This screaming ball of fluff was found on the ground. The finder left it be for a while to see if it’s parents were caring for it, they were not so they gave us a call. Barn owls can have anywhere from 2-18 eggs, not everyone is going to be able to fit in the nest, if they fall out their parents won’t necessarily care for them.
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It’s Fledgling season, all the babies are learning to fly! Some of the baby birds learn a bit faster than others. The others, well they take their time, have crash landings and sit around on the ground for a while, trying to figure out how to get their wings to work in tandem.
The parents are usually nearby, encouraging them and bringing them food and demonstrating short flights. I watched a mama grackle with a snack in her beak, keep flying short distances so her baby would follow for a snack….baby did great and after a loop around the lot got the snack.
That being said sometimes the parents need to go hunt for the food and the baby looks unattended. They’re not, mama and dad know where they left them and will come back. So here’s a quick what to do if you see a fledging.
Look around and listen for parents (they’ll likely be yelling at you if you get to close). Does the baby look injured? Laying sprawled on the ground, not moving or bleeding? Send us a message. Are there predators nearby (cats, dogs or hawks). Try to get the baby under a shrub or bush. You can also place them in a nearby tree. The “if you touch them, the parents will abandon them” is an old wives tale and false. Keep pets and kids away. The parents will be back.
What not to do.
Don’t assume they’ve been abandoned. Don’t scoop them up to save them. If you do scoop them up Do Not try to treat them yourself; unless you are a veterinarian, or medically trained on bird care.
As always if you are not sure, please reach out, send us a message, call Game and Fish or animal control.
I know that was a bit of a long read, thanks for taking the time to read this through.
Java came to AZ wildlife, through AZ Game and Fish. Java was found dehydrated at a nearby landfill. After a couple of cooling misting, Java was much cleaner and happier.
Due to the unexpected passing of Munchkin (Rocky’s rehab buddy) Rocky was moved in with Java. Java is recovering nicely we plan to release them together once they are well enough.
Today we moved Houdini to the big flight cage in preparation for his release. He settled in nicely…it was a trick! Shortly after we walked away he lived up to his name and squeezes out through the bars! How?! Those bars are pretty close together. He was ready. Happy hunting Houdini!
Pip and squeak are slowly acclimated to the outside world. Scoping out the garden for snacks, but they love Kim and fly to her when the see her. Flight skills improving!
We received a message late last night about a baby bird that fell from its nest. There was no way to put it back (there was tree trimming going on). This morning I went out to get him. He was sooo cold I turned on the heat in my car and put him in my shirt to warm him up, he snuggled into the warmth. Got him under a heat lamp ASAP, and a little food. After a nice restful nap he woke up for some breakfast.
Bert and Ernie have successfully completed rehab! This evening they were released. Bert was so ready to go he didn’t stick around for photos. Top came off and he was out!
Ernie on the other hand needed a few minutes to survey his domain. Happy hunting fellas!