Hi, my boyfriend and I are taking care of a baby finch that fell of its nest. We are already on our second week with him. He is doing very good.
When we got him he was probably less than a week old because his eyes were still closed. I fed him Lafeber Nutristart baby bird formula mixed with formula, every 15 to 20 minutes because he was a new born. Now he is growing his feathers, and grasping to the basket that's part of his nest, he is also standing on its own.
Since he is a little older, I feed him every 45 min to an hour, and I don't use the heating pad anymore, since he is usually very warm on its own due to the growing feathers.
However, I'm a little worried because even though he begs and eats every time its time to eat, his crop seems to be filling faster than before.
Also, his skin is turning dark red in color. Is this normal? I am controling humidity of the nest by putting a cup of water next to it, and today I'm not covering the nest with a wash cloth like before, now I covered it with a big napkin. Am I doing this right? this is the first time I take care of a finch, and again he is doing really good and his behavior is joyful and active, only that his skin has me worried. I need help please, thanks in advance!
You've done pretty well so far. I will add that you shouldn't feed the bird if the crop hasn't emptied yet. You're watching the clock but the bird still has to process the food. If the crop doesn't empty between feedings, it could be because he's not warm enough or the food is impacted or starting to sour. Sour crop is tricky to treat.
My recommendation is to find a wildlife rehabber in your area and give them the bird to treat. Two reasons for this: taking care of wild birds without a license by the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife is against the law. There are a few exceptions but most species are protected by law. Second - a rehabber will have the proper equipment (like an incubator) and medications if needed, they will know how to wean the finch from formula to proper diet and may also have other finches on hand so this bird won't imprint on humans.
From my own experience with finches over the years, they do quite well the first couple of weeks but then seem to go into a slump near fledging time. So I strongly recommend finding a licensed facility or home care person to help you. You can contact your local fish and wildlife office. They keep a list of local licensed people and can help you.
Thanks for your advise! I didn't know about these licensed facilities. How can I find one? and also, they would take care of the bird the proper way right? because I don't want to give the bird to some place that is going to put him to sleep or anything like that.
A licensed person or facility has to be inspected and approved by the Dept. of Fish and Wildlife to function. We have to report every 6 months on which animals we've taken in, where they came from, what was wrong and what was the final disposition. We have to take exams on treating wildlife before we get a license. Unless the bird is extremely ill or severely injured, they're not likely to euthanize. Here in Oregon we have rules against taking care of non-native species like house sparrow, rock pigeons, starlings and certain mammals. But a finch is accepted every where since it's native.
Check with your local Fish and Wildlife. As I said, they keep a list of licensed facilities and home care people since they also track their activity.
That's wonderful. That will give the finch the greatest chance for survival. I've been doing wildlife rehab for over 21 years now and it's so rewarding. There are the heartbreaking times but to see an animal released back to the wild is worth all the work involved.
It's important to identify the species first of all. There's a big difference between finches and robins. Finches, as adults, are primarily seed eaters. Robins tend to be more omnivores eating berries and bugs.
As I mentioned to the person who started this thread, the best chance for survival for a wild bird is to take it to someone who knows how to care for them and is equipped to handle any problems that come up.
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