How to feed baby mynah bird

Feeding Pet Mynah Birds | VCA Animal Hospital

Knowledge of bird nutrition is constantly evolving, both from heightened awareness of the importance of nutrition and from increased research into birds’ different needs. As with all other animals, birds need a proper balance of carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals, and water. Different species of birds often require different foods. Mynah birds eat a variety of foods and have relatively short digestive tracts when compared with other parrots. This combination makes for a very quick transit time of food through the gastrointestinal tract, so Mynah birds eat often and produce frequent and often very loose droppings.

Should I be concerned about what my Mynah bird eats?

Too often, bird owners assume they are feeding a proper diet to their pets when, in fact, they are not. Poor nutrition is a common cause of many health problems in birds. Mynah birds have specialized dietary needs. Before you consider having one as pet, you should be familiar with their nutritional requirements so that your Mynah bird can be healthy and thrive.

What do wild Mynah birds eat?

Mynah birds are omnivorous. In the wild, they eat a huge variety of fruits, insects, larva, amphibians, lizards, small snakes, eggs, baby birds, baby rodents, and they scavenge for garbage occasionally. Mynah birds are not seed-eaters in the wild.

What should I feed my Mynah bird?

Mynah birds do not chew/bite their food into pieces like parrots do. For this reason, they should be provided with food in small, easy to swallow, bite sized pieces. Consult your veterinarian with any questions regarding your Mynah bird’s health and nutrition.

Pelleted Diets. Pellets have been developed to meet all your bird's nutritional needs. Pellets are nutritious, easy to feed, and since pellets are dry, bird droppings tend to be less messy when birds eat a pelleted diet.

Mynah birds are very sensitive to the iron levels in their food. They should be offered pellets, typically labeled for soft bills, that are low in iron. Some pellets, while nutritious, may contain too much iron. For Mynah birds, this may contribute to the development of iron storage disease, also called hemochromatosis, a potentially fatal disease which causes birds to develop heart and liver failure. Pellets are safe to feed Mynahs if they contain less than 90-100 mg of iron/kg of diet. Check with your veterinarian for their recommendations regarding appropriate pellet choices for your Mynah bird.

Fruits and Vegetables. A large variety of diced fruits (see table below) should be offered to a Mynah every day. Fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly to remove chemicals. They should be cut into manageable pieces appropriate to the size of the bird. It is not necessary to remove the skin. Fruits and vegetables should be offered in a separate dish from pellets and other foods. If your bird appears to develop a particular fancy for one food item, reduce its volume, or stop feeding it temporarily to promote the consumption of other foods.

Some suggested fresh food items include:

* Foods with higher iron content (or that increase iron absorption)  should be fed sparingly, if at all, to a Mynah bird.

Small amounts of diced vegetables may also be offered, but vegetables should not comprise a large portion of a Mynah bird’s diet. Pale vegetables, with a high water composition (i.e., iceberg or head lettuce and celery), offer very little nutritional value and should not be offered. Avocado is potentially toxic to birds and should never be fed to them. The acid in citrus fruits increases iron absorption, so Mynahs should not be fed citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit. If they are fed citrus fruits, it should be done so sparingly. Raisins are also high in iron and should be fed rarely or not all. Remove the seeds in fruits before they are fed to birds, as they may be toxic.

Avoid giving green vegetables that are high in iron, such as peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli. All fruits and vegetables must be washed thoroughly to remove chemicals before they are given. If organic produce is available, it is preferable. Consult your veterinarian if you encounter any problems with the diet or health of your bird.

"Avoid giving green vegetables that are high in iron, such as peas, green beans, sweet potatoes, and broccoli."

Water. Fresh clean water must be available at all times. If the quality of your tap water is poor, consider using bottled water. Clean your bird’s food and water dishes every day with hot, soapy water, and rinse them thoroughly before using them.

What about other foods?

As a rule, nearly any wholesome, nutritious food that you and your family eat can be offered to your bird in very small quantities. Junk food, including chocolate, caffeinated products, alcoholic beverages, and foods high in salt or fat should not be offered.

"Mynah birds may occasionally enjoy pinky mice or insects such as mealworms,
wax worms, crickets, and other insects. "

Occasionally, some birds even enjoy a small amount of lean cooked meat, fish, egg white, or yogurt. Dairy products should be consumed only in small amounts, as birds are lactose intolerant. Once in a while, Mynah birds may also enjoy pinky mice or insects such as mealworms, wax worms, crickets and other insects.

Does my Mynah bird need extra vitamins, minerals, or amino acids?

In general, Mynahs eating a base diet of pellets, along with a variety of other foods, do not need supplements. Specific vitamin or mineral supplements may be more important at various times during a bird's life (e.g., calcium supplementation is required when laying eggs). Your veterinarian can help you assess your bird's diet and its particular needs.

Does my bird need gravel or grit?

Controversy exists over birds’ need for gravel. Previously, it was believed that grit was necessary for the mechanical breakdown of food in the gizzard to aid in digestion. This is true for birds that ingest seeds whole, shell and all. However, Mynah birds eat mostly soft foods and do not require grit or gravel for proper digestion.

What pointers should I remember about feeding my Mynah bird?

  • Always monitor the amount of food eaten every day by each bird, especially if multiple birds are housed together.
  • Be careful not to overfeed vegetables and fruits with high iron content.
  • Offer fresh water every day.
  • Offer fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Clean all food and water dishes daily.

Protocols for the hand-raising and rehabilitation of mynas (contd.)

Corina Gardner


Link to Page 1: Protocols for the hand-raising and rehabilitation of mynas

Stage wise care and feeding instructions for the chicks

0–2 week old chicks

New born mynas are born totally pink, featherless, blind and completely helpless. Pin feathers begin to erupt in the second week of the baby’s life and the babies’ eyes usually open around the 8th – 10th day. Fresh hatchlings require extensive care and need to be fed almost round-the-clock. It would be unnecessary to feed the baby at night as in nature, parent birds as well as the babies sleep at night.

