Baby Bird Season this year has probably been the craziest yet. I currently have a nursery of baby corvids that are feed on demand – this includes lots of baby crows, magpies, rooks and a little baby jay. These are my absolute favourite to raise but they are a huge commitment – feeds can’t really be timed because they pretty much shout for food whenever they feel hungry and sometimes you are chasing around with a bowl of food and lots of wide open beaks aimd at you.
The sad part is that there are alot of disabled or long-term babies coming in too. Crow babies often have something called White Wing. This is a deficiency and leads to a lot of white, brittle feathers. These crows aren’t really releasable until after at least their first moult and can be with you for well over 12 months. This means they are a huge commitment and some rescues do choose to euthanise these birds rather than raise them due to the time, space and expense issues associated with them. This is not a judgement in any way – a lot of times rescues have to weigh up how they can do the most good and the best way they can spend the money they have.
We are a small rescue and we provide a sanctuary as well as a rehabilitation space so we do raise babies with disabilities and deficiencies as long as we know they have a good quality of life. Most of you will know I have Franklyn the Super Crow who is blind and has his own Facebook page. I successfully taught Franklyn how to locate food in his cage and he plays, sings, baths and has a lot of interaction to keep him from getting bored. I believe he has a good quality of life and he has been subject to vet checks to ensure I’m not missing anything.
At this busy time of year it’s not just a case of raising healthy babies – which is time-consuming in itself – but also of looking after the disabled and long-term infants that come in. Some of the babies have been thrown from the nest due to illness or are injured, and sadly don’t make it – a horrible side to rescue that is hard to prepare for.
We are writing up foster packs and I wish I’d started these sooner. I don’t want to throw anyone in the deep end so these packs will be essential sources of information for anyone who wants to foster with us. I have a lot of e-mails of people interested and I will be getting in touch with everyone as soon as the craziness subsides. I work full-time as well as running the rescue and being a carer for my sister so it’s all go at the moment and I’m not purposefully ignoring anyone I promise.
Below is a little guest post from two of our current fosterers who have been an absolute God send to me this year.
“We needed help when we found an injured bird in our garden and were directed to Every Feather and Wildlife Rescue. Steph checked the Blackbird then gave us advice, food and medicine to try and help it. Unfortunately the poor little baby did not survive despite Steph doing her upmost to save it.
A little while later, knowing we now had a spare cage we were asked if we would like to foster. Several cages later (£10 ones from Pets at Home) we are now fostering 3 Magpies, 2 Jackdaws and a Crow with full help and support from Every Feather and Wildlife rescue. Despite losing two young Magpies (sadly died) the other beautiful birds we have are all thriving and have provided us with much entertainment and amusement. We would not have had the confidence to foster if it wasn’t for the full support and encouragement of Steph and her team. No question is ever left unanswered and they are always quick to respond.I have already recommended Every Feather to others needing help with injured/orphaned birds and would not hesitate to recommend this amazing team in the future.”
Sonia and Peter Griffin