's flight. It can fly from it's bowl to me but just loves to stay in the bowl (big basin) and hide under a towel. I'm living in China at the moment so no humane society to tell me what to do. I think I'll try releasing it after it can fly better. How do I do that?

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      Kristi 9 years ago

      Hi, I just wanted to mention it is not illegal to keep three species of Non-native birds in captivity- the Pigeon (rock dove), the Common English house sparrow and the European starling. These introduced birds compete with our Native songbirds, and are considered pests. I had some Sparrows actually throw my Bluebirds eggs out of a nest box! But I, too, could not let the little Baby I found die either! Having raised Lovebirds by hand, I knew how to tell if the baby was in need of help. He didn't have all of his feathers and was ice cold- and thin with an empty crop. One of his siblings was dead on the floor about a foot away.

      While I would like to release Jack- I can't see adding to this population in the wild- nor could I have surrendered him to be euthanized! He is bonding nicely to us and our Cockatiel!

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      Nancy 9 years ago

      I sparrow may not be too bad but 3 can drive your nutty, but I love them and like I said before will continue to care for them. I'm hoping for release some day but we will see. That's what I wanted for my morning dove, doodle is it's name, but he didn't want to leave. Last night in our storm my morning dove flipped out in his cage at midnight and I notice his wing was caught in the cage. We got it's wing unstuck an took him out to fly around a little. He lost a couple of feathers in that wing and he has a small bump on it but he appears to still be able to fly and he doesn't appear to be in any pain. He more just likes to sit on your lap or hand. I make him fly at times as I think he needs to for exercise. Thanks for your info on the talkative sparrow. I'm glad you took in the little guy and gave him a great life. My sparrows are still very small. They are about the one inch long right now. Tails just starting to grow.

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Sorry Nancy, but my sparroww is several tears old now, and still VERY talkative. Sometimes I put his cage outside, and that seems to help, but he loves to communicate.

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      Nancy 9 years ago

      So three days ago my baby sparrows started chirping constantly even when they are not hungry. Late at night after there last feeding they finally quiet down after I cover there nest with a face cloth and turn out the lights. Do they ever stop chirping? I was just wondering as they are driving me crazy a little bit but I will continue to raise them. I was just wondering if they ever stop chirping or if someone knows of something that will quiet them down some. Between them, my dove I rescueded last year and my cockatail it is noisy in my house nad the sparrows never stop.

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      charchar 9 years ago

      we have had our sparrow (sophie) for coming up to 7 years and she is as much a member of the family as anyone else! we found her with her dead siblings after her nest had been got at by cats, we assume. she was so frail we didn't expect her to make it through the night but she's still here today plodding on!

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      Nancy 9 years ago

      Thank you for the information. I raised wild birds when I was a teenager and had success and failures but I was younger. Last year I rescuded a morning dove. His mother was dead on the ground. After not being able to find a place to take him I feed him exact hand feeding formula for parrots. He is now a year old and lives with us as he imprinted himself on us. He wouldn't fly away no matter how much we tried. He would just fly and land on our head. He is a wonderful bird. About three weeks ago we had baby robins in our tree outside our window. Two hatched and flew away. About a week ago I found 3 baby birds on a rock in my mulch bed with no feathers on them. I couldn't find a nest. I took them in figureing they would die outside and probably not last the night as I never took care of anything that young besides my 4 kids. 8 days later all three are doing well. I took the nest from the robins that they were no longer using and put it in a flower pot in my house. Then a couple of days ago one learned to jump up on the edge of the nest then fly to the top of the flower pot. He escaped but we soon found him. Now they are in a aquarium that I raised the dove in. It has a screen top with a towel on the bottom and the nest is in there. I am only having contact when feeding as I want them to be wild birds. They never stop chirping the past two days and I must say it's anoying but I will continue to raise these litte birds untill they are ready for release. Is your site correct about them not being weened for 6 to 8 weeks. I feed them some little seed the other day but they didn't do great with it. They won't eat food just from a small container in there cage although I tried. Thank you for being a caring person and taking in the little bird when rehabers wouldn't.

