Tag Archives: baby bird

New Article ~ Incubators & Hand-feeding

When to Hand-raise & When to Leave Them Be

As the Lafeber’s formula label reads, “Hand-feeding pet birds requires love, patience, and proper nutrition.” The way to successfully raise Finches by hand is to devote as much time as possible to the endeavor to both increasing your survival rate through multiple feedings and to socializing and hand-training your babies. This ensures their health and development as well as their ability to bond well with you and other human beings in the future.

First, I must say it to the point where it’s ingrained in every reader’s mind ~ you should never remove baby Finches or any other baby animal from their parents’ care. Period. It’s not only traumatic for the baby (especially after the imprinting process has begun) but it is just as traumatic for the parents. Pairs who regularly have their babies removed, picked up by human hands, or peeked at will often times stop laying altogether or start to toss/abandon their young. If your goal is to provide your birds with the best care possible, then it is vital to allow them to complete the parenting process as they are naturally inclined to (this includes the weaning process). The only time I will remove eggs or babies is if they have been abandoned or neglected, and that is the only time I would recommend “stepping in” to save the lives of the offspring. That is the responsibility of every breeder. Continue reading

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Birds As A Career

An inside view of Hubbard Brook Research Forest in Northern New Hampshire.

Hi everyone!

I’ve been graciously invited to share some of my personal stories as a student in ornithology. As a new finch owner and a long-time bird-lover, I hope that some of my tales will be interesting to friends of TWFA ūüôā

The most remarkable field job I have worked took place in the forests of Northern New Hampshire’s White Mountains. I drove straight from a remote field site in “Cold Mud-pit,” Wyoming (the unofficial but accurate name for our trailer camp in the sage-brush), so the transition to the beautiful green mountains could not have been more welcome.

I was part of an 8-person team of field assistants: three “banders,” and five “nest-searchers” — I was the latter.¬† We were working on a joint project under Cornell University and the Smithsonian, in Hubbard Brook Research Forest. We stayed in a station that was closer to a series vacation condos than a field camp. We had real beds, a huge kitchen, and multiple couches! To give a sense of context, many, MANY field positions involve months of camping with little access to showers or perishable food. My job in Wyoming had a trailer as base-camp. Continue reading

Why is my male bird fighting with his babies?

I am assuming the chicks have fully fledged and are not food dependent on the parents anymore. In the wild, the chicks would leave the parents, and so there would be what is perceived by the male, direct competition.

It is recommended you remove the chicks from the parent birds due to this competition and territoriality factor.

Answered by Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM, Dipl. ABVP-Avian Practice, Dipl. ABVP-Exotic Companion Mammals.

I just found an abandoned wild baby bird in our yard and gave it to my pet bird to foster. They seem to be doing great. Is this ok?

If the pet bird is feeding the baby wild bird, then leave it be at this time since you are unlikely to reunite the wild bird with its mother. There are some viruses and bacteria that wild birds may carry that could infect your bird.

At this time, I would let things continue since it seems to be working. However, if the baby wild bird becomes much larger than your (I am assuming finch) then it could become too much for your bird to do. Watch your bird closely for signs of fatigue and weight loss.

Answered by Cathy Johnson-Delaney, DVM, Dipl. ABVP-Avian Practice, Dipl. ABVP-Exotic Companion Mammals.

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