Ideally, feeding should start at 6 a.m. and continue until midnight. The chicks should be given 10 feeds a day at intervals of 2 hours. A day old chick would require approximately 1 ml of formula per feed, which can be gradually increased to 2 ml by the 4th day and 3 ml by 7th day. The feedings can also be reduced to 8 feeds by the end of the 10th day. Two feeds – one around mid-morning and one around mid-afternoon, may be replaced by mashed/pureed soft fruits like banana, mango or papaya instead of the formula.

2 – 4 week old chicks

Even though the nestlings are covered with feathers, there is still a while before the flight feathers develop. The baby can now be given about 7 feeds a day. Gradually reduce the feeds to six times a day. Feeding however must still begin by 6 a. m. and the last feed could be given by 10 p.m.

The baby can now be fed on a combination of sattu and fruits as well as mashed hard-boiled egg. Mashed/pureed banana, papaya, mango, sapodilla (chiku), mixed with crumbled up biscuits (marie or cream cracker would be ideal) are good options to add to their diet. If possible, insects such as grasshoppers, caterpillars and crickets could also be fed to the babies.

You can either offer them a mix of sattu and fruit, or the feeds may be alternated with sattu in one feed and fruit in the other. Avoid repeating any one fruit over and over again; instead, it would be better to offer them different fruits at intervals. This would be easier for them to digest and also ensure an intake of varied nutrients from different fruits.

4th – 5th week

The fledgling now starts to develop flight feathers by this age and will soon fledge in a couple of weeks. The young mynas can now be given 4-5 feeds a day, about 5 hours apart. They also start foraging (searching for food) themselves by this age. The weaning process must begin by the time the chicks are 5 weeks old. Make sure that there is always food available for them so that they can start eating on their own and gradually become independent although you should still carry on hand-feeding the feedings.

6th – 7th week

The young bird is quite independent and starts to search for food. Put small morsels of food in his cage and he will start to eat on his own. Now is also the time to transfer the bird to an outdoor enclosure. Although they feed well by themselves at this age, they must be watched vigilantly to ensure they are eating well. If necessary, hand feeding can be continued once or twice a day. A bowl of fresh water must be available at all times for the young birds as they will now begin to drink water. The young birds may now be offered fruit chopped into small pieces, sattu pellets, pieces of hard-boiled egg as well as boiled rice and dal (lentils).

8th – 9th week

By 8 weeks of age, the young bird should be completely weaned.
Offer the fledgling a varied diet by this age. Allow them to explore and make choices for themselves. Their diet can now include a variety of fruits, berries and insects, such as grasshoppers and crickets.

Adult bird diet

Mynas are soft bill birds and primarily only eat soft foods. They do not eat seeds. In captivity, their diet consists of sattu pellets, cooked rice and dal, hard-boiled egg, insects and fruit. Green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, mustard sprouts, millet sprouts and fenugreek (methi) leaves are also very essential.

Mynas drink plenty of water and their water bowl should always be clean and filled with fresh water. The water should be changed frequently. Mynas also enjoy frequent bathing, so it is necessary to keep a shallow bowl filled with fresh water for the birds to bathe in.

Foods to be avoided

Foods that are highly toxic for birds include apple pips, avocado (makhanphal), cherries and peaches (aadu) and must never be given to the birds. Never give the birds chocolate, as it may make the bird seriously ill.

Housing the young birds

A shoe-box or a small cardboard box with adequate holes for ventilation, a wicker basket or even a small aquarium may be used to house the young birds. The box can be lined with a soft towel at the base and a few layers of paper towels and strips of paper on top of the towel, as paper towels are easier to change when dirty.

The box must be placed in a warm, dry place, preferably near an artificial source of warmth. A heating lamp, with a light bulb of maximum 40 watts, can be placed above the box to provide warmth to the chicks. The lamp must be placed at least 12” away from the box. The ideal temperature for the baby birds would be about 35.5° Celsius (or 96° Fahrenheit). Again, it is crucial to be vigilant and ensure that the baby is not being overheated. A clear indication of overheating would be when the baby’s beak is open (as if panting) and wings are held away from its body. Unlike mammals, birds lack sweat glands and hence cannot sweat. To release excesses body heat and afford a cooling effect, they open their beak wide and pant, causing moisture to evaporate from the oral cavity and in turn cooling the body. On the other hand, if the bird is huddled and shivering, it is not receiving enough warmth.

The box must be partly covered with a light towel at night to keep out the light from the heating lamp and thus enabling the baby to sleep. It must be noted that the purpose of the lamp is to provide warmth alone and not light and it must never interfere with the natural light patterns and disrupt the baby bird’s sleep cycle. Even when in captivity, the parent bird sits on the baby, shielding it from most of the light. The heating lamp may be discontinued after the baby crosses 2-3 weeks of age and is covered with its first layer of feathers.

Ants are a real danger to baby birds and can fatally hurt them. It must be ensured that there are no ants in the vicinity of the bird.

Sexing mynas

Mynas are sexually monomorphic species and sexing mynas on appearance or behavior alone is extremely difficult. Mynas very seldom reproduce in captivity which further adds to the confusion. However, they are a few indications to ascertain the difference between male and female mynas. Within the same species, male mynas are larger than the females. The wattles of male mynas appear larger. Hill myna males have distinctly flatter heads than females, whereas the female mynas have a more rounded head. Another indication that the myna is male is the fact the pelvic bone in the male myna is set closer than in the females.


Mynas frequently preen their feathers. Birds use their beaks to preen their feathers and keep them in good condition. Preening is an essential way for birds to keep their feathers neat and trim.

Rehabilitating the young mynas

By the age of 3 months, the young mynas should be shifted to an aviary, preferably one with some fruiting trees. They must be provided with a nest box to retire in at night and during harsh weather. Human contact must be withdrawn from the birds and they must be encouraged to be independent.

Avoid placing a feeding table in the enclosure. Instead, place the food in different sections of the enclosure every day. The placement of foods must be rotated so as to encourage ‘searching’ behavior in the young birds. Food must also be placed at different height levels so as to get the birds used to foraging at various levels of height. The birds must be offered a variety of foods to prevent dependency on any one food type. A significant proportion of their diet must now comprise of wild-gathered foods as it will assist their transition to the wild and help them recognize readily available foods. The birds must have access to fresh drinking water at all times and they must frequently be given provisions to have a bath.

