Monday, June 11, 2012

Birding: Surrogate Mothering for 3 baby Starlings

We always knew that we had a starling's nest in our roof, where the vent is. Last evening we heard the distressed chirping of a bird. After further investigation, we found a baby starling on the ground, right below it's nest! It had fallen out and was chirping for it's mama's attention.

So we looked up at the nest, and seen another baby dangerously close to the edge. It was chirping and sticking its head out so far we were afraid it was going to suffer the same fate as the first. True enough, in a few minutes, I saw the little thing fall out. I wasn't quick enough to catch it!


As we were about to leave for a friend's dinner party, the nest was too high for us to replace them, so we hurriedly filled a box with some earth and laid the two babies in it and kept it in the house. When we returned, it was quite dark. We were afraid to find a third on the ground. But we did.

We didn't know how long the nest had been abandoned. I haven't seen Mama the whole day today. Usually, when we are gardening outside, we would catch glimpses of the mother flying in and out of her nest, presumably bringing food to her babies. And why would the starlings try to leave their nest one after another?? I think it's safe to say that something has happened to the mother and these poor little babies have been abandoned.

We knew they needed some food, but probably something with protein in it. So we had to make do with some almond nuts we had at home. And since they were only babies, I had to chew them up, and feed them regurgitated nuts. Once they were nicely settled, I had to call someone.

It was a Sunday night, nobody was going to assist me, I knew.

So I left messages with the Raptor Center, and googled a little more about caring for young starlings.

I found some pictures which helped me guesstimate that the babies were about a week old. And then I read some more, and realised that i should not have fed them until we have contacted a wildlife rehabilitator. Well, too late now. But the birds seemed to gobble everything up and were fine with the nuts.


I changed their bedding and lined the box with fresh towels instead, to keep them warm throughout the night. This morning I checked on them. They were still breathing and each of them did a little Number Two, so I took that as a sign that they're doing well! I'm going to work now, J will have to watch the birds while I call the Raptor center again at lunch. Hopefully I get some help and answers.


  1. I'm quite squeamish when it comes to animals and birds. I don't know if I could rescue the birds. I hope they survive. They look starving.

  2. oh, that's so sad :( You're so great for helping these little ones out! I hope thy make it ^^ x

  3. Oh my gosh! They're so cute and little.
    Seems like you've been taking quite good
    care of them so far. :D I'm sure they'll
    be fine!

  4. Ooh, this is the sweetest story! It sounds like you're taking good care of them - good luck


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