Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Baby Chipping Sparrows

A very naughty bad BAD cat (that is not mine and is really just being itself) brought two baby chipping sparrows into the house last night. Miraculously both the babies were unharmed except for some post traumatic stress and missing their mommy desperately. They actually were friendly right off- there was no pecking or screaming, just the constant tiny chirp sound and the insatiable urge to perch on my finger.
One was bigger then the other and alot more brave and noisy - it drank water and milk from a dropper easier, but neither wanted the smooshed up worm I tried feeding them.
I thought a box full of nesting materials would contain them but they are actually right on the verge of being able to fly - so they'd pop out the box, sit on the side and chirp. That's when Bort brought a bird cage up from the abyss of garbage around the house...We placed the cage outside and within about 10 minutes the mama bird showed up! Yipppeeee! Only prob was that the cage was too vulnerable to the elements (*ehem* cats) and couldn't just sit there open in the hot sun. You can see in the picture below there's a pink arrow pointing to the mom bird that showed up.We successfully moved the entire cage into the house to a high up isolated window, where the door could be shut and the mama bird could fly in and feed them. As wild as it sounds, it took about 5 minutes before the mama again located her babies and started bringing in caterpillars and stuff for them to eat, right inside the house. :)
They are 2 cute 2 be true! That's the first time I ever held a baby bird like that! We'll see what happens next...



Susie Collins said...

This is an amazing story! How wonderful that you were able to set something up so the mama can still feed them. Awesome.

Leslie @ the oko box said...

Hey Susie-
We had called the rehabilitation centers around here, and as usual they only take unusual, special, endangered birds...etc...
I should have kept feeding them, but I left it to the mom bird, and she stopped coming around for some reason and I didn't notice right away. They both died. :(
So I guess it's not as amazing as it was yesterday. I totally cried.

Meg said...

Aww, I am sorry. It is hard to keep them alive. It it makes you feel any better, I don't think they would have survived on water and milk.

If you ever get another, you either have to make a handfeeding formula (I have the recipe somewhere) or you could just use a parrot hand feeding formula from the store. Weird, I know, what do parrots and sparrows actually have in common on diet? The parrot foods are actually formulated based on chicken needs with a few adjustments supposedly, and are not that healthy for parrots, either. Still they work just fine.

Leslie @ the oko box said...

Thanks Meg for the note of advice. I felt bad cause I knew they needed more in the formula, but I didn't have any of that stuff here at my house- i got the milk next door even. Poo-y ...maybe i should have some on hand cause there will always be a next time.

Susie Collins said...

Leslie, I'm so sorry to hear this.

I've saved baby finches with a recipe of kibble cat food soaked in little water so it's all mushy (you can use tinned), with hard boiled egg and applesauce. Not too thick so they choke, but it should't be anything like fluid, it should be like cooked oatmeal. You can get it down their gullet with a dropper or the tip of a stick or your little finger poked down into their little throat if it fits.

They need to eat a few mouthfuls every 1-2 hours, except at night. Make very sure you get up just before sunrise for the first feeding.

Keep them inside a small box or basket with a low watt bulb turned on 24 hours a day. The warmth is very important, as much as the food.

Once they start using their wings and can stand on a perch, you can move them into a cage until they can fully fly.

I've saved some and lost some. You tried, that's the main thing.