Soft release

By the age of four to five months, the young mynas will be ready to explore the outside world. Common mynas and Jungle mynas are highly adaptable species which makes it easier to release them in any convenient surroundings where they will be able to find sufficient forage. Hill mynas on the other hand are habitat specialists and need forested landscapes for survival. The young birds must now be shifted to an aviary. The aviary for Common and Jungle mynas may be in any suitable location whereas the aviary for Jungle mynas must be in a forested landscape.

By four to five months of age, the mynas may be allowed to exit the enclosure via a window (an opening) in the aviary. The window may either be on the side or the top of the aviary. The window must be opened early in the morning and closed by sunset. The birds will initially fly around and come back to the enclosure for a few weeks. As they grow older and have explored their surroundings thoroughly, they will begin to stay away for longer durations of time, until they have established a territory of their own and no longer feel the need to return to the enclosure. They should be completely independent by 6 months of age.

Hard release

Although a soft release is ideal for hand-raised birds, there may be instances where you may have to opt for a hard release for the young mynas. The minimum age at which the bird may be released is 6 months of age. Habitat selectivity may carry more importance when opting for a hard release. Hill mynas must only be released in forested landscapes while Common and Jungle mynas may be released in any suitable habitats.

Sickness in mynas

Egg binding

Egg binding is a medical condition when a female bird is unable to expel an egg. Egg binding can pose a serious threat to female birds. Younger females are at a greater risk of dying from egg binding. In the event that a female myna is suddenly puffed-up and listless, it is quite likely due to egg-binding.

The female must immediately be placed in a small cage or shoe-box and provided with quiet and additional warmth. A heating lamp would be ideal. Castor oil or even cooking oil can be gently applied in to the birds vent or cloaca, with a Q-tip (a cotton bud) to lubricate the area and facilitate the passing of the difficult egg. One drop of castor oil given orally will also help the passage of the egg. If these basic requirements are provided it is unlikely that the bird will suffer any serious health issues.

Abnormal droppings

Green droppings usually indicate an infection. Birds fed on soft food and greens may normally produce green and watery droppings, but if the droppings are runny and bubbly as well as carry an odor and persist over a period of time (especially if the bird is fluffed up, lethargic and has a loss of appetite), it indicates a chill or an infection. A pinch of Ridol, Kaltin, terramycin or any other antibiotic tablet can be dissolved in a half container of water. The infection should likely subside in a day or two and the medication may be discontinued a day after the bird has returned to normal health. Avoid exposing the birds to a cold breeze or draught, especially at night, as this causes chills and other health problems. Avoid offering fruits at this time; cooked rice and boiled egg are a good option instead.

Fungal infection

Aspergillosis is the most frequently occurring fungal infection in birds. It is primarily a disease of the lower respiratory tract. There is a high prevalence of infection in mynas.The spores of the fungus are often present in the environment and healthy, unstressed birds are generally resistant to even high levels of spores. Birds with a weakened immune system, or high stress levels (due to environmental changes), are most susceptible to the disease. It may be contracted as the result of inhalation of fungal spores, fecal material or soil, or oral ingestion, especially if the birds are fed moldy food or housed in a contaminated environment.

It is therefore extremely important that feed is properly stored and is free of fungal growth. Proper ventilation in the enclosures is also essential. Most importantly, the birds must be fed a healthy diet.

Symptoms of a fungal infection include constant sneezing, coughing or labored breathing, loss of appetite and diarrhea. It can be life threatening if left undiagnosed or untreated.

Treatment: The infected bird must be immediately isolated from other birds and provided with a quiet environment and additional warmth – a heating lamp would be ideal for this purpose. Antifungal tablets like Amphotericin B, Flucytosine, Fluconazole or Itraconazole must be added to the bird’s drinking water. You could also consider using Teeburb tablets which is an herbal veterinary preparation. Immunostimulants may also be added to the bird’s diet to facilitate recovery. However, if you find that the bird is not drinking the water, then the medication will have to be force fed.

References and further reading

Bockheim, G. and Congdon, S. (2001) The Sturnidae husbandry manual and resource guide
Available from:
sturnids.pdf [Accessed: 26/08/2012]

Gardner, C. et al (2012) Protocols for the rehabilitation of baby Ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri), Rehabber’s Den
Available from:
%20parakeets.pdf [Accessed: 25/06/2012]

Houston, J.P. (2009) Hand-rearing softbills, The Foreign Softbill Society UK
Available from: [Accessed: 26/08/2012]

Indiviglio, F. (2008) The Natural History and Captive Care of the Hill Myna (Myna Bird, Indian Hill Myna), Gracula religiosa – Part 1, That Bird Blog
Available from:[Accessed: 26/08/2012]

Indiviglio, F. (2008) The Natural History and Captive Care of the Hill Myna (Myna Bird, Indian Hill Myna), Gracula religiosa – Part 2, That Bird Blog
Available from:[Accessed: 26/08/2012]

Stewart, K. (2002) Hand-rearing guide for the beginner, Lori~Link
Available from:[Accessed: 26/08/2012]

Walker, C (undated) Megabacteria infection in birds
Available from:[Accessed: 28/08/2012]

Wikipedia (2012) – Myna
Available from:[Accessed: 19/07/2012]

Photographs used

Alex Cordero – 3 week old myna chicks
Available from:
photostream/ [Accessed: 19/07/2012]

Alex Cordero – Fledgling mynas
Available from:
http://www.[Accessed: 19/07/2012]

Alex Cordero – Gapers
Available from:[Accessed: 19/07/2012]

Caroline Dreams – Two week old myna
Available from:[Accessed: 17/08/2012]

David Lim – Hill mynas

Devna Arora – Brahminy starling

Devna Arora – Jungle myna

Devna Arora – Housing baby mynas

Devna Arora – Pre-release aviary

Dr. Lip Kee Yan – Bank mynas
Available from:
[Accessed: 23/08/2012]

Nupur Buragohan – 10 day old baby mynas

Nupur Buragohan – Placing a basket as an artificial nest for baby mynas

Om Prakash Yadav – Adult male hill myna
Available from:[Accessed: 19/07/2012]

Tris – Common myna
Available from:
http://www.[Accessed: 19/07/2012]

Rosa Say – Myna chick fallen from the nest
Available from:[Accessed: 24/07/2012]

Simon Morris – A month-old myna

Stephen Witherden – mynas nest
Available from:
photostream/ [Accessed: 19/07/2012]


I’d like to add a special thank you to Dr. Nupur Ranjan Buragohan for his invaluable guidance and suggestions on the drugs for the treatments of the birds.

