Brento, the fledgling Starling was trapped in Jane’s wall cavity and I rescued him by removing a vent, no sign of parents, no nest. As we could not find a local rescue center and also because he was so desperate I took it upon myself to be his caretaker. My duty was to give him as much chance of survival as if he was with his parents, which was a tall order!
It is a difficult job to care for a baby bird. If you are considering it, make sure you are 100% certain that parents are not about. Take time looking and listen for their calls. If it’s a starling it will have been nesting in a roof or a wall or something high, if it’s a Blackbird it will be from a nest in a bush. Starlings can fly (a bit) as soon as they leave the nest, Blackbirds on the other hand hide in the bushes waiting for mum for days till they are mature enough to fly, so it may be a Blackbird, it’s hard to tell the difference.
It really has been an eye opener and a pleasure looking after him. I’m no expert on birds, so for more information on starlings I highly recommend visiting http://www.starlingtalk.com/ their website helped a great deal with my research.
If you have rescued a chick you will notice that it will need feeding a lot, much more than you think it could possibly eat! Don’t worry about over feeding it, it will refuse food when full and it will eat A LOT in one go, much more than you would think possible. They eat mainly insects, get millions of mealworm and crickets from pet shop. Dried puppy food soaked then drained is the other main food, check the protein content it should be more than say 25%. pet shops also sell fat/suet with added insects (Tesco have pellets too). Boiled egg and shell mixed with apple sauce. berries. dried insect mix. Seeds as food yes, but depends whether starling or blackbird, best to start with seeds that are like alpen squashed etc and without husks (Tesco ‘Natures Garden’ ground and table mix, and ‘No mess Mix’) mix them both together and add some goodies like dried insects/dried mealworm/apple bits/peanuts, whatever.. oh and worms are to be avoided as they may contain parasites (Gape worm) that could kill the bird in no time.
Starlings are amazing talkers and can also impersonate machinery and the likes. I have been playing Starling song to him, they have to learn it in the first 60 days or they won’t be able to remember it when they start singing at maturity.
You will need a big cage, and also an aviary/shed so that it can get it’s flight muscles excercised. Do not try to tame it (after all it is a wild bird) by handling it too much. An important factor to consider is time, you will need loads of it! In the film you will see ways to help the bird learn how to be a bird! Also the internet has a wealth of information. If you choose to hand rear an baby bird, it will not be easy, however it will be a majorly rewarding experience.
The last day I saw Brento he fed well and seemed happy enough, in fact I’d say he was quite playful, pecking my ear etc. I did feel something strange about him that day, and looking back now I think he was saying good-bye.
Starlings are magnificent flyers and when they glide overhead in their little Squadron’s they look like miniature humans wearing Phoenix-Fly Phantom 3 wingsuits!