Wild Bird Information | Open for Questions etc. !

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Wild Bird Information | Open for Questions etc. !

Postby rosenstock » Sun Sep 07, 2014 9:58 am

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Blue jay from the rehab clinic I volunteered at
who was unreleasable due to being albino.
WILD BIRD INFORMATION

Wild birds are about as widely spread as misconceptions about them are, which is to say everywhere. I'm here to debunk common misconceptions in their undoubtedly harmful tracks and answer any questions.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

○ Baby Bird Misconceptions
○ So You've Found a Baby Bird
○ Cat Attacks
○ Feeding Waterfowl
○ reserved posts
Last edited by rosenstock on Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:57 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Baby Bird Misconceptions

Postby rosenstock » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:23 am

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BABY BIRDS

The amount of misconceptions surrounding baby birds and what to do with them is staggering, to say the least. Though many of these are well meaning attempts at caring for a bird, they can turn out to be downright dangerous.

Starling fledgling from the rehab clinic. Starling chicks are recognizable by the bright yellow on their beaks, which helps to improve their parents ability to get food into their mouths.



COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS


"This baby bird is all alone on the ground so its parents must have abandoned it"!

    ○ All birds go through a stage called "fledging" in which they first leave the nest and begin to inspect the world on their own.
    ○ Fledging birds have their flight feathers and are generally capable of at least minimal flight skills.
    ○ During this stage, the parents continue to feed and watch over their baby.

"There are adult birds swooping down at the baby and/or me when I go near the baby, I think they might hurt it"!

    ○ Those adult birds are the baby bird's parents and won't hurt the baby.
    ○ They're probably afraid that you are going to hurt the baby.
    ○ They are also proof the baby bird is being taken care of just fine by nature and that you should leave it alone.

"This poor bird is alone, I should take it in and raise it myself!"

    ○ Never ever ever ever attempt to raise any sort of wildlife without the proper equipment, knowledge and certification.
    ○ The bird will likely imprint on you and never be able to be released, if it even survives long enough.
    ○ If you do this you are basically dooming the bird to an uneccesary death.
    ○ Also, it's entirely 100% illegal to do so with nearly all bird species everywhere.

"This poor bird is alone, I should take it in and let my pet birds help raise it!"

    ○ Doing this puts both your pet birds and the baby bird in an incredibly high amount of danger.
    ○ Your pet birds could catch a disease from the bird and die.
    ○ Your pet birds could attack and kill the baby bird.
    ○ Your pet birds are not going to try and raise the baby bird, I assure you.
    ○ The bird will become irreleasable (and no, it won't be a good pet either).
    ○ Also, it's still illegal.

"If you touch a baby bird, the mother will smell your scent on it and will reject it".

    ○ Birds have basically no sense of smell, so they won't care if weird people smell gets over their baby.
    ○ Despite this, try not to touch baby birds unless absolutely necessary, because they're wild animals and shouldn't be handled.

"Give the baby bird water by squirting water with an eyedropper into its mouth".

    ○ A bird's "breathing hole" is located at the base of its tongue, so water put in its mouth is likely to enter its lungs and suffocate it.
    ○ If it's absolutely necessary to supply the bird with water, use the eyedropper to drip water on the side of its mouth, never in it. ○ If the bird doesn't seem interested and isn't licking the moisture from its beak, stop.

"Feed the baby bird bread/oatmeal/milk".

    ○ Bread and oatmeal have no nutritional value for birds. It's the equivalent of letting a child fill up on candy- a terrible idea.
    ○ Birds are not mammals and do not produce nor consume milk. (And yes, people have done this).
    ○ It's generally best not to try and feed the bird anything yourself.


NEXT: So You've Found a Baby Bird...
Last edited by rosenstock on Wed Sep 10, 2014 6:39 am, edited 3 times in total.
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So You've Found a Baby Bird

Postby rosenstock » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:29 am

SO YOU'VE FOUND A BABY BIRD...


In this situation, wildlife rehabilitation clinics are your best friends. You can use this website to find one to contact near you.