Edited by Devna Arora
Published in 2012

How to feed the found chick, how many times a day

If you find a chick, the first thing you need to do is determine its species. Feeding granivorous, insectivorous and predatory chicks have their own differences. But in the early stages of feeding, you can use the same feeding methods, and then, after finding out what kind of bird you found, transfer the chick to the appropriate feeding.

Here is one of the most common feeding options for granivorous and insectivorous chicks. This nutrient mixture is well used for feeding for chicks and fledglings from the passerine family. To prepare our mixture, we need the following products: Boiled egg, low-fat cottage cheese, raw carrots, meat (beef, chicken, turkey), greens (lettuce, dandelion leaves, wood lice), hamarus and daphnia, Calcium gluconate (shell from boiled eggs) glycerophosphate , children's dry dairy-free porridge or boiled millet (without salt and fat on the water). nine0003

Action one. Boil the egg, free from the shell. We free the shell from the shell film. Grind the egg as much as possible, you can use a grater with small holes.

Second step. Boiled meat, it is better to take the pulp from the breast of a turkey or chicken and also chop or divide into fibers. The mixture will require meat 40 (for granivorous) and 60 grams (for insectivorous).

Third step. Take washed carrots of a small size, grate them on a fine grater, then squeeze the juice and we will use the remaining pulp. nine0003

Fourth step. We take not sour and not fatty cottage cheese. Cottage cheese should have 0% fat content, anything above is considered fat for poultry. We need 90-110 grams of cottage cheese. Sour cottage cheese must be boiled twice changing the water and then it will be suitable.

Step five. You can use greens to add the mixture, but you can do without it for the chicks. And so you can take the greens listed above, chop and add 1.5 teaspoons to the mixture.

Action six. To the above ingredients, add 1.5 -2 tsp. dairy-free porridge or boiled millet (well boiled, without salt and fat in the water). nine0003

Step seven. To the mixture we add the shell from the boiled egg, which must first be ground in a coffee grinder, plus one fourth of the crushed tablet of glycerophosphate. If it is not possible to find glycerophosphate, then you can purchase bone meal and add one fourth tsp. in powder form. At the very least, the shells are enough for now.

Step eight. We take chopped hamarus and daphnia and add about 1 tsp to the resulting mixture. Then we mix everything, it turns out a very thick, crumbly porridge, it should not stick to the fingers. If the mixture is sticky, you can add dairy-free porridge or powdered cereals. nine0003

From the resulting mixture we roll small balls no larger than a small pea, focus on the size of the chick's beak. You can feed 2-5 balls at a time and after each feeding drink plain water from an insulin syringe with a removable needle (without a needle) 4-6 drops. A week-old chick should be fed every 1-1.5 hours, older than two weeks of age every 2-4 hours, at three and four weeks of age you can feed 3-4 times a day. Do not forget that the chick is growing and, accordingly, one-time portions of food are growing. A very important point, do not forget to warm the chicks, because at their age they themselves cannot maintain normal body temperature. Warming up promotes better assimilation of feed. Don't forget to control your chick's weight. If possible, show the chick to a specialist. To control the work of the intestines, you can take the litter from the chick for a coprogram, this is an analysis of the digestibility of the feed. nine0003

Take care and love your feathered friends and they will love you back.

Veterinarian ornithologist
Chuguevsky VV

Bambi veterinary clinic.

You can ask an ornithologist on the forum.

How to care for a starling. Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris). What to feed starlings

According to the characteristic features of postembryonic development, brood and nestling birds are distinguished. Broods leave the nest shortly after hatching from the egg and are not fed by their parents; chicks need a long stay in the nest and feeding. nine0003

Almost all of them perish due to improper maintenance. If you have taken responsibility and decided to feed the found chick, you should follow certain rules.

1. Never feed the chicks bread as is usually done. An exception may be a roll soaked in fresh milk, but not more than twice a day.

2. Do not give birds salty food - salt is toxic to them. You can add crushed chalk, coal in small quantities to the feed.

3. Feed the chicks as often as possible - at least once every two hours, but in small portions. Chicks of small insectivores (less than a sparrow in size), eat food about 3/4 of their own weight; starling, myna, hoopoe - less than half; corvids - about 1/4 of their weight per day.

4. The diet should include mainly natural food - earthworms, caterpillars (devoid of hairs), grasshoppers, larvae and soft-bodied insects (with the exception of brightly colored ones). Among artificial feeds in small quantities are pieces of boiled and raw meat. You can give finely chopped unsalted fish and shellfish. nine0003

5. Chicks of granivorous birds need cereal seeds at the stage of milky-wax ripeness, which must first be crushed in a mortar, many granivorous birds also willingly eat animal food.

6. If the bird does not take food, at first it should be fed by carefully opening the beak with your fingers.

Chicks that have fallen out of the nest are quite a common occurrence in spring. Their unfortunate squeak awakens the maternal instinct even in the most callous hearts. It's natural that you want to pick up a chick and walk him out. But before you do that, you need to take some time to assess the situation and make sure you're doing the best for the chick. Was he really abandoned? Are there centers nearby that could provide better care for him? If you decide to feed the chick yourself, it is important that you understand the responsibility you place on yourself. Chicks are very delicate creatures that need to be fed almost constantly. If you think you're ready for it, this article will tell you everything you need to know about feeding and caring for a chick. nine0003


Assessment of the situation

    Determine if the chick is an immature or mature (brood) bird. Immature-born birds are those in which the chicks hatch blind, featherless and completely dependent on their parents for food and warmth. Most passerines and songbirds are immature born, such as robins, jays, cardinals. Breeding birds are more developed by the time of hatching, they are born sighted, have soft fluffy feathers. They are able to walk and immediately begin to follow their mother, picking up food along the way. Examples of such birds are plover, ducks, geese. nine0061

