My story of a nestling rescue and request for advice.

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seymoria's picture
My story of a nestling rescue and request for advice.

This probably is a regional forum but i am posting anyway.

On the morning of preceding Tuesday, i found four alive and kicking tiny sparrow nestlings on the ground; naked, with eyes shut. 

Their nest had been destroyed the preceding night due to some construction work going on around my house. I was unaware of this incident. It was a miracle that the nestlings had survived all night.

I live alone and have a 9 to 5 job. 

In my region, we dont have any bird rehab or rescue centers. 

Thus i rescued them and took them in my house. I took leave from office that day (Tuesday) to give them my full attention. One of them was very small and weak and died shortly.

I knew very little about baby birds. I knew nothing about what to feed them. I fed them crushed seeds from my blender and mashed fruit. The nestlings became weaker and lethargic as the hours passed. Eventually another one died at the end of the 1st day. I later found on the net that bird babies needed a total protein diet. I then fed the remaining two with pieces of hard boiled egg whites. However it didn't improve them much. 

The next day (Wednesday) i had to go to office. 

I didn't even know that they required feeding every 15 minutes!  So after feeding the two remaining nestlings in the morning i left for office and then returned at midday to give them 'lunch'. I then went back to office and returned in the evening. The two were very weak and lethargic by the time i was back. One more died in the evening so i was left with the last one. 

Next day, Thursday, I again took leave from office. I was desperate to save my last nestling. Luckily i found on the net about someone who was feeding wet kitten food to an exactly similar sparrow nestling. That revived my last nestling really a lot, actually saved it. 

Next day on Friday, i had to go to office again and i actually took the nestling in a small box on the back seat of my car. Luckily we have basement parking and it's not hot there. I left my car Windows slightly open and kept visiting my car every half an hour to feed the nestling. This was very demanding as i had to leave office work midway many times a day.

Luckily it's now weekend so i have two more full days to tend to my little fellow. Although it's health is out of danger now, it's not improving much. It has not gained any weight since i rescued it almost 5 days back. 

However from Monday my office starts again. I am very concerned about this nestling. Although too late, i read yesterday on the net that parents actually can come looking for their young even after 48 hours. I also read that parents can recognize the voice off their nestlings from one block away. Is that true? I also read that urban birds mostly stay in the same neighborhood and thus keep visiting a site every few days. 

What i am thinking now is to try give this nestling back to its parents. But i can't keep this nestling in the outside heat and without food for long. So is there any way i can let its parents know where it is? 

The nestling's eyes are still closed but it may open them in a few more days. I don't want it to think I am it's parent as that would alter its natural life in the wild forever. I read that this is called 'human imprinting'.

Anyone who reads this post please give me some advice. I am in GMT +5 time zone. 

We can also try to have a conversation if you feel like. 

Good day to all of you.


Woko's picture

Hi there seymoria. 

GMT +5 puts you well away from Australia which is where Birds in Backyards is located. However, I imagine the principles used in caring for nestlings in Australia also apply to your location. 

Doing your best to identify the species is important for several reasons. If you're dealing with a species which is local to your area then, as I think you're implying, it's best not to intervene but, rather, leave the birds where they are & allow the parents to care for them.

If the species is feral to your area then humanely disposing of them is the most appropriate course of action unless, of course, the birds are extremely rare in which case getting an expert involved so that the birds can enhance the population of the species is an excellent thing to do. 

Humanely disposing of feral birds is appropriate because, as you would be aware, invasive species are an extreme danger to indigenous species which, in so many parts of our planet, are threatened to the point of extinction by habitat clearance, toxins, climate change & other human influences. 

Nestlings do indeed call to their parents to inform them of their whereabouts. This increases the efficiency of the parents' feeding of their young. The distances over which nestlings' calls are recognized probably varies from species to species & would also depend on the habitat & terrain.

Good on you, seymoria, for your intensive efforts in caring for these nestlings. Applying caring strategies which will enhance the survival of species indigenous to where you live will contribute to the survival of natural ecosystems on Earth. 

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