Button the European Starling

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ServiceMini

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Hello everybody! I am starting this thread to document raising an orphaned European Starling (sadly their siblings were already 'gone' when I got to them). Sadly no rehabbers would take her in due to them being an invasive species. Luckily in NY it's legal to raise them, as long as you do not release them. In some other states it's mandatory to put them to sleep. I want to share as most people haven't been able to see one of these amazing birds grow up, and it's such a fast process.

7 Days Old (first got her)
1624459831468.png In this photo you can see how deep red her skin is. Deep red skin and skin that doesn't spring back but stays raised if you lightly pull it up behind their neck are both signs of serious dehydration. If you find babies who are making noise constantly, red, and whos skins don't go back into place quickly then it's a good idea to contact a rehabber.
1624460129343.png This is later the same day. You can see how much lighter they are. It's important to rehydrate them before feeding them. And to Never give them liquids, or anything too moist or they will asperate. I prefer using grapes, they have a high enough water content to rehydrate them enough for special starling food. At first I was feeding her roughly every 15 minnuets, then every 30 minnuets for the rest of the day. Her eyes were partly open, and tiered looking.

Day 8

1624460547746.png She is now able to stand and is eating every 30-45 minnuets. She now associates me with food, so when hungry she opens her mouth and chirps at me. She's able to stand now, and can wobble around better than she could yesterday. Her eyes are fully open and bright. She likes to sleep in my hand, and she'll grip me with her toes. She also moves in her sleep, tiny wing flaps and squeezing my fingers with her toes.

Day 9 (day making this post)

1624461035726.png Today she is bright and energetic. She prefers sleeping in my hand rather than her 'nest'. She is currently asleep in my hoodie. She knows my voice, and seems to enjoy watching videos with me. Whenever I speak, she'll start quietly peeping. When others speak, she is silent but turns to watch them. She prefers anybody holding her than her nest with her heating pad under it to keep it warm. When I can't hold her, she is in her bowl-nest. She only calms down when I put a tissue over it to block her view. She tried grooming herself for the first time today. I was lightly rubbing her wing, and she turned around to groom it. At first she didn't atually touch herself, but now that it's been a few hours, she atually takes hold of her pin-feathers and is working the covering off of her feathers.


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I hope that others here enjoy watching Button grow. :) I plan on posting updates up untill she starts talking (Starlings are known to be amazing talkers), or mimicking noises and has her adult feathers. Possibly other fun milestones like her learning to fly, or taking her first bath. :)
 

Taz

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That's wonderful!! When I was in the city I raised a few different baby birds that had fallen out of their nests and I couldn't get back in. They always spent their 'down time' in the gas oven where it was warm and dark so they would settle and go to sleep. I haven't had the problem since I moved out of the city, thanks for doing it 😊
 

Taz

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I had a chicken egg once that the mom had stopped sitting on when the others had hatched. I could hear the chick so took it home and kept it warm in the oven till it hatched then took him(?) back and he settled in with the rest. It's lots of fun watching them grow then fly off to have a life 😃
 

ServiceMini

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Day 10


1624580602033.png Today she is doing well! Late last night we had a scare when she aspirated a bit of her food, but today she's gotten that all cleared out and is breathing very well with no noise. She is getting better at grooming, and loves being gently brushed by a toothbrush(unused, lol), she's very itchy with all her feathers coming in! She now calls to me when I say her name a few times, and when I start talking after being quiet for awhile. She now sets herself up almost like an adult bird to groom her belly and will groom over her wings and under them, and has even tried grooming me and my hoodie. She has tried Mango, Grapes, and Pear. Her favorite is Mango so far, she had an entire one-inch cube that was chopped into little bite sized pieces. She managed to get out of her bowl/nest today, and was wandering around the box that I keep her bowl in. She has a mohawk of feathers down her back that are velvety soft.
 

ServiceMini

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Day 11


1624675901662.png What a change just a single day makes! Button has grown so much, and has so many more feathers! She's starting to hold her own heat now, and is doing such a good job sitting up to groom herself. Today she tried dried mealworms and cantaloupe, she loves the cantaloupe and tolerates the mealworms LOL. She is also much faster at moving around. She spins now to look at things, and does so quickly. She is already so much faster then my chickens or doves were!
 

ServiceMini

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Day 12


1624752530786.png
Today Button is 12 days old! She has so many more feathers, played in the grass, and has mastered escaping her bowl-nest to try finding me. She has also learned a new sound, a chirp instead of a peep. She does it when she sees someone moving around, or when she's looking for me. She enjoys chattering to herself or with me when I talk to her, even when she isn't hungry, compared to wild chicks who are silent unless eating. She is very curious about everything around her.
 
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