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Dena, You probably should seek the advice of your local Humane society, or animal shelter. If it already had feathers when you found it, it may be able to be released. It could just have been a fledgling, attempting its first flight.

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      Dena 9 years ago

      I found a baby sparrow that I shouldn't have picked up but didn't know any better. Now I'm wondering if he can be released by into the wild soon. He has a lot of feathers. I think they're almost all there. Can you tell me anything about what might happen next?

    • profile image

      Nic 9 years ago

      Thanks for the hub i found a baby bird which i think is a sparrow after seeing your guys photo it doesnt have many feathers since no one will take it i guess i got a new pet if it makes it. It has a pretty bad cut on one of its wings so prayer would be nice for anyone willing.

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      momma bird 9 years ago

      thank you for all the information on the birds. my boys were outside playing and knocked over a nest. i put them back in and then i waited roughly 3 hours before realizing that mommy wasnt coming back. i did go to the petstore and bought food and now i am on the wonderful journey of getting these nestlings up to par and ready for release. i called around and no would take the poor things. so for the time being i have them in a box with a homeade nest and some clean hamster bedding and then under a light to help keep them warm because i dont have a heating pad. then in the morning god willing i will the routine will start again. thanks again

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      Ronda 9 years ago

      Thank you for the insight. My cat brought me a baby sparrow, so I don't know what tree it came from. It had most of it's wings but couldn't fly yet. It's feeding well, and I will try to get some blood worms. I'm assuming I could just get earthworms from the backyard? Since the bird already had feathers, will I be able to release it? Anyone know?

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      Fallon 9 years ago

      Wonderful article! I live here in Missouri, and Sparrows are considered a pest, and people are incouraged to detroy their nests and babies. They are one of the bird's here that is NOT protected by the Migratory Bird Act. The reason for this is because they destroy the other wild birds nests, etc.

      However, i am an animal lover of all kinds! Mnay time, people here shoot Sparrows, just for fun, leaving behind their eggs and babies. I am always on the look out! I take in the eggs and babies, and raise them. When feeding them, i play a tape of Sparrow bird sounds, lol.

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 9 years ago from Around the USA

      Excellent information, rmr! We found a beautiful hawk that had been injured in Oklahoma. We called the logical authorities, but it was a nightmare. Finally, we got someone to take it. That bird was a beautiful creature. Any time we came near the box, it would puff out its feathers and make a hissing sound- very courageous despite the injury.

    • MoralsEthics1960 profile image

      MoralsEthics1960 9 years ago from Florida

      Awe, such a big heart and interesting hub

    • rmr profile image
      Author

      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Zsuzsy, it doesn't surprise me that you have done this. Somehow I knew that you were a friend to all of God's creatures! Thanks for visiting my favorite hub!

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      rmr! I have had to try to rescue baby bird on numerous occassions as my kids were forever bringing them home. We've only had a half anf half success rate.

      I loved your hub. regards Zsuzsy

    • rmr profile image
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      rmr 9 years ago from Livonia, MI

      Thanks for commenting, Mark. You raise a good point. Since the focus of this hub was raising a baby bird, I used the term, "wild bird", so as not to go into the tedious details of the US Migratory bird treaty act. This covers roughly 83% of all birds in the US, and states that it is illegal to possess these birds, or their parts or products. This includes feathers that you might pick up from the ground. The majority of the birds not covered fall under the endangered species act. While the house sparrow is not protected under either act, many varieties of sparrow are. Since it is nearly impossible to differentiate one featherless nestling from the next, I prefer to err on the side of caution. Thanks again.

    • Mark Knowles profile image

      Mark Knowles 9 years ago

      Awesome hub. I didn't know it was illegal to keep a wild bird in captivity though. And that sort of imples there are "tame" birds that you can keep. I didn't know there were tame birds either. :D

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