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Thursday, July 21, 2011

What to do? Urgent advice needed please!

It's happened again.  Yet another nestling has fallen out the nest from under the eaves of the roof.  Luckily it is still alive, as we created a softer landing stage for them and amazingly it worked.  I spotted the tiny bird shuffling about amongst the grass and cuttings.  Now what to do?  I'm in a quandry.  I googled caring for nestlings that have fallen out their nest and some people say that you should make a makeshift nest in a box and tie iton a tree or somewhere near to the nest, so that the parents will know it is there and continue to feed it.  But what if the parents don't see it?  What if they're too busy feeding the ones in the nest to notice the missing one?

I've already given it a tiny drop of water and sugar, placed on the outside of its beak and it accepted that.  I have baby food I can feed it too.  I know it would need feeding ever half-an-hour up until dark and then from sunrise in the morning.  No easy task, but I'm prepared to do it if I have to.  So what do I do...... place it in a box directly under the nest and risk the parents not finding it..... or do I try my best to care for it myself?  Any advice would be gratefully welcome.


  1. You are a gem. The parents will find it. If not it will die........nature is cruel. Your kindness could be equally so.....just leave them be and sweep up.
    The small birds have done well this year. It was horrendously cold early but there was still plenty of food about. A cold spell February makes decimation look like a minor slap on the wrist. Just keep the feeders full so the parents don't have to spend energy looking for food. They will then share it out.

  2. I do understand your predicament it's sad but it's nature. It's very difficult to rear a young bird, if it survives the night all you can do is place it as near as you can the nest site and hope the parent birds will feed it but I fear it will be too cold. Several years ago I did have a success story with some young starlings that had fallen down the wall cavity from the nest in the loft, the parents were trying to feed them through an air brick down at ground level. I had to go under the floor and knock some bricks out to retrieve them. I hung them in a shopping bag with a large opening and hung them from the eves near to the entrance to the nest. They reared 3 out of the 5 chicks. After the nesting season I blocked off the hole to prevent them nesting in the same location again.

  3. What a predicament. It seems to be reasonably feathered and is probably capable of making some noise so I would go for putting it in as safe a place as possible where the parents can find it and hope for the best. I've never had much success hand rearing fledglings and have mostly been left feeling I've done more harm than good so now I leave it to nature as much as possible. Well done Orchids and Nature with your starlings:)

  4. Thanks everyone. I've posted an update. That was brilliant David about the baby starlings. It must have given you lots of satisfaction. :)

  5. Oh Lesley, I feel for you. Yes, it is nature's way and cruel but that doesn't offer any comfort to me. I tried to hand raise two baby rabbits with an eye-dropper and infant formula and of course they died anyway. Another time I rescued two little killdeer chicks from a drainpipe, only to have them be killed by a car in a parking lot. Nowadays I hope not to find any more little creatures in need of rescuing.