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Help needed for a baby bird

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Help needed for a baby bird

Post by henry's mum on Sun Sep 05, 2010 3:02 pm

hi,
I'm hoping someone out there can help. I have been hand rearing a baby ring necked dove that was found weak and cold in the road gutter, risking getting run over or eaten by a passing cat/dog pale . There was no way i could climb the tree to put it back in the nest, and the idea was to feed it up and let it go (it had got some wing feathers, but barely any tail feathers so wasn't a fledgeling). Even though I've handled it as little as possible, it has no urge to flap away from people or more worryingly my 2 dogs! It's now got all its feathers,(just about) and unlike most baby birds doesn't do the flapping about to strengthen wings. I wanted to return it to our garden, as we feed the birds, at least it would be ensured of food, but the next doors 2 kittens already hang around the feeder Shocked , and its reluctance to fly, or even flee from 4 legged critters I feel is a threat to its life. Therefore I need advice/ help or even a kind hearted sole with an aviary that could take it in. From the 1st day its been happy to just sit where ever you put it, be it a hand, tree, floor! and other than flapping about to balance on uneven surfaces has made no indication that it wants to learn to fly! Its at present in an open box with the front meshed (so it can see out) in a quiet area, and it doesn't try to fly out, although a quick flap of wings would suffice to lift it out of the top!!
Any help would be appreciated, we used to keep these when I was a girl in our aviary, so I know they can be 'pets' but I'd rather it live as normal a life as it can. Any help would be appreciated, otherwise I might have to buy a cage and keep it as a pet bird, its deffinately docile enough! Wink
Thanks
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Re: Help needed for a baby bird

Post by Westhall7 on Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:14 am

Hi
Is the baby bird eating on its own now? if not you cannot release it. It needs to be flying before you release it, nature will tell it to start flying about when its ready. It needs to be out of the box with mesh on and in a room where it can start learning to fly about. If you put it out at the moment the cats or something will have it straight away. I hand reared one and used to let it out in a morning in a separate room where the cats and dogs were kept out of and put it to bed at night in its cage. It started to learn to fly on its own and eventually I released it. If you keep it in a cage it will never learn to fly, hope this helps


Kath

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baby bird

Post by henry's mum on Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:34 pm

I've taught the bird to feed on ita own, it now has all its feathers (just about) And every day I put it out in the garden, supervised, onto a tree and let expolore. The problem I'm having is it will just sit wherever I put it, the only flapping it does is if it slips off of the tree/bush I originally put it on. It sat for 3 hour in the same position the other day, and even when it does flap to the floor, and one of the dogs pootles over to see if its ok, it makes no attempt to fly away, or even to move away from the dog, which could proove fatal if it has no instinct to flap away. I'm trying not to handle it whenever possible as I don't want to tame it. It has an abnormal foot though which is probably why it fell from its nest to begin with, and it in theory could fly as the box with mesh on the front has no top, and on 2 occassions we've found it on the table next to the box in the morning, but it shows no signs of trying to do more than this. It has a strong wing beat as when I have it on my arm to transfer it outside and it unbalances, it almost flaps too much and overbalances itself.
I want to release it, but am concerned it has no natural fear, when I found it it was crouched in the pavement edge and it didn't resist at all when I picked it up, and the 1st time the dogs came over to it it just sat there, which rang alarm bells, as it should have tried to escape from them. We have 2 cats next door that lay in wait for the birds in our garden and I'd hate for me to release it, when it does start flying properly, for the cats to get it on the 1st day. At the moment, I have a feeling that if I left it out (once flying better) It might not fly away from the garden, which has no high trees to offer safety.
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Re: Help needed for a baby bird

Post by Westhall7 on Mon Sep 06, 2010 3:45 pm

If it has not yet got all its feathers it is not ready to fly yet, I would not keep putting it on a tree outside, a sparrow hawk would have it in an instant, it just needs more time to be able to freely walk about in your house, and it will steadily progress from there. A lot of birds are used to dogs so that is not a worry when it gets to the point where it is old enought to go it will forget all about you and become a wild bird again. You need to hang on in there and be patient, it will take time. Can't rush mother nature.

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Re: Help needed for a baby bird

Post by beckywordy on Tue Sep 07, 2010 4:33 pm

Hello. I have successfully raised 2 ring necked doves individually in the past. When I first got both they sound like you have been describing. I luckily had a big outside aviary and what I did (when I knew the birds were well on the mend and could fly and eat without help) I actually made them fear humans again, not hurting them but actually walking into the aviary and generally waving about, this obviously causes natural instinct to kick in and after a few days they act like wild birds again. The first bird I had actually managed to fly around me and escape (which pleased me very much!) and after that day I just put food and water out if it came into difficulty. As Kath says I think it's a matter of patience, Mary and Pete (hilarious names I know haha) took ages to recover but well worth it in the end to see them acting like wild adult doves Smile

x

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