    Determine if the chick has or has not yet fledged. If you find an immature chick that you suspect has fallen from the nest or been abandoned, you must determine whether it has fledged or not. Fledglings are too immature to leave the nest, may have underdeveloped feathers and may not even have their eyes open yet. The fledglings are older, have developed feathers and are strong enough to learn to fly. They can leave the nest and know how to perch on and hold on to branches. nine0061

    If possible, put the chick back in the nest. If you are sure that the chick you met has not yet fledged and is lying helpless on the ground, it is probably possible to return it to the nest. First, see if you can see a nest in a nearby tree or bush. It can be well hidden or located in a hard-to-reach place. Then pick up the chick with one hand from below, covering the second from above, hold it until it warms up. Inspect it for damage, if everything is in order, carefully return it to the nest. nine0061

    Make a replacement socket if needed. Sometimes even whole nests can fall due to strong winds, tree pruning or predators. If this is your case, you may be able to save the nest (or build a new one) and put the chicks in. If the original nest still hasn't decayed, you can place it in a berry basket or oiler (with holes drilled for drainage) and use some wire to hang the nest from a branch. Try to fix the nest in its original place. If this is not possible, the branch closest to it will do. Just make sure the selected area is covered and not in direct sunlight. nine0003

  • Gather fallen chicks and warm them with your hands before placing them in the nest. Leave the place, but try to keep an eye on the nest from afar. Parents may be suspicious of the appearance of another nest instead of the old one, but the instinct of caring for offspring should help them overcome doubts.
  • If the original nest is completely destroyed, you can make a new one by lining the bottom of the basket with paper towels. Even if the original nest was made of grass, you should not line the nest you made with grass, as it contains moisture and can overcool the chicks. nine0083
  • If you are sure that the chicks are abandoned, try to find a rehabilitation center. It is important to establish the fact that the chicks are abandoned before taking them. The most common situations in which chicks need help are: when you find a fledgling but cannot locate or reach the nest; when a dropped chick is wounded, weak or soiled; when you watched the substitute nest for more than two hours and the parents did not return to feed the chicks. nine0061

    Feeding a chick

    1. Feed the chick every 15-20 minutes from sunrise to sunset. Chicks are very picky about feeding schedules, their parents make hundreds of trips for food every day. To recreate this feeding schedule, you should feed the chick every 15-20 minutes from sunrise to sunset.

      • When the chick opens its eyes and has grown a few feathers, you can increase the feeding intervals to 30-45 minutes. You can then gradually increase the amount of food given per feeding and reduce the number of feedings accordingly. nine0083
      • When the chick is strong enough to climb out of the nest and starts jumping over the box it's in, you can feed it about once an hour. Gradually, you can reduce this time to 1 feeding every 2-3 hours and start leaving bits of food in the box for the chick to pick up on their own.
    2. Know what to feed your chick. There are various options for the food a chick should consume, however, most experts say that as long as the chick is getting the nutrients it needs, what kind of food it is fed is not critical. Even if different species of adult birds have different diets, most chicks have very similar requirements, they need protein-rich food. nine0003

      • The ideal starter diet for a newly hatched chick is 60% puppy or kitten food, 20% hard-boiled eggs, and another 20% mealworms (which can be purchased).
      • Puppy or kitten food should be soaked until it reaches a sponge-like consistency, but should not spill water as the chick may choke due to excess water. Boiled eggs and mealworms should be finely chopped so that the chick can swallow them. nine0083
    3. Start changing your diet as your chick grows. When the chick starts to grow up and jump around the box, you can start to change his diet according to what he should eat as an adult.

      • Insectivorous birds will eat earthworms, grasshoppers and crickets, which must be finely chopped along with any insects you can find in the insect trap.
      • Birds that prefer fruit will eat berries, grapes and raisins soaked in water. nine0083
    4. Know which bird species require a special diet. Exceptions to the above diet are pigeons, parrots, hummingbirds, fish-eating birds, birds of prey and any chicks of mature birds.

      • Pigeons and parrots usually eat the so-called "bird's milk" - a substance regurgitated by the mother. To recreate it, you will have to feed these chicks with parrot food (available at the pet store) from a syringe without a needle. nine0083
      • Although it is unlikely that you will see other species of birds, their needs are as follows: hummingbirds need a special nectar diet, fish-eating birds need finely chopped small fish (available at a fish store), birds of prey need insects, rodents and small chicks, and mature chicks will thrive on a turkey diet.
    5. Do not feed bread or milk to chicks. Many people make the mistake of feeding their chicks bread or milk. Unlike mammals, milk is not part of the diet of birds, they will not be able to eat it. And bread is full of empty calories and won't provide the chick with the nutrients it needs to survive. You must also ensure that the food given to the chick is at room temperature. nine0003

    6. Use correct feeding technique. Chicks should be fed very carefully. The best tool is blunt tweezers or a plastic clip. If you don't have either, thin Chinese sticks (thin enough for a chick's mouth) will do. To feed a chick, take some food with tweezers, a clip, or chopsticks and put it in the chick's mouth.

      • Do not be afraid that the chick will choke, the glottis of birds closes automatically during feeding. nine0083
      • If the chick does not open its beak, lightly tap it with your feeding tool or rub food along the edge of the beak. This will be a signal to him that it's time to feed. If the chick still won't open its beak, carefully do it yourself.
      • Continue to feed the chick until it stops opening its beak or starts refusing food. It is important not to overfeed the chick.
    7. Avoid giving water to the chick. Usually chicks do not drink water, as water can get into the lungs and they will suffocate. They should only be given water when they are old enough to start jumping over the box. At this stage, you can place a shallow container of water (such as a jar lid) in the box where the chick can drink on its own. nine0003

      • You can put a stone or a couple of pieces of marble in a container of water to keep the bird from sitting in the water.
      • If you think your chick is dehydrated, you will need to bring it to a veterinarian who can give you the necessary fluid injections.

