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Baby Bird Help (1 Viewer)

hgsouth

Member
Hello, my roommate found a baby bird on our hill in the backyard and we had no clue where it came from, couldn't find a nest, and due to the lockdown didn't know what to do. So we have been raising him but we are stuck - our initial reading made us believe we could transition him to live outside but I have read threads here that say that's impossible now.

He had nothing but a few pinfeathers when we found him and he was cold and almost dead.

We live in North San Diego County, California.

I'm asking for help identifying this bird as the local wildlife rescue center is not picking up the phone. We want to provide him the best nutrition for the species he is as he transitions to eating on his own.

I worked as a volunteer at a wildlife rescue center in New York so I have a small amount of experience but I'm not sure what direction to go at this point until we can ID him correctly.

Here are some photos, of how he looks currently and how he was when we found him:

https://imgur.com/a/MRK5jCi - additional images
 

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etudiant

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Hello, my roommate found a baby bird on our hill in the backyard and we had no clue where it came from, couldn't find a nest, and due to the lockdown didn't know what to do. So we have been raising him but we are stuck - our initial reading made us believe we could transition him to live outside but I have read threads here that say that's impossible now.

He had nothing but a few pinfeathers when we found him and he was cold and almost dead.

We live in North San Diego County, California.

I'm asking for help identifying this bird as the local wildlife rescue center is not picking up the phone. We want to provide him the best nutrition for the species he is as he transitions to eating on his own.

I worked as a volunteer at a wildlife rescue center in New York so I have a small amount of experience but I'm not sure what direction to go at this point until we can ID him correctly.

Here are some photos, of how he looks currently and how he was when we found him:

https://imgur.com/a/MRK5jCi - additional images

Baby Starling maybe?
The bird's legs and beak look pretty robust, plus gray is what young Starlings wear.
 

The Bird Nuts

Birding Duo
I don't think the beak is long enough for a starling, even at this young age. Brown-headed Cowbirds are a pretty uniform gray as juveniles, but I'm not sure that's right either...
 

hgsouth

Member
Wow! Thank you all. I don't have a big vocabulary of bird species so this is a surprise but after seeing some pictures it does look like a possibility! I will update with more photos as it grows. Any other guesses as to the species would still be appreciated!
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
Oh! My first thought was House Sparrow?
 

hgsouth

Member
Hello I have more photos - I'm hoping to show more colors. He's like that damn dress picture - it's hard to catch the colors on camera. But he still looks rather gray to me. The red on his underside is interesting though:

https://imgur.com/a/PQAOksK

I believe I just saw a female cowbird in our yard this morning. I will attempt to get a photo if she returns.
 

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hgsouth

Member
Once we saw pictures of California Towhees we decided that has to be it! It explains the slight rusty red color on his face and under his tail. I think his beak is too short and broad for a Say's Phoebe?

We are going to attempt to bring him to a rescue today (we finally got in touch with some concrete information - they had originally sent us to a bird hospital to drop him off locally, but then the bird hospital said they "aren't doing that anymore"), as we are worried he is going to get too imprinted and we don't have other birds or an aviary to get him unstuck to us.

Have people here successfully transitioned a bird to the wild? Unfortunately we had to handle him a bit more than we wanted as he went through a day or two of not eating unless held--it was our last resort.

My concern about simply releasing him in our yard right now even with allowing him to come back is the presence of some predatory crows that tend to hang around our yard.
 

hgsouth

Member
The little guy went to the Wildlife Center today once we could confirm their hours and that they were open and staffed (an hour drive for us). He's definitely a Towhee - saw the parents today once we knew what to look for. They are hard at work building another nest. Honestly this little guy may have turned us into avid birdwatchers. We are now talking about putting up a bluebird house in the yard.
 

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delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
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Scotland
That's great news that they've taken him in - will they let you know what happens?

It's also wonderful to hear that you are thinking of installing a Bluebird box. It may be a little late for them to use it this Spring, I guess, but it'll be ready for them next year and something may roost in it during the winter.
 

hgsouth

Member
We are in touch with one of the volunteers - she thinks it would be best to release him back on our property.


Stay tuned...
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
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Scotland
Ooooh!!! That's so lovely to hear.

Thanks for letting us know and please tell us all about it when it happens.
 

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