Before taking any action, answer these four questions:

    1. Is the bird feathered?
    2. Is there bird poop in the area around the bird?
    3. Are you being scolded or divebombed by an adult bird?
    4. Is the bird visibly injured/covered in bugs/fluttering in the jaws of your pet cat?

If the answer to 1-3 is yes, and the answer to 4 is no:

    ○ The baby bird is fine and should be left alone.
    ○ Please keep any pets or children away from the bird if possible.

If the answer to 1-3 is no, or the answer to 4 is yes:

    ○ The baby bird is in danger! Follow the steps underneath what your bird's problem is below!
    ○ OR call a local rehab center using this and have them guide you.
    NOTE: Most veterinarians are not equipped, legally or otherwise, to deal with wildlife, especially birds. DO NOT bring an injured bird to a vet unless you have absolutely no other options.

1. The baby bird has no feathers!

    ○ If it's still alive, try to locate its nest and put it back if possible.
    ○ If you can't find/reach the nest, hang a basket lined in tissue paper from a tree limb and place the bird in it. The bird's parents will find and continue to care for the baby.

    ○ If it's dead, well, that stuff happens. Throw the body out or just leave it be.

2. The bird is not moving around and has visible wounds/is covered in bugs!

    ○ Make sure the bird is alive. If not, throw it out safely.
    ○ Prepare a small cardboard box/shoebox with a lid by lining it with newspaper and/or toilet paper.
    ○ Pick up bird with clean gloves and place it in the box, making sure the lid is on/top is closed and that it has air holes.
    ○ Locate the nearest wildlife rehabilitation center. This website can help.
    ○ Call the center and let them know the situation and that you're coming in to help them prepare for the bird.
    ○ Bring the bird to the rehab center, fill out whatever form they give you, and leave a donation if possible.

3. My cat/dog injured the bird!

    ○ Make sure the bird is alive. If not, throw it out safely.
    ○ Prepare a small cardboard box/shoebox with a lid by lining it with newspaper and/or toilet paper.
    ○ Pick up bird with clean gloves and place it in the box, making sure the lid is on/top is closed and that it has air holes.
    ○ Cats have bacteria in their saliva and claws that is fatal to birds, so in this situation its important to get the bird to a rehabber as quickly as possible so that a life-saving anti-biotic can be administered.
    ○ Locate the nearest wildlife rehabilitation center. This website can help.
    ○ Call the center and let them know the situation and that you're coming in to help them prepare for the bird.
    ○ Bring the bird to the rehab center, fill out whatever form they give you, and leave a donation if possible.


NEXT: Cat Attacks
Last edited by rosenstock on Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cat Attacks

Postby rosenstock » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:29 am

CAT ATTACKS


Outdoor cats are frequent killers of birds and small mammals. Most of the steps described here can also be followed in the case of your cat attacking a small mammal (rabbits, squirrels, etc.)

In this situation, wildlife rehabilitation clinics are your best friends. You can use this website to find one to contact near you.


IMPORTANT CAT FACTS


1. Cats have a bacteria in their nails and mouth that is fatal to birds. It's the same bacteria that causes your skin to swell up a little around a cat scratch or bite, but is not fatal to most people.

2. Cats will hunt birds regardless of whether or not they are hungry. A cat's urge to hunt is separate from its level of hunger. Even the most well fed pet cat will hunt birds if left outside unsupervised.

3. Even cats with bell collars can catch birds. While the sound might alert you to the location of your cat, its not a sound that bird necessarily associate with danger or predators.


PREVENTING CAT ATTACKS

This website has more tips on preventing cat attacks and keeping birds safe.

1. Keep your cat indoors.

    ○ This is the best thing you can do to prevent cat attacks.
    ○ An indoor cat can't get to birds and therefore can't kill them either.
    ○ If you must let your cat outside, do so on a leash or at least make sure its being supervised.
    ○ Keeping your cat(s) indoors is better than letting them roam free for other reasons as well.