    Caring for a chick

    1. Make a temporary nest for the chick. The best way to make a replacement nest is to use a cardboard box, such as a shoe box, in which you will need to make some holes. Place a small plastic or wooden bowl in the box and line it with unstained paper towels. This will be a great cozy nest for a chick. nine0003

      • Never line the nest with fibrous or crushed litter, as it can wrap around the legs and wings or get caught in the chick's throat. You should also avoid using grass, leaves, moss, as these can be damp and moldy easily.
      • You should change the nest litter as soon as it becomes damp or soiled.
    2. Keep the chick warm. If the chick is damp or cold, you should warm it up as soon as you place it in the box. This can be done in various ways. If you have a heating pad, you can set it to a low temperature and place a box on top of it. Alternatively, you can use a ziplock bag filled with warm water and placed in a box; or hang a 40-watt lamp over the box. nine0003

      • It is very important to keep the nest at a constant temperature, so it is best to put a thermometer in the box. If the chick is less than a week old (he is blind, without feathers), the temperature should be around 35 degrees. It can be lowered by 3 degrees every week.
      • It is important to keep the chick box away from direct sunlight and drafts. Small chicks are very susceptible to hypothermia and overheating, since they have a fairly large body surface in relation to their weight, and they have not yet developed the thermal insulation of feathers. nine0083
    3. Create a stress-free environment for your chick. Chicks cannot survive unless they are kept in a calm, stress-free environment. When chicks are stressed, their heart rate increases significantly, which is dangerous for their health. As a result, you need to keep the box quiet, out of the reach of children and pets. You should also avoid exposing the chick to the following:

      • Excessive or improper handling, loud noises, incorrect temperatures, overcrowding (if you have more than one chick), poor feeding schedule or improper diet. nine0083
      • You should try to keep the bird at eye level to observe it, as birds don't like being looked down upon. Keeping at eye level makes you look less like a predator to them.
    4. Keep a chick growth chart. You can monitor your chick's growth by weighing him daily to make sure he is gaining weight. You can use notepad for this. The weight should increase daily, and in 4-6 days it should be twice as much as the weight at hatching. Rapid weight gain should continue during the first two weeks of the chick's life. nine0003

      • In order to check if a chick's height matches that of its species, you will need to consult the growth chart for its bird species.
      • If the bird gains weight very slowly or does not gain weight at all, this is a clear sign that something is not right. In such a situation, you must immediately take the bird to a veterinarian or a rehabilitation center, otherwise it will probably die.
  • Songbirds, starlings, belong to the family of the Starling order Passeriformes. They not only sing melodiously and are distinguished by the abilities of mockingbirds, but also destroy insects, for which they fell in love in all corners of our planet where they were brought by man. nine0003

    There are about 10 species of starlings, which differ mainly in the regions of their residence. The most famous of them is the common starling, a resident of Eurasia.

    Starlings are birds of size with a long and straight beak with a slightly flattened tip, a short tail and sharp wings. Their plumage is dominated by black with white patches and a characteristic multi-colored tint.

    What does it eat?

    Starlings are omnivorous birds that find their own food, depending on the season. nine0003

    In spring they prefer animal food - earthworms, insects and arthropods (spiders, caterpillars, butterflies, grasshoppers). In summer and autumn, they willingly eat vegetable food: fruits, vegetables, berries, seeds.

    Starlings can use their large and strong beak as a kind of lever to open fruits protected by a hard peel or shell.

    Habitat and distribution

    The area of ​​distribution of starlings is very wide. Each species has its own characteristics in the settlement, and in general, the natural habitats of these birds include all regions of Europe and Asia, as well as North Africa. nine0003

    Individual species of starlings were brought by humans to North and South America, Australia and New Zealand. The distribution of starlings was facilitated, first of all, by their reputation as excellent pest fighters.

    Starlings inhabit the plains and rarely climb the mountains. They willingly choose housing near a person.

    Starling migration directly depends on its habitat. All birds living in the northern regions migrate south for the winter and are considered migratory birds. Their migration begins in September-October, and the distance traveled by starlings reaches 2,000 km. Birds return to their native lands at the end of March or in April. nine0003

    Starlings, which live in the south of Europe and Asia and in Africa, are sedentary birds.


    Bird up to 22 cm in length with a wingspan of about 38 cm and a weight of 70-80 g. The long and sharp beak is slightly curved downwards. The color of the back and tummy in females and males does not differ: black plumage with a metallic sheen of purple, green, blue or brown. The species is distributed throughout Eurasia.

    The species lives in southern Asia. This bird is 20 cm long, with a wingspan of up to 12 cm and a weight of about 50 g. The back of the birds is brownish-gray, the breast and tummy are beige-brown. The head is decorated with black feathers with a shimmer, which form a crest. The beak is yellow. Sometimes the brahmin starling is confused with the pink starling, but it differs in that there are no black feathers on its chest. nine0003

    The body length of the birds is up to 25 cm. The plumage of the head, neck and breast is light brown. The belly is pinkish grey. The back is dark gray, sometimes with a slight metallic sheen. The species lives in the countries of Indochina, including Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia.

    Lives in the south and west of China. It reaches a length of 20-24 cm. In males, the head and abdomen are white with a brown or gray tint. Breast, back and sides are dark grey. The plumage of the tail and wings is black with a green, blue or purple metallic sheen. The beak, according to the name, is red in this species. nine0003

    The main habitat of this species is southern and southeastern Asia. The bird is similar to the black-necked starling, but smaller in size. Male and female are very similar. The plumage of the head, throat, chest and back is black. Cheeks and underparts are white with grey. The wings and tail are brown-black with white feathers. The beak is orange-red.

    The species reaches a length of 22 cm, a wingspan of up to 14 cm, a weight of 60-90 g. On the head is a crest of long feathers. The beak is thicker and shorter than the common starling. The pink starling lives in the southeast of Europe, in Central Asia. nine0003

    This relatively small species lives in India and China. The body length reaches 22 cm, weight - 45 g. The head of the bird is white-gray, the cheeks and the back of the head are with a silvery sheen. The beak is interesting: a blue base, a green middle and a yellow tip. The back is brown-gray, the tummy is brown.

    Songbird up to 25 cm long. Inhabitant of East Asia. The breast, belly and rump of this species are light gray in color. Feathers on the head with black and black-brown streaks, on the cheeks there are bunches of white feathers. The beak is yellow-orange with a dark tip. nine0003

    The species lives on the islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia. The length of its body is 22-24 cm, the wingspan is up to 130 cm. The plumage color of this species is mostly white, except for black wings and a tail with a white stripe at the end. Feathers on the head have a brown tint and form a crest on the back of the head. Beak and legs are yellow.

