Raising baby butcherbirds

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wedgetail
wedgetail's picture
Raising baby butcherbirds

I only just recently found 2 baby butcherbirds that have fallen out of their nest.The parents won't have them back.
They are in good health.I've been feeding them mealworms and and a bannana+lean beef mince mixture.They are kept warm and safe in a tissue paper lined shoe box.They are both trying to fly and I hope to release them as soon as they have their tail feathers developed.I was wondering if there are any tips or stuff I should watch out for as I am a novice when it comes to birds.(I keep retiles intead).

Thank you to anyone that replys it is greatly apprciated.

Tassie

Gidday Wedgie, sounds to me like you are doing a great job.
I would keep doing what you are doing,how to teach them to fly would be the main concern,hopefully someone might have some suggestions.

Maryjay
Maryjay's picture

G'day to you,
We had a fledgling butcherbird end up in our front yard which is all farmland. It happened just before dusk a few weeks back, there was such a commotion, and it seemed like birds came from everywhere to feed this little soul. Then as it got darker off flew the birds leaving the baby hoping it would be safe.
We didn't feel this was right as we had not long moved there and knew a neighbours cat came visiting...So we took it in at night, and out by day, feeding it with worms and mealies... As the parents were always checking on it, we saw that they were feeding it too... We would get it on our fingers and swoop up and down so it had to use its wings, then one day about 4 weeks later it went up higher and higher, then went over to the tree where its parents are and it is now looking healthy and comes to visit...

Later I phoned the vet to see if they took them in, and her suggestion was to get a plastic bucket, put a nest in it, sit the bird in it and hang the bucket up the tree as close as you can to the nest with a long stick in it too, then the parents will usually feed it until it can climb the stick on it's own, and then it is accepted...

birdie
birdie's picture

That bucket suggestion is a great one, I would never have thought of that. I love the young butcher birds they are such funny little birds, and very quick to learn.

Cheers
Birdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Maryjay
Maryjay's picture

Yes, I thought the bucket is a great idea, this is why I posted it.. specially when the bird is tiny they are so difficult to raise by us..... also if it has been thrown out of the nest because of some reason the parents decide, they won't bother with it anyway...

The main problem with hand rearing, the vet told me was that it is better to leave nature to themselves for the most part as often the birds won't accept them back once they have been human handled...

We considered ourselves very lucky to be sharing this job with the parents... Since Luckybee flew off we have been looking after daughters gently giant Golden Retriever, trouble is the butcher birds don't know she is so gently, so to see her bound up to be part of the group has scared them off a bit...

Tomorrow morning will show us if they will come back...We have heard of Magpies bringing their off springs back year after year, would be nice if this happens..they are such great singers aren't they...

Maryjay
Maryjay's picture

You know Birdie..

I had been wondering... how on earth you could know that I live on the Sunshine Coast!!!!
Then it tweaked... G'day neighbour...

birdie
birdie's picture

Hi Marjay, where are you living? I am in Buderim

Last year, at work the parents brought the baby butcher birds down to feed and we have watched them grow to adults. Now they all come back, and yes, the babies became juvs that came back with the parents and now the whole family lives around us. they have discovered which back gardens off the best opportunies!! One old guy makes a mix of mince and fruit & veg for them every day!
Cheers

Birdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Maryjay
Maryjay's picture

Kenilworth for us.... Yes all you say is true...I am told that really to look after them properly we have to give them whole spiders etc so they get their clacium, and it was noticable that its feathers weren't really good. but off with mum and that seems to have been rectified... So althought I will feed them, I won't give enough to make them dependent on us...

Also I have put a bird bath in, but it needs to be sorted, as the one we have is an old enamel wash stand bowl which is slippery on the rim making it difficult for them, and think it is too deep even with pebbles filling it... I could make this for frogs tho' eh.....

Only found this site a few days back and glad I did with the info here...

birdie
birdie's picture

You must be nature lovers to be living in Kenilworth. Keep up the good work. we have a birdbath and the only takers are the noisy miners but they are sooo funny to watch. It is outside my husband's office window and he gets great pleasure out of watching them come in for their daily dip.

Maybe one day I will get to Kenilworth

Cheers

Birdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Maryjay
Maryjay's picture

It is a nice little country town, yet I know very few people here at this early stage.. if you decide to visit, please let me know and we may meet....

Do you know any good sites where I can get more on attracting frogs here???
We do have the lovely green frog... so pretty aren't they...
It is farm country here and so not many trees...yet soon as the little rain we get comes, there is a loud chorus of them... not sure if they are the loudest or the rain on the tin roof!!!!

birdie
birdie's picture

I love frogs too, but the only things I ever seem to find alive are those damned Cane toads!! :(

Try this link to start
http://www.frogsaustralia.net.au/conservation/creating-habitat.cfm

Cheers

Birdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Maryjay
Maryjay's picture

Thanks heaps Birdie.... looks like good reading...
Bless you

Maryjay
Maryjay's picture

I am back again,
My Butcherbird along with family and friends are here every day....they are wonderful singers, and they gently warn my Chihuahua if they think he is being too cheeky and getting too close.... I do feed them high on the fence tho', so they are out of the way...... They are very acrobatic too, as I sometimes throw food up in the air and they fly up and catch it mid-air..

What I want to know is....

A lone Magpie has started coming in, so do these birds get on???

And will this Magpie eventually scare the Butcherbirds away????

And also, what do the Magpies eat....

birdie
birdie's picture

My experience with both birds in our front garden is that they co exist OK. If anything the Butcherbirds seem to be more dominant in the area. I have never seem a real scrap between them. Noisies are a different story , they try to chase eveything, but the BB wins hands down at my place.
I have photos of them lining up to wait their turn for the odd bit of bread that comes their way.

Maggies like meat to eat but we do not feed on a regular basis , just the odd bit of bread cut up so we can watch their aerial displays as they catch it!!!

Cheers

Birdie

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Maryjay
Maryjay's picture

Thanks for that Birdie....

Yes, we haven't fed them for quite a while after Luckybee went home, so he/her could adjust back in... now it is nice to see them again, and not fed on a regular basis so they don't become dependant...

Love.Macaw21
Love.Macaw21's picture

Dear Wedgetail,

I myself have also come upon 2 baby butcherbirds and have no idea what is the right food to feed them. I put them outside in a medium sized parakeet cage with some of the roof left open. the parents have come back and are feeding them for now, but one of them is injured and can't stand up properly on its leg, or raise one of its wings, and the parents can sense this and aren't feeding it as much as the other baby, and I'm worried that it's not getting the proper nutrients. All that I've been feeding it is wet mince and bread, and occasional little green grass hopers that I find.

I feel as if I am not feeding it enough and that it's not the right food I should be feeding it.

Thanks, Love.Macaw21.

Lightuningbird
Lightuningbird's picture

Firstly, don’t feed it bread. A birds stomach cannot digest it proply and it doesn’t give the bird proper nutrients. Naturaly butcherbirds feed on smaller birds and mammals even hatchlings of other birds (I think they also eat the occasional egg). 

Altho, k realy don’t know what you would feed a young one.

Wimmera mally region, Vic.

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