2. Don't invite feral cats (strays) into your yard.

    ○ Don't leave out cans of cat food for them. Remember that a well fed cat will still hunt birds.
    ○ Report feral colonies to a local animal shelter so they can be either TNRd (trapped, neutered and returned), which will prevent the growth of the colony, or adopted if they're tame enough to be pets.
    ○ This is benefits the birds, the cats and the whole neighborhood.

3. Trim your cats claws regularly.

    ○ A cat with dull claws can't climb as easy and will have a harder time catching birds.
    NOTE: DO NOT declaw your cat, especially if they're allowed to roam outside. Declawing is inhumane for reasons explained here and here


MY CAT ATTACKED A BIRD...

The best you can do is follow the steps below:

    ○ Make sure the bird is alive. If not, throw it out safely.

    ○ Prepare a small cardboard box/shoebox with a lid by lining it with newspaper and/or toilet paper.

    ○ Pick up bird with clean gloves and place it in the box, making sure the lid is on/top is closed and that it has air holes.

    ○ Cats have bacteria in their saliva and claws that is fatal to birds, so in this situation its important to get the bird to a rehabber as quickly as possible so that a life-saving anti-biotic can be administered.

    ○ Locate the nearest wildlife rehabilitation center. This website can help.

    NOTE: Most veterinarians are not equipped, legally or otherwise, to deal with wildlife, especially birds. DO NOT bring an injured bird to a vet unless you have absolutely no other options.

    ○ Call the center and let them know the situation and that you're coming in to help them prepare for the bird.

    ○ Bring the bird to the rehab center, fill out whatever form they give you, and leave a donation if possible.

NEXT: Feeding Waterfowl
Last edited by rosenstock on Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:28 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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feeding waterfowl

Postby rosenstock » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:30 am

(for the time being this will be something copy pasted from my tumblr until i spruce it up w coding)

angel wing is a syndrome most commonly seen in waterfowl (ducks,geese, etc.) in which their last wing joint twists around and causes the end of the wing to flip out. waterfowl with angel wing cant fly and often have a shorter lifespan than birds without the syndrome.

so how do waterfowl get angel wing? in one word, malnutrition. in more words, from people feeding them bread.

bread (white bread especially) is essentially candy for ducks and geese. it has 0 nutritional value but they eat it because it tastes good and they dont know its bad for them. its also really easy for them to get, because people literally throw it at them.

feeding waterfowl bread products is bad for more reasons too:

    ○it causes overcrowding because animals flock to easy sources of food.

    ○uneaten bread causes water pollution and can lead to the destruction of pond flora and fauna.

    ○uneaten bread can also attract rodents and insects.

    ○bread gives ducks diarrhea, which introduces diseases into pond systems that will definitely infect people.

    ○feeding causes waterfowl to abandon natural behaviors and become buddy buddy with people which is 100% never ever good for wildlife.

now, i understand your nostalgia and urge to feed the ducks. and while that still isnt the best thing to do (see the last bullet point), there are better things to feed waterfowl than bread:

    ○duck feed you can buy in a store (or even at some locations)

    ○cracked corn, barley and other such grains

    ○regular bird seed

    ○defrosted peas

    ○other stuff mentioned here!

tl;dr: feeding waterfowl bread products harms both the birds and the ecosystem, but alternatives such as bird seed or grapes can let you keep the fun of pond feedings without the death count!
Last edited by rosenstock on Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby rosenstock » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:30 am

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Postby rosenstock » Mon Sep 08, 2014 12:52 pm

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Re: Wild Bird Information | Open for Questions etc. !

Postby radiantly » Sat Sep 13, 2014 7:53 am

    This is really helpful. More people should take the time to read this so they know what to do. This is well put together and I can't wait for it to be finished!

    Oh and if you didn't want me to post, just PM me to remove it (:
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Re: Wild Bird Information | Open for Questions etc. !

Postby rosenstock » Sun Sep 14, 2014 5:07 am

Awww thank you! I've added a little more and hope to maybe finish it, or at least another section, this weekend.
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Re: Wild Bird Information | Open for Questions etc. !

Postby ShoShin » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:48 pm

Wow this is cool. Marking!
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1 John 4:18 - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:
because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.Image
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