A fledgling robin has feathers but they have not fully developed the ability of flight. The bird has only begun to learn to leave the nest by hopping from branch to branch with the close observation of its parents. The fledgling robin's parents will continue to feed it until it has learnt how to competently fly. If you find a fledgling bird on the ground, watch it closely. Normally the parents do not leave the young bird alone for longer than 30 minutes. If the fledgling continues to chirp for its parents in vain over an extended time period, consider intervening to care for the young bird.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Moist, beef dog food
- Eye dropper
Gather earthworms or feed moist, beef dog food. Cut the earthworm into small segments so they do not choke the bird. The segments should fit easily into the robin's mouth. Consider feeding the young bird pieces of berries, such as strawberries or raspberries. The fledgling robin will also enjoy an occasional mealworm from a commercial pet store.
Feed the fledgling robin every hour during the daylight. The bird does not need to be fed once the sun goes down. Stick the piece of earthworm or small amount of moist dog food on the end of a toothpick. Hold the food in front and slightly above the fledgling robin. Do not touch the bird. The young bird will usually lunge upward, toward the food. Allow the young bird to grasp the food and jerk it from the toothpick. Feed the robin as much as it will eat each time. When the young bird no longer lunges for the food, cease feeding it for an hour.
Place two or three drops of water into the bird's beak after feeding it. Use an eyedropper to gently drip the water into the bird's mouth. Never squirt the water or the bird may choke.
Keep the young fledgling robin in a box outside. As the bird grows, it will leave the box to go into the world. The bird will return when it requires food until fully fledged.
Tips and warnings
- Try to locate the fledgling's nest in the tree's canopy. Upon locating the nest, return the fledgling robin to it. The parents will not turn their back on the young bird, even if a human has handled it.
- Use a towel to catch a fledgling robin that continues to bounce across the grass. Drop the towel over the top of the bird and gently grasp it so you can place it safely into a cardboard box.
- Only undertake the task of raising a robin fledgling if the parents have died or the baby bird has truly suffered total abandonment.
- Handle the fledgling bird gently. Grasp it around the wings so they do not flap, and lift it up. Place it into a cardboard box.
- Never set the box with the fledgling robin in direct sunlight or the bird may suffer a heat stroke.
- Never get water into the fledgling robin's nostrils.
- Always keep the young robin fledgling away from dogs and cats.
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