Fledgling Sparrow, don't know how to care for it - Pigeon-Talk
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Emypony Emypony is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 09:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2017
Country: Romania
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Fledgling Sparrow, don't know how to care for it


Today, my parent's friends brought me a sparrow since they knew I was big on birds. Apparently their cat brought this little fellow and they don't know where it was from, where are the parents, etc. I can't refuse a bird in need so I thought I might give it a try but this is more challenging than I foresaw.

I read up on sparrows and I tried the soaked cat food method, but I don't know how to get her to eat. I've also tried some dried shrimps I have from my turtle (even soaked ones, to get them to soften. They're pretty small) and she wouldn't eat. She keeps chirping loudly and when I place her next to my pigeon she chirps at her and quivers her wings, and I can tell she wants to be fed. I tried to pry her beak open and put some wet food in there (not TOO wet though) but I haven't managed to. Currently my parents are gone until tonight and I have no money to go buy something else. I have small seeds for canaries but it doesn't seem to want those either.

Tapping her beak lightly with the food won't work either. I don't know what to do. I know they need to be fed at least once every hour when they're this big but I just have no idea what to do. It can only fly a few feet before crash landing into anything. (Thankfully I have soft carpets around so no major injuries)

My room itself is warmer than the rest of the house and outside is very hot, so I didn't feel the need to place her on a heating pad (for now). I'm worried she'll continue chirping into the night and I won't be able to do anything about it.

As for the fact that it was brought by a cat, it doesn't seem to limp or anything, no bleeding whatsoever, just doesn't know how to fly yet. Avian vets are out of the discussion because I don't have any certified ones around here. Heck, they can't even care for a parrot or a pigeon, so I'm out of luck.

I am worried because I don't want it to die on me from starvation...
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Marina B Marina B is online now
Posted 7th July 2018, 10:21 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Country: South Africa
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Poor baby. Can't you suck up some food in a eye-dropper and keep this ready. Next time he chirps, quickly squeeze a bit of food into his mouth. I'm sure you will need to do this only a few times and then he will start opening his mouth by himself. Hope this helps.
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Emypony Emypony is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 11:14 AM
Join Date: Jan 2017
Country: Romania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marina B View Post
Poor baby. Can't you suck up some food in a eye-dropper and keep this ready. Next time he chirps, quickly squeeze a bit of food into his mouth. I'm sure you will need to do this only a few times and then he will start opening his mouth by himself. Hope this helps.
Honestly, I've been trying to for the past 6 hours. When she chirps she doesn't open her mouth up too wide and I can't pry it open big enough either. I have seen her yawn though and I'm sure she can open it, just, you know, doesn't want to.

The eye dropper I have is pretty small-ish and i don't want to mix up too much water in case she inhales it or something.
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bootface bootface is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 12:21 PM
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What are you trying to use to get the food in her mouth? Hemostats work great, tweezers can work too.

She’ll probably need antibiotics if she was caught by a cat. It would be best to get her to a wildlife rehabber, if you can find one that will take a house sparrow.
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cwebster cwebster is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 12:22 PM
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Would google feeding baby sparrow. Apparently it is tricky to get them to eat but once they figure out what you are doing hopefully they eat. One person said to gently tap on top if the beak. There are a lot of youtube videos. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j_-7RLsxz6Q
Also would try playing baby bird eating sounds and see if that gets him to eat, from the you tube videos or sounds from the Cornell sparrow bird site. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...Sparrow/sounds
Thank you for helping him.

Last edited by cwebster; 7th July 2018 at 12:28 PM..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by bootface View Post
What are you trying to use to get the food in her mouth? Hemostats work great, tweezers can work too.

She’ll probably need antibiotics if she was caught by a cat. It would be best to get her to a wildlife rehabber, if you can find one that will take a house sparrow.
I agree with this^
Also, don't give the bird water from a dropper or anything. You can very easily aspirate him. They get the water from the bugs they eat. And don't try to open the beak. Just hold the food in the tweezer, or on a small flat surface, like a coffee stirrer or similar, and maybe tap the beak, eventually it will open it's beak. Right now he is scared and it may take a while for him to calm down. Going to the pet store and picking up some meal worms might be a good idea also. Make sure the soaked cat food isn't dripping wet, and that it is small enough for him to swallow. Anyway, go to the link I will post. They will be able to help you better.
Also, here is a link for Starling Talk, where you can find a lot of info for house sparrows and such. If you scroll down the page, there is a video on sparrows.

