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I found a baby bird. It is feathered but can't fly. Please help me.
This is a fledgling. Fledglings leave the nest before they can fly, but they can walk, hop and flutter their wings. It is important that the bird stay with its parents so it can be taught everything it needs to survive. Typically the baby bird will begin to call to its parents. When the parents discover it, they coax it into a nearby bush, where the baby can hop from branch to branch and embed itself deep inside the bush. It is the parent's intention to teach them to camouflage themselves and keep quiet to prevent predators from discovering them. Within a couple hours to a couple days they will fly. Here's what you can do to help:
- Put the bird in a bush (not a tree) near where it was found, away from the street.
- Keep dogs, cats and children away.
- Watch for two hours to see if the parents return.
The baby bird I found is not fully feathered. What do I do?
This is a nestling bird that should not have come out of the nest. Unless the parents are known to be dead, an attempt should be made to re-nest baby birds that have fallen out of the nest and are not injured or infested.
If the babies are cold, they need to be taken in and warmed with a heat source before returning to the nest. If the nest has been destroyed, try to repair it or replace it with a substitute nest. Here's how: - The nest must
have drainage or it will fill with water. Suggestions: Plastic plant pot with drainage holes (hanging basket is good); a wooden or straw basket; a craft store bird's nest. Another option is a plastic one gallon jug preferably
with the cap on. It should have a hole cut in the side for the mother to get in and drainage holes in the bottom. - Line it with nest debris or clean straw. Don't use grass or paper; they'll get wet and cause mildew. - If the nest can't be replaced in the original spot, select a place as close as possible. Use wire or string to attach if necessary. (Make sure there are no loops or sharp ends that can injure or tangle the bird.) Be sure it has some protection from direct sun (filtered is okay), wind and rain, and is out of reach of cats and children. After the nest is replaced, it should be carefully monitored for two hours for the return of the parents. If the parents do not return to feed and brood (feed and care for) the nestlings in two hours, or by dusk, the babies will need to be taken to an animal rehabilitator. Never leave a nestling in a nest alone unless you know a parent can brood it. Do not put a nestling in a container separate from the main nest, because the parents cannot keep both nests warm.
I found a fawn (baby deer) all alone. What should I do?
People often mistakenly assume that a baby deer, called a fawn, is orphaned if found alone. Rest assured that the mother deer, the doe, is probably nearby. The doe will only visit and nurse her fawn a few times a day to avoid attracting predators. Unless you know the mother is dead, leave the fawn alone.
Mother deer are wary of human smells; if you have already handled the fawn, take a towel, rub it in the grass, and then wipe down the fawn to remove all human scent. Then return the fawn to the place where you found him.
If the fawn is lying on his side, or wandering and crying incessantly, he may be orphaned. If this is the case, call us at 543-WILD. But remember: a fawn found alone and quiet is okay.
I'm interested in volunteering for Pacific Wildlife Care. What volunteer opportunities do you have?
First you need to become a member. When you apply for membership, express your desire to volunteer. You will then be placed on a notification list, from which you will be invited to attend our periodic Orientation Class. At the Orientation class you will be introduced to Pacific Wildlife Care and all the volunteer opportunities that are available. Some opportunities, for instance, are Phone Relay (responding to calls from the public and resolving problems), Transporter (transporting animals could involve capture), Education and Outreach (educating the public, usually involves the presentation of our live educational animals to schools, clubs and other events), Animal rehabilitator, Board positions (i.e. Fundraising Chair) and many more. After you've completed the Orientation class, you can inform the instructor which activities you'd like to do. Depending on the activity, you will either work one-on-one with a Pacific Wildlife Care teacher and then you can immediately begin your duties, or you will be required to attend further training if it is a more intensive duty, such as animal rehabilitation.
I'd like to care for the animals in my home. How do I go about this?
It is illegal for the public to care for wild animals or to keep them as pets. This is for the animal's well being as well as your own. Pacific Wildlife Care is licensed to care for wildlife through the California Department of Fish & Game and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services. There are several good reasons why only trained licensed persons should care for wildlife.
Can I work at the Pacific Wildlife Care Facility?
Volunteers are required to be members of Pacific Wildlife Care. When you apply for membership, express your desire to volunteer. If you are already a member and would like to volunteer, visit our Volunteer Page for more information, and to apply to be a volunteer.
How can I make or where can I buy an owl nest box?
Buy one from us! Call 805-543-WILD for more information . For a donation of $150, you can have one that was made for us by an Eagle Scout, for his Eagle project. You might want to read this Owl Box Info document, first however, to make sure you can agree to not use poisons around it, and how to set it up on your site.
There are also several websites have information about these. Links are below. If you are local, you can also stop by Wild Birds Unlimited (805-547-0242), in San Luis Obispo to get building plans.
http://www.barnowltrust.org.uk - order from the UK
http://www.agnr.umd.edu/MCE/Publications/PDFs/FS795.pdf plans, as well as fact sheet on barn owls.
http://www.owlpages.com/links.php?cat=Owls-Nest+Boxes - a whole pages of barn owl box sites
Other non-urgent questions?
But for urgent matters such as animals in need of care please call us at 805-543-WILD.