two nights ago me and my friends were walking back to my house and we found a baby magpie that looked abandoned, so we picked it up and took back to my house. i've put it in a shoebox lined with paper and put some of my clothes in there that i wrap around it to keep it warm. i was feeding it apple puree at the start which it seemed to enjoy as it ate alot of it and i got it to drink some water by dripping it into it's mouth out of a straw. i looked up magpie care and it said something about mealworms so i went to the shop and bought some and it seemed to enjoy those too. but this morning it wont open it's mouth like it was before so i can't feed it and it hasn't eaten since mid afternoon yesterday. he keeps turning his head around real far and i've been told that they can snap their own necks, i'm worrying this is what's happening.
please anyone help as sooon as you can.
No, they can't snap their necks any more than you can. I've heard a lot of wive's tales but not that one.
Most young birds require more protein in their diet when they're young. Even seed eaters like finches will be fed insects by their parents until they fledge. A magpie is an omnivore and will eat a bit of everything as an adult.
If the bird you have is a fledgling (almost fully feathered with stubby tail feathers) it's best to take it back to where you found it. Many birds will pop out of the nest before they can fly. This gives them the chance to hop around, flap their wings to practice flight and also learn about how to find their own food. The parents will watch over them and feed them but gradually taper off. This is a critical time of their life to learn these skills.
If it's very young (few feathers) you can put that box up in a tree near where you found it and hope it still has the strength to chirp and the parents will respond, come and feed it. No, most birds do not have a great sense of smell and will not reject the bird because you touched it.
My concern now is whether the bird has been kept warm enough, been fed often enough or has possibly aspirated some of the water or puree into the lungs. Feeding young birds means knowing what to feed, how much and how often which is why it's recommended to take them to a licensed rehabber.
If the bird makes it through the night, please take it back. The parents will notice it and try to care for it. After 2 or 3 days, the parents often give up but at least give it a try.
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