This photo is from the South West Virginia wildlife center of Roanoke. This comparison photo shows an excellent example of why we cannot stress enough that you should not try to attempt to raise a wild bird if you find one that is orphaned. Most of the time they are not orphaned, people simply find them alone and do not understand that is normal for some birds.
Raising a wild bird is not just as simple as feeding them cat food until they can fly away. That is like saying just feed a baby nothing but eggs, and when he can walk, drop him off downtown, he's ready to find a job and live on his own.
The Robin at the top was a case of do-it-yourself, raised by someone who found him, and googled all they thought they needed to know. The Robin at the bottom is the same age, but was raised at a wildlife shelter that knows what they're doing, and have proper licensing and facilities to do it.
Not only is it considered a felony to keep a wild bird in your possession more than 24 hours in an attempt to DIY rehab or raise it, but you do not have enough resources and access to the types of foods, flight cages, equipment, knowledge and experience that it takes to specialize in their needs, not only in captivity, but to properly prepare them for the wild and their survival come winter. There are certain birds that cannot just be raised and released on their own, they have to be introduced into a colony because they migrate together as a flock and that bird will die in Winter if he did not get adopted by a colony and have adults to follow for the migration down South in the Winter.
There is so much specialized knowledge about certain species that Google will not tell you, because it's not posted there and rehabbers are not allowed to post all the care needs and encourage dyi attempts.
For example, did you know many migratory songbirds can't just be released on their own? The have to successively be introduced into an active colony of their own species so they can follow those adults to a Southern continent (like Africa) when Winter comes or they will die. Most books on wildlife rehab care and rearing of juvenile birds can't even be purchased unless you can produce a federal rehabilitators permit and most supplements and nutritional supplies you cannot buy unless you can show proof of being federally licensed.
You can't Google how to be a dentist and then just be a dentist, you actually have to be trained to be a dentist, just like you cannot find a wild animal and decide at that moment to play wildlife rehabilitator. You actually have to be trained and receive knowledge and experience in the husbandry of that particular species, and have access to the flight cages, and nutritional sources it needs, know how to avoid imprinting, know what its supposed to weigh, and understand its needs for returning to the wild, and preparation for migration and/or winter after release.
If you truly want the best for the wild animal you found, get in your car and drive it to a facility that can care for it properly. Even if a shelter is 3 or 4 hours away from you, the amount of time to drive those hours is still less than the amount of time you are going to spend trying to raise the animal, and the amount of money you are going to spend on gas driving to reach a facility, is still far far less than the amount of money you're going to spend trying to raise the animal.
Most people that raised wild birds at home with DIY - look it up on Google knowledge - end up releasing a bird that will not live more than a week or 2 in the wild before they perish.
When you find a wild bird the 1st question in your mind should not be: "what do I feed the bird?" it should be: "where is the nearest shelter?" Do the right thing if you truly care for the animal, and get it to a facility.
The bird in the top photo is anemic and malnourished, has no waterproofing due to the poor feather quality and cannot regulate her own body temperature. She is weak, malnourished and Ataxic, and will not survive in the wild if released. She cannot hunt for food on her own or evade predators. Being raised indoors she has no idea what a predator would even look like, or how she would know if I predator is nearby, because she has not learned the language of the wild. She is most likely imprinted, which means is she will land on the nearest human if released, and most likely have brittle bones and poor vision. She will never be the proper healthy wild Robin she was supposed to be. ...
We would like to say a very big thank you to all of you who have supported us post storm, via monetary donations and donations sent from our wish list and through the mail. These items are very helpful and we couldn't see the birds through this life changing event they had without your support. Thank you so much! ...
3 days ago