Birds are naturally 102 to 104 degrees temperature.
Naked, baby, and injured birds require a constant source of heat.
Various heating sources can be: a heating pad set to low, a heat lamp, incandescent light bulb, a sock filled with rice and put in the microwave, hand warmers, hot water bottle, as a last resort use a tight jar filled with Hot water.
Place a paper towel over it so the baby can get warmth and not get burned. Babies should be placed on layers of tissue so you can remove tissues as they are soiled.
Watch and feel to be sure the baby bird does not get too hot. Feel the underside; the belly should feel nice and warm. If the bird is panting, it's probably too warm. If the bird feels cold or cool to the touch increase the heat source for a while but stay alert.
No additional water need be given. There is enough moisture in the formula and giving water may cause choking.
Place a heaping teaspoon of powdered baby bird food in a container (Harrison Juvenile Hand Feeding Mix works well. Purchase at pet store or veterinarianís office. This mix is formulated for seed eaters.) Add very hot water and mix well. The food should be liquid but not too watery. It thickens some in a few minutes.
If the beak is pointier then you probably have a Mejiro (tiny w/greenish feathers), Bulbul (brown, medium size) or Mynah (big w/yellow beak). In that case use the following formula:
BABY BIRD FOOD for Mejiro, Bulbul or Mynah
(insect/fruit eaters: These birds won't do well on the straight Harrisons mix)
1/2 teaspoon Baby bird starter food (mixed with warm water)
1 Tablespoon Human baby food VEAL
1 Tablespoon Human baby food FRUITS (Mango/Kiwi, etc.)
one Egg yolk; cooked and crumbled
Add fresh fruit juice to dilute
MIX ALL TOGETHER and REFRIGERATE
Suck some up in the eyedropper used to feed the babies. Run under warm water to warm it before feeding. Also, you can stab the dropper into fresh fruit to get a chunk of fruit to go along with the formula listed above.
You may use a syringe, eyedropper or medicine dropper. These can be purchased at Longs or the veterinarianís office or the pet store.
The food needs to be thick, but thin enough to suck up with the feeding tip. If you are giving freshly made food, suck it up in the syringe or eyedropper, wait a few minutes before feeding so it cools to room temp.
Store the container of mixed food in the refrigerator. Throw the food away at the end of the day and wash and rinse the container in hot water. Wash the syringe or eyedropper with HOT water before each re-filling so no bacteria gets in the container of mixed food. Warm the food to room temperature before feeding by holding it in your hand or run under warm water.
Teach the little bird to open its mouth by making a certain sound each time you want to feed it.
Have the syringe/eyedropper ready (filled, at room temp and in your hand) BEFORE you make the sound.
Only make the sound when you want to feed. This is called conditioning.
When you first start training the bird to open its' mouth, try these techniques:
1. Open the container and the mouth will open (the parent has arrived).
2. Wave your hand over the bird once to simulate the parent returning to the nest... the mouth will open.
3. Lightly jiggle the edge of the "nest" to simulate the parents' arrival.
4. Pet the bird to simulate movement/competition with siblings for food.
Gently and quickly insert the feeding tip into the mouth and press slowly and steadily until the food starts to come out. Not too much. If you give too much the mouth will overflow and then the feathers get sticky. Wipe up with a Kleenex. Give her a little time to swallow, and then do it again until her crop is full. The crop is the sack under her chin on the front of her chest. Usually the baby will keep opening its' mouth until it is full. Happiness is a full crop. Feed again when the crop is empty, or the cries become repetitive. After feeding, wipe her beak and surrounding feathers while the food is wet, so it doesn't cake. If there is food on her head, wings, etc. you can roll it clean with a Q-tip and warm water.
Feed her throughout the daylight hours. As you get used to each other the feedings will be bigger (the crop will fill up) and there will be more time between feedings.
Cover her carrier at night so she can have darkness and rest. Have the heating pad on low for the night.
Like all babies she thrives on touch. At least once during the day or evening put some tissue on your lap and put her there and cover her with your hand. She'll move around and maybe preen while she is there. She may sleep. It warms her and warms her heart.
Change the tissues each time she soils. If there is caked-on soil, use warm water and a Q-tip and roll it on the dirty feathers until it's clean. Make sure she stays warm.