How long can baby birds survive

What types of bird pups are there?

 This includes young birds of prey and owls, but also many songbirds that leave the nest in a relatively immature (flightless) state because it has become too small, is too contaminated with excrement and prey residues, or so that the offspring are distributed in the area and thus not all of them are caught by one predator at the same time. These young birds are in contact with their parents via calls and are fed as long as you don't stand in the way as a human!
      Refugee These include ducks, geese, chicken birds and some limescoles. They leave the nest almost immediately after hatching together. They are covered with down plumage, have opened their eyes and follow the parent animals. They too are in call contact. If these can be seen nearby, the family will come together as soon as the person as a disruptive factor moves away.
      Nestling This includes all of our songbirds; even they do not leave the nest fully grown. They have short wing and tail feathers, partly still stuck in the cases with which they are making their first attempts at flight. The rest of the plumage is often interspersed with down. They beg intensely for food and are unfortunately not very anxious at this age. Only the parents' nagging teaches them to recognize the sources of danger.
 Place stool This is the name given to young birds in down dress that are looked after by the adult birds in the nesting trough or on the nesting rock. They rarely leave the breeding site, usually only when the plumage that is capable of flying has developed. Mainly seagulls, cormorants, guillemots, alke and boobies belong to this group of birds. The young are fed fish several times a day by the adult birds, usually an adult bird constantly looks after the young at the nesting site. In the inland it is mainly herring gulls, black-headed gulls and cormorants whose young we can observe.

All of these birds don't need human help! They are well looked after by their parents, better than any human could ever do.
Many birds that have come to us over the years did not need our help at all. They were simply "kidnapped" out of ignorance. Often they can hardly fly properly, walk around on unsteady legs and look unsuspectingly into the world. This phase lasts a few days. However, they have not fallen out of the nest, they are fed, instructed and diligently guarded by the adult birds. The bird parents warn their children of dangers. These healthy and well-cared for animals take away the space in the sanctuary for those birds that really need it!

You can touch branches found on the street or in another inconvenient place without any problems and in a protected place under a hedge or a bush nearby implement - the bird children and parents find each other by shouting.

Branches that the flies are circling over and may have already laid eggs are no longer accepted by their parents, who need help. If you have any doubts, leave the young bird where it is (or possibly shelter it in the bushes), move away and watch it from a distance or come back a little later.


 He needs help urgently He has already moved out of the nest voluntarily




Infant birds should be taken into human care if:

  • they are hurt
  • they are orphaned
  • were violated by the parents parents
  • they seem feeble, sick, entangled, or parasitic



If you have taken in a baby bird:

Take the bird into the house, where it is protected from all kinds of predators. Make sure the animal is physically well-being before you call a rescue center!

  • Nestlings require continuous Heat supply (approx. 30 ° C) day and night. If necessary, check the heat with a thermometer so that the bird does not dry out. In the short term, placing it on a towel that lies over a hot water bottle or a grain pillow helps. Red light dries out the young too quickly. Put the bird on or under the heat source in a soft cloth shaped like a nest or old socks.
  • Panicked animals should be housed in a covered cage or cardboard box with air holes. Details on correct accommodation can be found further down on this page.
  • Please do not feed unsuitable things! Again and again we get birds to care for, which have been fed with bread, minced meat, cat food, lettuce, sausage and the like. Usually we can no longer save these animals because the wrong food has poisoned the sensitive digestive system. Tips on proper feeding can be found below. Fledgled chicks are therefore all fed 20-30 minutes from sunrise to sunset. Please only feed small amounts, as the body cannot use too much food well. In the first days of life, food is put into body growth, but especially into feathers. Only when the bird is feathered is it fed every 1-2 hours. If you cannot guarantee this, inform a wild bird aid.



