Caring for orphaned birds

At this time of year many Australian species of birds are either breeding or about to breed. In the natural order of these things baby birds sometimes fall out of the nest or are orphaned for a variety of reasons. I regularly get requests for help and advice in these situations. I am sorry to say – but I have no experience or qualifications in caring for wildlife. This is best left to the trained experts. So it has been timely that Tammy, one of my readers, has made this comment on one of my earlier posts.

My name is Tammy and I’m a wildlife carer, I have been raising baby birds for years and love doing it – saving our precious native birds and animals so they can go back to the wild is an amazing feat.
I’ve been reading your blog and I agree that yes, it is best to leave the raising of these guys to their parents ( they do a better job) or if the baby is orphaned phone a wildlife care group nearest you. They are regularly trained each year to do this, as well as licenced by National Parks and Wildlife.
Every spring/summer I spend sometimes up to 12 hours a day feeding tiny baby birds ( all different species but mostly tiny insectivorous ones) and I really enjoy it.
About hand feeding the birds in your backyard – we usually are against this, but in times of need for instance drought, I am known to support feed some birds around our place if i’ve released them. We do this in a way that they still will learn to hunt for themselves and gradually taper off feeding times and amounts slowly so the bird does not starve.
But to do this right, you need the balanced diet that they need to keep them healthy and if you are not trained to do this the proper way, the bird becomes tame ( or imprinted) to you ( or any human being that’s around). This is bad for the bird because it will lose it’s fear of humans/ pets which results in the bird being eventually killed by a predator. ( humans, dogs, cats)
Happy bird watching – Tammy

Thanks to Tammy for this advice.

Look in your phone directory for the nearest wildlife carer. There are also many groups listed on the internet, some of them with articles outlining how to care for the bird or animal until a trained carer can get to you.

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6 Responses to “Caring for orphaned birds”

  1. Diana says:

    please help me,I’ve found an abadoned egg,I’ve kept it warm,its pure white and about the size of my thumb.What is it,what should I do, will it hatch, and if it does,how will I care for it?

  2. Trevor says:

    Diana – I have already answered your question at length on this article here:

  3. Patricia says:

    My mother found a young little wattlebird in the backyard this afternoon when my three small dogs were having a go at it. We think it was learning to fly as it just hops about. She took it in, gave it water, fed it some soaked bread crumbs and kept it in a box until I came home just before sunset. It looked hungry, kept opening its little beak as if to receive food, so I took it out in the back yard and locked the dogs in the house but when I went to look for the bird it had hidden away in bushes as I could not find it anywhere and it was dark – it doesn’t fly yet, just hops about. If it is still there tomorrow, what should I feed it? How can I get the parents to come back for it? I am keeping the dogs inside tonight.

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