    One of the largest representatives of the starling species with a body length of up to 30 cm and a wingspan of up to 16 cm. Distributed in southeast China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. The back, tail and wings are black with white patches, the head and abdomen are white. On the neck is a collar of black shiny feathers. nine0003

    Inhabitant of Europe and North Africa. Bird sizes: 19-22 cm long, 13-14 cm wingspan, 80-115 g weight. The species is very similar to the common starling. The predominant color of its plumage is black with a metallic sheen of purple or green. The tail is short and straight. The beak is sharp and long, curved down.

    Male and female: main differences

    Sexual dimorphism in all starling species is rather weakly expressed. So, for example, the male and female of the common starling differ in feathers on the chest - in females they are more elegant and shorter. In addition, females have red dots at the base of the beak, while males have a blue spot. nine0003

    Females and young of other species are slightly lighter than male starlings.

    Home maintenance

    In captivity, the starling will need a cage with a minimum size of 70 cm by 30 cm by 45 cm with a separate bathing and drinking container, as these birds are very fond of bathing. Water is changed daily.

    What to feed

    Birds are absolutely unpretentious in their diet. The diet is often based on a nightingale mixture of grated carrots, eggs and white crackers. Fish food (daphnia, gammarus), meat (pieces of chicken or beef), seeds of plants and cereals, vegetables (everything except legumes and potatoes), greens, pieces of fruit and berries are also added. nine0003

    The only disadvantage in keeping these birds is their slovenliness. Starlings are really dirty, they often need to be cleaned up.

    Captive breeding

    Starlings can nest at home if the couple is provided with cozy conditions and peace. Eggs (up to 5 in one clutch) are incubated by the female for 12 days. About 3 weeks old chicks grow up after birth.

    • In nature, starlings live up to 12 years, and in captivity - even up to 20 years;
    • Starlings are very aggressive towards other bird species, and can displace species from their usual habitats, as, for example, happened in North America when the starling conflicted with the green woodpecker; nine0083
    • Starlings are known as fighters against pests, but they can also harm humans - destroy crops of grain plants and vineyards;
    • Starlings like to live in large flocks; during the roosting period, several thousand individuals can gather together.
    • Simultaneous flight of large flocks of starlings is called murmuration. This is a very beautiful and fascinating phenomenon - many birds seem to be dancing in the air, forming various intricate figures that decrease and increase in the sky. Murmuration - and today remains a mystery in the behavior of birds for scientists. It is impossible to reproduce this process even with the help of the most modern technology. nine0083


    Starlings are not only distinguished by their own sonorous iridescent trills, which consist of whistling, creaking, hissing sounds, but are also excellent mockingbirds. Perhaps there is no such melody that the starling could not reproduce. The song of a thrush, or a jay - a starling can perform any.

    Moreover, the starling can eavesdrop and perfectly copy melodies from the life around him - the croaking of frogs, the barking of dogs, the bleating of sheep.

    And at home, the starling can not only be tamed, but also taught to speak short phrases and tongue twisters. nine0003

    It often happens that starling chicks fall into human hands. This is due to the fact that babies can fall out of the nest at any time, since it does not provide a degree of protection. In addition, the cubs are quite shy and begin to back away when they feel the approach of danger. And given that the chicks still cannot fly, they have no opportunity to rise back. On the ground, they are most vulnerable - most predators will now be able to eat small chicks. In this case, a person becomes the only savior, and if he tries, he will be able to grow a healthy starling. nine0003

    The biggest mistake in caring for a baby is feeding him bread. The fact is that only adults can digest it, starling chicks are not yet able to do this. You can soak a soft bun in milk and give it to the baby, but you should not do this often. In addition, babies should not eat salty foods as salt is toxic to them. In fact, the diet should be as close as possible to that which birds would have in nature: small insects, worms, larvae, caterpillars, sometimes meat (both raw and boiled). Starlings eat fish with appetite, as long as it is not salty. It should be remembered that you still have to get natural food, because the cub will grow poorly on one meat or fish. Remember that in your hands is a baby who feeds on grains. Therefore, it is necessary to add various cereal plants to the diet. However, you should not abuse such food, because it is too hard, the cub's body will not be able to cope with a large portion. nine0003

    Once you have decided on the starling, you should figure out the dosage. Since the bird in question is quite large, it should have enough food. The total weight of food that starling chicks should eat within two hours should be equal to half the weight of the baby. If the baby eats everything that you have prepared for him at one time, then you are lucky - you are dealing with an adult enough, which increases the chances of the chick to survive. If he does not eat everything at once, then you need to feed the bird in several approaches. nine0003

    In addition, one should not forget that starling chicks must quench their thirst, otherwise they will die of dehydration. As a rule, babies do not immediately begin to eat and drink from the hands of a person. In order to prove your good intentions to them, you need to slightly press on the sides of the beak, opening it, then the fledgling will feel that it satisfies hunger and thirst, and subsequently will not resist feeding. Babies are usually fed with a pipette.

    If you are wondering what breed your starling chick belongs to, the photo will help you. The fact is that you can determine the type of this bird even at a young age. The chicks are very different from each other. In addition, information from books can help you determine the gender and age of the foundling. In any case, if you find a chick that is not able to feed itself, help him, because you have every opportunity for this! nine0003

    If you take a young chick from the nest and feed it instead of the parent birds, then such a fosterling becomes completely tame and treats its caregiver with complete confidence.

