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About that Baby Cardinal.......

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
Remember the little guy I rescued 2 weeks ago? He's growing and thriving, so much so that the last couple of days he's tried to make the 'great escape'.
I have him in a clear plastic storage tub, about 16"x10"x8", with a piece of small mesh fencing on top. Naturally, I have to open the top to feed him (but one end is always attached, so the top isn't completely open). He's flying in that container, and when I fed him a few minutes ago he almost got out of it! I'm still hand-feeding him about 75% of what he's eating (and boy, is he eating!). I know he isn't ready to be on his own yet, as I'm sure he'd starve. He does peck food off the bottom of his cage sometimes, but then gives up and begs to be fed.
Does anyone have any idea as to how much longer I should try to keep him contained? Do I just let him go and hope for the best? I don't want the little fella to have come this far just to be let go and then starve. There's lots of food in our yard plus shelter, bird bath, etc. I don't want to do this too soon. Help!
post #2 of 8
Here is a link to wildlife rehab by state

I would give the rep in your area a call and see what they say- or your vet
If they tell you to release it, just put a feeder ot two and a birdbath out for it

I'm so glad to hear he is doing so well you've done a marvelous job
post #3 of 8
It's way past time to let him go. Babies ordinarily are out of the nest as soon as the feathers come in. Let him go.
post #4 of 8
Originally Posted by pee-cleaner View Post
It's way past time to let him go. Babies ordinarily are out of the nest as soon as the feathers come in. Let him go.

They're out of the nest, but the parents still feed them. I see this all the time at my home.
I don't think, just because the feathers are in and he/she can fly, that it's time for survival on his own.
Consulting with a wildlife re-hab is the best way to go.
post #5 of 8
Wow! You`ve done a great job with him!

I don`t know what you should do next though with the right advice I`m sure things will go well.

Well done you!
post #6 of 8
I'm sorry to say that I didn't open your previous post about this little guy because wild birds so rarely survive in captivity, and I didn't want to be heartbroken when he didn't make it. But look what an amazing job you've done! You must be so proud of him!
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
You must be so proud of him!
Yeah, I guess I am. I've done the unthinkable and given him a name--Elliot. And when I feed him 4,000 times a day I tell him what a good boy he is and call him sweetie.
I hate to admit I'm something of a control freak, and the thought of just letting him go and not knowing what happens to him is something I'm finding really difficult. More and more he's asking me to put him food on the floor of his crate and he tries to feed himself. It's strange, but I can tell what he wants by the noises he makes and the way he holds his head. (I know, you all probably think I'm a few bricks short of a load right now) But it's true; he has little habits and I've spent enough time with him (boy, have I!) that I know him pretty well.
I emailed a rehabber here in Illinois for some advice, but haven't heard back from them. I'll probably try a couple more just to get their opinion. As I said before, I know he's not ready to feed himself yet, but he's getting there.
Thanks for all the good wishes for my baby.

BTW, I've tried this link all weekend
and haven't been able to get anything but the first page.
post #8 of 8
Ideally, he should be in a "flight cage" right now for some experience with flight and searching for food. The longer he's kept in a box, the worse it will be for him. It's common for parents to look after young even if they've been handled by humans. Birds of different SPECIES will also look after young who are not their own.

I strongly suggest you start the day by trying to get him to a rehabbers or contact one for advice. I have a phone number of one here in TX who would be glad to advise you. PM me and I will give you the number. They've advised me on many occasions and their advice is always right on.

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