http://www.starlingtalk.com/
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Last edited by Jay3; 7th July 2018 at 01:04 PM..
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 01:01 PM
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Just to mention again that even a scratch or small puncture from a cat can cause a bad infection that will kill the bird. Cats carry pasteurella which can be lethal to birds.
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Emypony Emypony is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 02:52 PM
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Country: Romania
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Originally Posted by Jay3 View Post
Just to mention again that even a scratch or small puncture from a cat can cause a bad infection that will kill the bird. Cats carry pasteurella which can be lethal to birds.
I know, I know, I'm worried too. I saw something that I thought was a wound but it was just the skin. I've checked but there's nothing I could do since it's Saturday, and tomorrow Sunday. Very few vets open, vet pharmacies even less, and no one is equipped to care for birds over here. I let my cat smell her and she went away after a few sniffs, but I just let her knew there was another bird in the house. (She is very curious but if I let her know what's up she becomes quickly disinterested...so that's at least one less cat to worry about. The bird was sleeping and didn't notice her so I don't think she will approach any cats outside if I ever manage to release it)

I dripped a very small amount on top of the beak (nowhere near the nostrils) and whilst she seemed to get that one, didn't like any other small drops so I've stopped. I was pretty desperate yet as gentle as possible with beak opening. I just want her to eat, that's all. I don't think there's any stores open that carry mealworms on Sundays, sadly. I make sure the food isn't too wet either, and I try to mash it up a bit so it's smaller (like a paste, sort of. got a little bit of it in and she spit it right out) . I've seen a few videos of people feeding them with big droppers but how will I attempt that without a lot of water so the food can pass through? It baffles me :/

I've went to starling talk and looked over there, and I tried to use as much of the info I could on such short notice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwebster View Post
Would google feeding baby sparrow. Apparently it is tricky to get them to eat but once they figure out what you are doing hopefully they eat. One person said to gently tap on top if the beak. There are a lot of youtube videos. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=j_-7RLsxz6Q
Also would try playing baby bird eating sounds and see if that gets him to eat, from the you tube videos or sounds from the Cornell sparrow bird site. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/...Sparrow/sounds
Thank you for helping him.
I've tried tapping but to no avail...but I'll try with the sounds! Hopefully it'll work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bootface View Post
What are you trying to use to get the food in her mouth? Hemostats work great, tweezers can work too.

She’ll probably need antibiotics if she was caught by a cat. It would be best to get her to a wildlife rehabber, if you can find one that will take a house sparrow.
I'm using some tweezers as well, no luck.

Barely any rehabbers in Romania, definitely none over here because it's such a small town. (our nearest 'animal shelter' is literally in the middle of some plains. definitely not equipped for birds or any other, would most likely throw her out, not even put her to sleep humanely.)
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bootface bootface is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 04:34 PM
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When you syringe feed, the mixture does have a lot of water. you just have to position it right so the bird doesn’t aspirate. The glottis is the little hole at the base of the tongue, you have to go past that and down the throat a bit. It’s how I learned to feed them, but I don’t see any advantage in you doing it that way. It would take longer for the bird to learn. Finding live insects might make it eager to eat. If you posted a video of you trying to feed it I might be able to give you some advice
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Jay3 Jay3 is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 07:11 PM
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Yes, it would be a good idea if you were to go outside and find some insects. Maybe when it sees the insect it will open its beak. You can't open it. That will just scare him more and make him keep it closed more.
Don't trust your cat with the bird. Don't ever trust a cat to go against its instincts.
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Emypony Emypony is offline
Posted 7th July 2018, 10:32 PM
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I just cant make her eat. It's breaking my heart... i put her again next to my dove who was eating, and she lightly pecked her which got it to open it's mouth! I don't know how I can mimic that, however. It's responding to the noises but doesnt open it's mouth for me 😕

I'll try again with the wet cat food and see if i have any luck. If I WERE to give it a mixture with water, what would I put in it?
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Emypony Emypony is offline
Posted 8th July 2018, 12:13 AM
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Country: Romania
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Well, it doesn't matter anymore, but thank you guys for the help. It turned out to be very emotionally stressful for me to the point of crying so I took it outside in a place where I knew there weren't any cats around and left her there. Other sparrows were around and they started chirping together but after that, I left. It's all up to her now.

I think I'll stick to pigeons for now.
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