Emergency food:

Most songbirds, including grain eaters, need animal protein to grow up - i.e. insects! If the shops are still open, you can get everything you need in the pet shop. There are ready-made feed mixes for hand-rearing wild bird nests (please do not use egg food for parakeets!). Alternatively, you can buy Beoperlen and soak and feed them. Enriched with small crickets, wax moth larvae, pinkies or buffalos (no mealworms!), The birds receive a complete diet. Very young birds can also be fed with a special hand-rearing food for parrots. This food can be easily mixed into "baby food" and fed well with a disposable syringe.

But as it is, you find the bird on the weekend or after hours and need to get creative! Then you can set an egg in the pan with mineral water. They can offer this as emergency food. Corvids may also get a little grated oat flakes, tartare or chicken hearts (no fatty meat or pork!). Don't forget to drip a little water on the animal's beak, with a little dextrose if you like.

If you don't have any of the feeds in the house, please don't experiment with bread or anything else! It is better to just give some liquid, e.g. oral pedon from the pharmacy or mixed from:

  • 1 large cup of lukewarm, boiled water,
  • ¼ teaspoon table salt
  • 2 teaspoons of grape sugar



With longer-term care ...

... it is important to distinguish between herbivores and insect or fish eaters:


Insectivore chicks need a varied insect diet enriched with vitamins.
The same applies here: Live maggots and mealworms must be scalded! Live insects are only offered later
on, many young animals react to the visual stimulus of the movement of food insects.

Thrushes and starlings also tolerate beoper pearls, initially swollen in water, as well as soft-eater food and insects.
Blackbirds and thrushes should be served with earthworms with a little soil on them.

Tender, small chicks can also initially be fed with Nutribird A21, this hand-rearing mash can be used
Supplement with blanched drone brood.

 Grain eater 

Most granivores raise their brood with insects. Fly maggots, mealworms, pinkies, buffalos, zophorbas
Only boiled are enough, they can eat their way through the tender bird's body. Frozen insects always with a little breeze
Dust the vitamins (Korvimin ZVT or Orlux Optibreed). There must be variety in the food so that the bird can adapt to everything
accustomed and deficiency symptoms is prevented.

Weak chicks can be fed with the following mixture:

  • 5 frosted drones,
  • 1-2 drops of hot water,
  • Vit. B and a knife point Korvimin ZVT.
Mix to a pulp and fill into a small disposable syringe. Feed the mixture drop by drop, make sure that
that the bird swallows, otherwise there is a risk of suffocation! Food animals are best served to the chicks with disposable plastic tweezers (pharmacy) or tweezers with a rounded head to avoid injuries. Canary rearing food can also be served at short notice. Hand-rearing food for parrots is also possible with all grain eaters: e.g. A19 or A21 from Nutribird.

Strictly vegetarian grain eaters


A few grain-eaters almost completely forego animal food when rearing their young; they feed their young almost exclusively vegetarian. These include: crossbill, serpentine, bloodline linnet

These can be a mixture of:

  • Peeled and swollen / cooked seeds (e.g. hemp)
  • Finely crumbled and moistened rusks
  • Few insects like aphids or vinegar flies

For most of them, preparations such as chick starters for hens, supplemented with vitamins, green fodder and insects are suitable. These animals usually only have to be shown what to peck for. The best way to do this is to tap the food with your finger. In addition, pellets for water birds can be offered to these birds, e.g. from the Lundi company.

Seagulls, cormorants, loons, boobies 

Mainly fish and larger insects. Divers and hawkers get small fish such as smelt or moderlieschen, alternatively you can also cut fish fillet (e.g. trout) into small pieces.

If the boys are still in downy clothes, they must be carefully warmed using a heat lamp. In addition, you can give them special food in pellet form. They should only come into contact with water for bathing when they have developed their first adult plumage


General information on chick feeding:

  • The feed must always be offered fresh. Great hygiene is to be observed here, just as strictly as when preparing baby food!
  • If the young animals are not yet feathered, the degree of saturation can be seen on the goiter. Only when the goiter is fairly empty (which happens very quickly) should it be fed again - even if the bird is still begging! Here it is important that the bird is given an adequate portion; In no case do not feed so much that the goiter is excessively full.
  • With increasing age and liveliness, the chick is offered the appropriate adult food to eat. If he takes hold of here, the feedings are slowly stopped until he can feed himself.
  • If the chicks do not thrive, the bird should be presented to the vet. He should look for parasites (worms, coccidia) using a fecal sample and also take a throat swab. This measure can be life-saving.


