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cynefin Offline
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Trying to save a bird - May 1st 2013, 11:46 PM

Hey guys

So today in the middle of my backyard with absolutely no trees around, I found this white bird egg. I've done research and it seems to me like it's a purple martin egg.

Every single spring and summer I always seem to find birds or their eggs that need saving. I've only been successful with saving a bird once.

I was wondering if I were to put it in a robins nest, would the robin take care of it even if it wasn't her baby?

Do any of you have experience with saving birds? Any information would be great. I'm doing all the research on Purple Martins that I can.
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Re: Trying to save a bird - May 2nd 2013, 05:59 AM

Hey,

I've only took care of a small bird that already hatched and it was injured. But the egg is tricky. I've read about this before and you have to keep it at a perfect temperature which depends on what type of bird it is. Once it hatches, you have to give it a certain type of food, certain temperature. Birds feed their babies by eating food and regurgitating it so it's kinda hard to provide the same experience.

Honestly, I'm not sure if another bird will take up with a different egg but I'd say it's worth a try. Because once the egg hatches it needs a lot of things that are hard and nearly impossible for humans to do.

Bird eggs are really vulnerable to pray since bird eggs have lots of nutrients in them, so it most likely would have been eaten if you haven't found it. Be proud of yourself for that! Now the bird has a chance.

I think you're a really sweet person for trying to care for the bird. I hope it goes well for you. Sorry I couldn't be much help!
   
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Re: Trying to save a bird - May 2nd 2013, 06:16 AM

I've raised many baby birds! Of course, as Cristabel said, the temperature that the egg needs to be at depends on the bird. It would really help if you had an incubator. If you are able to keep it at a constant temperature, then you should do so. Most birds should stay around 80-85 Fahrenheit, but again check to make sure for that particular bird what an ideal temperature is. Also, when rehabilitating most young birds, there is a mixture that you can use to feed them: milk and bread, mixed together to make the bread soggy and all. Let the bread soak the milk for a few minutes. Then, take small chunks of the bread, and drop it down its throat. Not so much that it's too big to digest; just miniature chunks of bread. It helps if you have a large syringe-type (not a needle >.> lol) dropper also. Also, a little bit of natural, pure cane sugar helps, but only once in a while.

You may also want to consider going to a local pet shop and see if they have anything that can help the bird. Ask the people there for advice also. Good luck I hope it all goes well. Just know, it is very difficult to take care of them, especially from eggs, so even if it doesn't work don't blame yourself. Even the most talented people sometimes fail at saving these birds



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May 2nd 2013, 02:47 PM

Christabel - Thanks! I try to give every living thing a shot! I touched the egg, so I don't know if the robin will take it.

Cole - The egg has to be kept at 100 degrees Fahrenheit to hatch. It also has to be turned so it's embryo doesn't stick to the sides. It should hatch in two weeks, although I don't know when it was laid. I've heard not to feed it bread because it doesn't have a lot of nutrition value, but I'll try. If the bird hatches, that is. I tried to candle it but I'm not sure if that makes sense for such a tiny bird egg. My mom won't let me keep the light on at night because she doesn't want to cause a fire. Any ideas on how to keep it warm at night?

I found out it's illegal to try to hatch the bird. I'm going to take it to the Nature Center that I volunteer at to see if they can help I'll keep you posted.


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Last edited by Jack Lowden; May 2nd 2013 at 11:44 PM. Reason: Merged posts.
   
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Re: Trying to save a bird - May 2nd 2013, 06:40 PM

Sounds good! That's very kind of you to want to help the bird.

For the record, never try to put it back in a nest. Birds are...strange. They'd probably knock the egg out of the nest if it wasn't one of their own, heck, they might even do it regardless.



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Re: Trying to save a bird - May 2nd 2013, 07:21 PM

I saved a baby mockingbird once. After giving it water through an eyedropper for several hours (it was horribly malnourished and injured), I called the local wildlife center. They took it and were able to nurse it back to health. I'm glad you ended up calling the nature center, because honestly, they're probably much more knowledgeable about local birds than any of us are. =P






   
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Re: Trying to save a bird - May 2nd 2013, 09:48 PM

So at the Nature Center they told me I should place it in the Robins nest. I did just that, and she knocked it out. The egg is cracked now. I went online and did some research, and you can seal the crack and still have it hatch. So we're back to square one. I sealed it and it's back in my homemade incubator. I feel like the crack in the egg is my fault, ugh


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Re: Trying to save a bird - May 2nd 2013, 10:40 PM

Please don't blame yourself! Like a previous poster said, birds can be weird. I was always told that birds won't accept eggs that have been handled by humans. Then again, you had to pick up the egg in order to prevent it from getting too cold or being eaten by a natural predator, so what choice did you have? Incubating it yourself seemed risky, so the nature center seemed like a logical choice. Clearly, the information they gave you wasn't the best... but how could you have known that? You AND the nature center had the same idea, but again, birds can be weird. At this point, I'd keep doing what you're doing now, and look up other experts. Maybe you can find someone to take care of the bird once it hatches.






   
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Re: Trying to save a bird - May 2nd 2013, 11:20 PM

According to my coordinator there, it's a myth that if you touch an egg a bird won't go back to it. I guess she was just upset because she wasn't hurt. I hope it hatches! The bird rehabilitators won't take an egg, it has to hatch first. Thanks for your advice

Me being upset about it was because my dad said I should have just left it out to let something eat it- because he said I wouldn't be able to save it. I kind of want to prove him wrong. And, I really like animals!


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Re: Trying to save a bird - May 3rd 2013, 01:42 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectlyImperfect View Post
I kind of want to prove him wrong. And, I really like animals!
You remind me of myself. I always try to save animals.

I think you're really sweet for doing this so I hope it works out. Keep us updated on how the birdie's doing.
   
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