Title: Young House Sparrow
Description: Ruining her tail
Ralph - August 10, 2010 07:59 PM (GMT)
I have a house sparrow, about 8 weeks old. She has a habit of climbing all around her cage, and sticking her tail through the bars. Rubbing through the bars has caused her tail feathers to have an awful, ratty, frayed kind of look, and she can't fly in a straight line for very long or land/take off smoothly. Some of the feathers have been partly stripped; I think she has no idea what she's doing.
Has anyone else had a problem like this? Also, how can I introduce seeds into her diet? She's eaten mostly Kaytee Exact bird formula since she was a naked baby, and some dog food, baby food meats, and pureed fruits. About 5 days ago I started her on freeze-dried crickets too. Seeds seem like they'd be hard to eat though? Does she need grit to digest something like that? Since she's never seen a seed before I worry she'll start swallowing them whole (and I don't know if they're supposed to). Help is appreciated.
Broxandval - August 11, 2010 07:38 AM (GMT)
Yes grit is a must for all birds no matter what size and I'd introduce it soonest
Well done on saving a life but check on just exactly what they eat. :unsure:
Perhaps cuttle fish as well :unsure:
Here in the UK it's illegal to keep a wild bird in a cage so free it when it's fully fledged but give it a fighting chance by feeding it up well prior to the release thus giving it a head start in life. :)
Sorry though cant help you with the tail, unless you rease her in the house for a spell maybe that way you cancel the effects by lettying her roost but making sure she cant hurt herself and she know's you mean food so she'll come down and eat.
Did the same many years ago :lol: :lol: :lol:
We wish there were a lot more folks like you out there who have taken the time to help ceatures/critters in distress ribaward
broxandval Fishiedude Flowersmile Chickybaby
Ralph - August 11, 2010 04:26 PM (GMT)
Thanks for the reply. ^_^
In the U.S., house sparrows are not a native bird and are legal to keep as pets. Mine could never be released, much as I'd love for her to be free, she wouldn't know what to do and would come right up to a predator, trying to have a little chat. She is just too sweet and tame.
Robyn - August 11, 2010 06:46 PM (GMT)
House sparrows are considered a pest here in the US so the authorities don't care if you harm them or keep them caged. House sparrows remind me of humans. They will kill just for fun. This year, for some reason, there were no females around so the male would patrol the nest boxes and kill any eggs or babies (bluebirds and chickadees) in there just so he could stake them out. But, he never got to be a daddy this year.
House sparrows eat seeds, fruits, insects, etc. They do require grit. At the local feed store, you can get grit for baby chickens, or perhaps you can get grit for typical caged birds at pet stores. They usually break open the larger seeds like sunflowers but eat things like millet whole.
The sparrow needs a flight cage. If you don't want to buy one, you can make one. You'll want small cage spacing.
mugs - August 11, 2010 08:21 PM (GMT)
Sparrows are pretty much like any other bird when it comes to feeding. At this point now that she has all her feathers start adding seed to her diet. A good canary or even parakeet food is good. Or if you want get regular bird seed, but with few sunflower seeds. Sparrows toss that, as well as the corn kernels.
The rubbing is a stress reaction. Some birds will pull feathers out while others will rub against the bars of their cages or against the perches.
A neighbor of mine had a house sparrow for years. She had found it as a new hatchling and it never left. Not even when doors where open. It decided a large coffee cup was its nest and never was caged.
With it not being able to fly properly it won't survive in the wild. I had a parrot that I got with no feathers, a really young bird. Had Sammy for 22 years and she never did learn to fly, land or do much but walk around the house. I think what happens is that when we as humans become their parents and they are that young they associate us as the parents and just don't get the idea of flying.
Arey - August 11, 2010 11:20 PM (GMT)
|QUOTE (mugs @ Aug 11 2010, 03:21 PM)|
| I think what happens is that when we as humans become their parents and they are that young they associate us as the parents and just don't get the idea of flying.|
Probably eventually it will get the idea of flying. However, it will probably never get the idea of being a bird. In the case of the much despised house sparrow, never figuring out that it's a house sparrow should be very good for its self esteem. :D
Konrad Lorenz demonstrated years ago that birds can be imprinted upon hatching with the perception of who its parent is. He did it with ducklings. He was the first thing some ducklings saw upon hatching, and he provided their food. From then on the ducklings were imprinted with him. When he went out and walked around with adult ducks present, the ducklings followed him and ignored the adult ducks.
That is why nowadays people breeding endangered bird species go to great pains to make sure the birds don't see humans upon hatching. In the case of the American Condor the newly hatched condors are fed by a human who uses a condor hand puppet to feed the hatchlings. The condors can't see the human they see the condor hand puppet, so they never get imprinted with the idea that humans are their relatives.
Ralph - March 25, 2011 09:35 PM (GMT)
An update on my bird several months later: She has largely stopped sliding her tail through the cage bars. Seems like she figured out it was messing her tail up. The damaged feathers fell off and new ones grew back in just a few days.
I started her on seeds, but decided not to give her any grit. She seems to be doing very well that way. She cracks every seed open before she eats it so grit is unnecessary.