Raising young animals

A replacement nest should be offered to young birds from nestling. A cardboard box, bowl or small animal transport box is used for this. The container does not have to be large, but easy to clean. Paper towels or a disused towel can be used as a surface. Then you make a nesting trough out of kitchen paper, in which you put the baby bird. The edge should be high enough that the birds cannot fall out and low enough so that they can just lift their cesspool over the edge to defecate.

If the chicks are not yet feathered, a light, air-permeable cloth is placed over them to simulate huddling. Cave breeder young should be kept in the dark outside of feeding.

It is important to have adequate warmth throughout the nest, which should be around 30-35 °. As the fletching increases, it is lowered to room temperature.
The bird should always be observed whether it is too warm (panting and trying to crawl away from the heat source) or too cold, then it becomes calm and clammy and no longer eats. The temperature in the nest should be checked with a thermometer and corrected if necessary. The following sources of heat can be used: short-term hot water bottles or grain pillows, long-term heat mats from terrariums, red light lamps or dark radiators. The necessary heat is established in the nest area by means of a thermometer; The closer the distance from the heat source, the warmer. This heating must be available 24 hours a day, including at night, as the little bird's body cannot yet store heat or produce it itself to a sufficient extent.

The location for the nest replacement should be in a quiet, draft-free place. With age, the bird becomes more active, sits on the edge of its nest and exercises its wings. Now the little guest needs more space. This can be a free-flight aviary, the winter garden, the garden shed or a quiet, bright, little-used room.

Before the bird is moved, it must be used to the temperatures there. The premises must be freed from potential sources of danger: Close the toilet seat, cover the aquarium well, tape up cracks behind cupboards, etc. The furniture can be covered with painters' foil to prevent soiling, and paper towels or newspapers can also be used. Now a little nature can be brought in so that the bird learns what it later needs to survive: there are no limits to the imagination. Branches, leaves, sod, stones, wood and of course plenty of space to fly create a varied environment.

If the bird is completely capable of flight and forage-proof, i.e. if it is able to recognize and peck its typical food independently, the cage can be placed on the balcony / terrace in a cat-safe manner and opened. Usually after a while curiosity wins and the bird flies away. Often he returns for a while and takes his usual food, maybe he even stays overnight in his usual home for a few days. One day there will be no time at all and with a little luck you can watch the bird outside in the garden.

The best time to release is in the morning, in good weather and best in the presence of birds of the same species. So one can hope that the foster child will find a connection. The problem is when a bird does not know that it is a bird and not a person. Such an incorrect coinage is to be avoided, preferably by caring for other birds of the same species. Corvids in particular tend to bond very closely to humans, which makes it impossible for the bird to lead a species-appropriate life in freedom. Thus, the animal-human contact should be limited to the bare minimum - no matter how difficult it is.

The goal of rearing orphaned birds must be to release them into nature!


Special features in the rearing of those who flee their nest

The chicks of those who flee from nest do not need an actual nest, as they leave it shortly after hatching and live relatively independently. Above all, they need a lot of space, absorbent litter and, in the case of waterfowl, a container to splash around. A heat source (chick lamp) that the baby bird can seek out as required is particularly important in the first few days. The lamp is only allowed to heat part of the dwelling, otherwise the baby bird will overheat.

At first, chicks of water birds are only allowed to bathe briefly in shallow water under supervision. The plumage only greases over time. As long as it is not "waterproof", the animals can drown or become entangled.

Large rabbit cages and the lower part of a litter box for bathing are suitable storage locations. The chicks have to get plenty of fresh air in the sun and light, of course under control. When they are older, they can be put in a rabbit run, secured with a net, in the garden by the hour.