Juvenile house martin with injured wing - Pigeon-Talk
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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 08:37 AM
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Juvenile house martin with injured wing


Hi, I'm looking after a juvenile house martin, probably predator-caught, because he was rescued 3 days ago with a bleeding left wing and most of the primary feathers broken. He had a prominent keel, and that hasn't changed much.
I'm out of my depth here, and would be very grateful for any advice.

He's on 0.07ml TMS a day, and 0.4ml insectivore formula every 2 hours, which is as much as he will take -- he's a very reluctant eater. Are these amounts anywhere near right for him?
He's indoors, in a large carrier with netting side pannels he likes to climb, and a reptile heater at the bottom.

The wound is almost healed now, and there is no infection or swelling. He can flap it perfectly well. He's holding his own, but not putting on any appreciable weight, and I don't know if he's going to molt the broken feathers before the time to migrate south, or even if he can survive that long in captivity. I caught some flies for him (yuk!) but he showed no interest.

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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 08:48 AM
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I thought he was a house martin from the shape of the tail, but there's also a chance he could be a swift, which would make his chances of surviving in captivity for an extended period even less...
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pookie! pookie! is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 08:51 AM
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Have you tried to contact some kind of wildlife rescue typed thing? They might be able to help more..
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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by pookie! View Post
Have you tried to contact some kind of wildlife rescue typed thing? They might be able to help more..
We have only a few that deal with protected, endangered species, and only those. I tried the Purple Martin forum, the RSPB and a few others, but they have no info on rehab.
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Dobato Dobato is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 09:04 AM
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Teresa, I would guess that with the TMS, you are pretty close to a correct dose with 0.07cc, as this will be 3.36mg of TMS at the most standard suspension rate of 48mg/mL. I am guessing he weighs about 60g, so at 50mg/kg BID dosing this would call for 3mg, q12h (if you do know his weight, the dosing can be fine tuned).

I wish I could help you with suggestions for feeding and care, but I know very little about wild birds. Here is a link for Starling-Talk where they seem to know a good deal about these kinds of birds, if you are not a member perhaps you can join and also post there for help.

http://www.starlingtalk.com/babycare.htm

Good luck,

Karyn
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pookie! pookie! is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 09:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
We have only a few that deal with protected, endangered species, and only those. I tried the Purple Martin forum, the RSPB and a few others, but they have no info on rehab.
Ahh damn that sucks.. I hope you find something helpful out, dude about me has a good link to that starling website..

Google like mad and try and talk with anyone and everyone who has rescued those types..

Good luck <3
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Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dobato View Post
Teresa, I would guess that with the TMS, you are pretty close to a correct dose with 0.07cc, as this will be 3.36mg of TMS at the most standard suspension rate of 48mg/mL. I am guessing he weighs about 60g, so at 50mg/kg BID dosing this would call for 3mg, q12h (if you do know his weight, the dosing can be fine tuned).

I wish I could help you with suggestions for feeding and care, but I know very little about wild birds. Here is a link for Starling-Talk where they seem to know a good deal about these kinds of birds, if you are not a member perhaps you can join and also post there for help.

http://www.starlingtalk.com/babycare.htm

Good luck,

Karyn
Thank you so much, Karyn! Yes, his weight seems to be about 60g, but my scales aren't that accurate at very low values.
I'll try Starling-Talk, fingers crossed! Thanks again.
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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pookie! View Post
Ahh damn that sucks.. I hope you find something helpful out, dude about me has a good link to that starling website..

Google like mad and try and talk with anyone and everyone who has rescued those types..

Good luck <3
Yeah, you summed it up: I've been googling like mad!
Thank you for the good wishes, Pookie!
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Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 02:08 PM
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I just got an email back from Jackie at Starling-Talk, and she was really nice and helpful. She said these birds are pure insectivores and require a higher protein content in their diet.
She sent me a link with a diet sheet for several insect-eating species (including some 4-legged ones), which I will include here as it may help other rescuers:
http://www.tamucc.edu/wiki/Main/DietInformation
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Charis Charis is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 02:44 PM
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Jackie is great.
You might try a tall basket for him to hang on to.

I don't know how he will know how to migrate withut parents to show him. Very sad
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Quazar Quazar is offline
Posted 22nd July 2011, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teresa View Post
Thank you so much, Karyn! Yes, his weight seems to be about 60g, but my scales aren't that accurate at very low values.
I'll try Starling-Talk, fingers crossed! Thanks again.
Teresa, try adding a known weight to the scales - like a bag of sugar - then deduct that from the reading
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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 23rd July 2011, 07:55 PM
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Oh my goodness, he's not a house martin, he's a swift!!!!!! And a small miracle too, because swifts apparently eat, drink, mate and sleep on the wing! The usual advice is 'give him electrolytes and set him free asap', but if he can't fly, what choice have I got!

Today I went out to a friend's for a few hours... so I had to take him with me! He loved sunbathing on the balcony, enjoying the mountain breeze, even started preening! And my friend didn't mind seeing a kitchen transformed into a bird feeding station...



He's also eating more now, 6ml per feed, and seems to prefer the kitten biscuits (the coffee grinder was great for turning them into a fine powder, which can then be made into a paste with the other ingredients) to the shop-bought mix. I so hope he can make it!

A handful of blessings:



Thank you for your suggestions, Charis and Quazar. He actually spends most of his time climbing up the netting on the end and side pannels.
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pdpbison pdpbison is offline
Posted 24th July 2011, 12:05 AM
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How are you feeding him?

Phil
Lv
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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 27th July 2011, 03:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pdpbison View Post
How are you feeding him?

Phil
Lv
I'm making him a paste consisting of finely-ground kitten biscuits rich in chicken (40% protein) mixed with warm water, a drop of bird vitamins and a drop of Calcivet (to raise the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in the biscuits).
At the moment he's having 6 feeds a day, 0.65 ml per feed.
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Teresa's Avatar
Teresa Teresa is offline
Posted 27th July 2011, 04:04 PM
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Marty is doing FANTASTIC! He's very alert, putting on weight, and he's eager to eat! My daughter's birdwatching friend found us a site specialising in swift rescue and they say we have to feed them only insects, nothing else, but I can't get anyone to supply them -- British suppliers don't post abroad, and the Portuguese ones don't stock them, they only sell that food for insectivores that Marty doesn't like.

It's remarkable how much pigeon-related knowledge can contribute to caring for other species! Lots of things I did 'instinctively' (how to hold him, where to house him and how, how to rub his neck to make the food go down, what supplements to give, etc) were right. All except what to feed him. But he's getting stronger, and I'm going to start catching insects!

He loves his early afternoons basking in the sun and watching the other swifts, even replying to their calls. And he knows his meal times, too: climbs up the side of the carrier towards me and STARES! He's also started sucking my finger to be fed.

I've sent an email to a lady who rescues and rehabs swifts in the UK, asking about diet and when he's due to moult his primary feathers. Meanwhile I've also found out that he is a young adult, which is a big advantage in terms of eventual release.

This is the swift rescue site, which includes first aid, rehabber contacts and specialist information for vets:
http://www.londons-swifts.org.uk/SwiftFirstAid.htm
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