    First of all, you need to decide which bird to take in order to master the skill of rearing. There is little choice here. The first bird can only be one of the corvids - a jackdaw, a crow, a rook, a magpie, etc. I recommend starting with a jackdaw or a magpie. By the way, these birds do not require a lot of time for feeding: they can get food in 2-3 hours. nine0003

    After corvids, you can start feeding starlings and thrushes. But here there will be more difficulties. They need to be fed every hour, and these birds are softer (especially thrushes). It is better not to feed small insectivorous birds. The risk of ruining them is quite high, and these birds are our friends and helpers in the fight against harmful insects. Experienced hobbyists feed some songbirds, which are then taught to sing by placing them with good singers of the same species. Birds capable of adopting someone else's song are kept together with the best singers of other species. All fosterlings live better in captivity than birds caught by adults; they are said to be "sturdier". nine0003

    Having spotted a nest with the right chicks, they prepare everything necessary for their maintenance and store food (ant eggs, flour worms, etc.). Only after that they take the chicks from the nest. For education in captivity, it is recommended to take them at a time when they begin to fledge and only have fluff on their heads. It is even better to take very small downy chicks. They will become especially tame, but it will take longer and harder to feed them. The main difficulty is in providing them with warmth. In the first days of their development, they have the temperature of the surrounding air and from time to time are warmed up by the female on the nest. Therefore, in captivity, chicks should be kept at a temperature of about 40-41 ° C.

    A simple thermostat can be built to keep the chicks warm. The case for it is a plywood box, which is usually used for postal parcels. It is better to place it so that one small wall serves as the bottom, and the opposite one as a lid. A cartridge is strengthened in the lower part of the side wall and a light bulb is screwed into it. It is covered with sand so that there is a layer of about 5 cm above it. A nest is placed on the surface of the sand - natural or artificial from rags. Cotton wool is unsuitable: the chicks get entangled in it. Of the natural ones, the nest of the song thrush, plastered inside, is more convenient than others. nine0003

    By lighting the lamp, the sand is heated to 40-41°C (there must be a thermometer on its surface). If the light bulb is small or there is an incandescent rheostat, it can burn around the clock. All you need is confidence that the temperature does not rise above normal; overheating chicks is even more dangerous than cooling.

    Chicks taken shortly before departure and dressed with feathers at least on their backs no longer need artificial heating (unless, of course, the temperature is too low). The best room for them is a basket with a lid. For small chicks, a nest is placed inside it, for large ones - corvids and others - they arrange a bed of rags. It is impossible to feed the birds immediately after they are taken. It is necessary to give them time to get hungry: for small birds - 2-4 hours, for starling, thrushing - 5-6 hours, for corvids - up to 12 hours. It is most convenient to take the chicks an hour or two before dusk and start feeding the next morning. nine0003

    If the chicks are taken relatively large, they do not open their mouths even when they are hungry. You have to force feed them by stuffing food into your mouth. In this case, the food must be pushed as deep as possible, otherwise the chick will throw it out and not swallow it. Before force-feeding, you should try out some tricks that can cause beaks to open. You can, for example, knock on the basket where the chicks are sitting, or shake it a little. On the chicks of rooks, crows and other corvids, it is recommended to blow or wave something near them so that they feel the breeze that occurs when a bird that has arrived with food is landing on the nest. Hooded crows N usually respond well to imitating the "carr" call. Even with the most approximate imitation of this sound, they instantly open their mouths. nine0003

    Birds of prey chicks

    Most often it happens that the chicks, hungry, begin to voice themselves and open their mouths, asking for food. We need to give them food quickly. After two or three times, they no longer hide when they see a person, but open their mouths wide.

    Food is usually given with blunt-tipped forceps. The smallest are fed from a feather or from a match. For jackdaws and larger birds, food is thrust into the beak with the fingers. Young birds are very voracious. You have to feed small birds almost continuously, at intervals of no more than an hour or two. Even corvids should be given food approximately every 2-3 hours. nine0003

    In order for the chicks to get used to the person better, when giving food, you need to call them by name or make some always the same sound, for example, a whistle. By the time the chick begins to fly, he will perfectly know this signal and, having heard it, will fly to you. At night, a basket with chicks is best placed at the head of the bed. Hungry, they will raise a squeak and wake up the owner at dawn. From this time, periodic feeding begins. What to do?! You have to not sleep, otherwise the chicks will die of hunger! If you are not confident in your patience, do not take on the feeding of even the simplest and most undemanding birds - corvids! nine0003

    During the day, there is also little free time left: sometimes you need to feed the chicks, then get food - dig worms, "mow" insects, etc. As soon as the chicks grow up so much that they themselves begin to flit, you need to teach them to peck on their own. If you do not do this, they will fly after you and beg for food for a week, two, or even a month.

    First, the chick is given food not from above (opening its mouth, it always turns its beak up), but from the front, each time lower and lower. Then the food is kept in front of a hungry chick, without putting it into the oral cavity. He sometimes screams for a very long time, bypasses the food from all sides, even fits on it with his open mouth and, finally, grabs and swallows. Now you can put food on the table in front of the chick; he will peck her. It helps if you tap your finger on the table. It is even better if there is another bird that will peck the food in front of the chick. In this case, he adopts the "science" very quickly. Finally, a good way is to give moving food, such as a writhing mealworm, a fly, or another insect with broken wings. Chicks need to be taken outside more often. It is often here that they quickly learn to peck, finding moving insects in the grass. nine0003

    The first step is important, the first prey you seize on your own. Then you can no longer feed from your hands, although the chick will beg for food for a long time. Now education becomes more pleasant and easier.

    The best food for nestlings of small songbirds and woodpeckers is ant eggs. At least in small quantities, it is also necessary for most other birds, especially brood birds (coot, chicken). With a small addition of flour worms, this food is able to feed relatively tender birds, such as white wagtails. Among the feed substitutes, three are considered the main ones: raw meat, white bread soaked in milk, and cottage cheese. Bird essays have already talked about the best food for each of them. In addition to the usual feed, it is very important to give the chicks mineral feed, as well as vitamins, water and sand. nine0003

    It is not necessary to water the birds if the feed (eg bread soaked in milk) contains a lot of moisture. But in the heat, even with such nutrition, the chicks are given water, pouring it into the open beak from a dropper. They should not be given saliva from the mouth. Mineral food necessary for the development of bones, the chicks receive in a finely grated egg shell. Pieces of various feeds fall off in it. The shell should be given 2-3 times a day to chicks of all ages (sparrows begin to feed lime to 2-day-old chicks). nine0003

    Vitamins can be given in the form of berries or fruit juice.

    Raptors and owls need fish oil, occasionally desirable for corvids and other birds.

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