Texas bird identification
June 26, 2013 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Can you help me identify this baby bird?

I found it in my backyard in Austin, Texas. It's a little smaller than a baseball.

We've had fledglings in our yard before. They usually hop around for a few days until they are ready to fly. This little dude looks younger and not as healthy compared to other fledglings we've seen, but I can't really judge until I know what kind of bird it is.

Also, other fledglings have had their parents close by, making sure no harm comes to their baby. There doesn't seem to be any parents watching this one.

I plan on leaving it alone, but my curiosity had been piqued. Any ideas?
posted by mokin to Pets & Animals (4 answers total)
Best answer: white winged dove
posted by txtwinkletoes at 9:29 AM on June 26, 2013

Seconding, white winged dove.
posted by magicbus at 9:34 AM on June 26, 2013

Response by poster: Wow, that was quick. Thank you!
posted by mokin at 9:48 AM on June 26, 2013

He does look a little young to be on his own. In the past I have successfully nurtured baby birds, after making sure they were orphans. Try to keep your interaction to a minimum. He needs to retain his fear of humans.

Make a nesting box out of an old shoe box. Tear paper towels into strips for the nesting material and add an old soft cotton rag. Something he can snuggle up in. Remove individual strips when dirty. Leave the lid on the box with about a 4" section uncovered. This mimics the amount of daylight that would enter a birdhouse, also does not over expose the bird to humans.

Food - mash the cooked yoke of an egg with instant mash potatoes. Use water to moisten the mixture, enough to hold it together, but not too dry (this is the bird's only source of water). You want to make a pea sized ball of food. About every 4 hours or when the bird start scrabbling around and cheeping, move the cover off of the shoe box. If he is ready to eat, he will have his mouth open very wide and cheep frantically. Drop pea sized food balls one at a time into his throat. Wait about 2 to 3 minutes (think of the time the mama bird would take getting a second helping). You will see the balls of food in his crop, he is full when he half halfheartedly opens and mouth and only makes a few cheeps. The food can be refrigerated, but warm to skin temperature when feeding the baby. If food is too hot, it can burn through the delicate skin of the crop.

Weaning - Place some food in a jar lid in his box. Start cutting down on the amount of food you are feeding him. He should start to try some of the food.

Prepare to release - few days before you release him, put him on the grass, in the shade for about 10 minutes or so a few times a day. When his wings are feathered enough for him to fly, he will take off on his own.
posted by JujuB at 10:21 AM on June 26, 2013 [1 favorite]

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