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S. August Abbott, CAS
S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7328
Experience:  Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
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Sparrow in my yard got tangle and lost almost all its tail

Resolved Question:

Sparrow in my yard got tangle and lost almost all it's tail feathers. Is it safe for me to release the bird on it's own
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.
I'm glad you asked this question and that you're responsible enough to know a wild bird should, whenever possible, remain wild.

This is one of those few instances that the bird needs your protection and professional intervention quickly.

So, for right now let's set up a brooder box for intensive care:
Get the bird in a safe, enclosed, secure environment where movement is limited for their own safety and comfort. You'll want a brooder box. This is a sort of ‘intensive care unit' at home.
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For a makeshift brooder, use a small box lined with soft clothes like tee shirts.
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Use a thick, clean sock and fill it ¾ with plain, raw white rice. Knot the end and microwave it for about 1 ½ minutes. Shake it afterwards to distribute the heat and be sure it's not too hot. Tuck this in just under the cloths.
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A heating pad under one half of the box is also helpful, set on low. This is one of the few times I’d ever use both heat sources if necessary to maintain incubation temp (90-105 degrees).
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If ever using an electric source for heating anything in anyway, please be vigilant and constantly double checking carefully.
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Gently drape a light cover over this box to further help hold heat in and keep light low.
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For right now, until you find the right place for this needy one, provide a fresh water source and comfort or protection. That’s it. The less interaction the better.


Here are resources that should provide help, including sending someone out to you if you can’t or shouldn’t do the transport yourself.



http://www.ccwr.org/resources/carehab.htm

http://www.csub.edu/fact/California_rehabilitators.htm

http://www.ibrrc.org/

Keep up the good work and thank you for having such a good heart


Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The bird doesn't seem to need any intensive care. It's wings and legs are fine. The brooder box? For how long?

Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.
"Intensive Care" is really just a name for the brooder box to keep the little fellow safe and calm. This is certainly a stressful situation for him and in a tiny wild bird like this stress can be more damaging than the tail feather loss.

Without the tailfeathers flight will be seriously impaired and make him suseptible to predators, even other birds

Keep him in his brooder box until a wildlife rescuer picks him up or until you know where he can be taken for care

A rescue/rehabber is trained in what to do and they work under the guidance of a wildlife experienced avian vet. The bird will be protected, safe and medicated as necessary to stave off infections or treat any pain he might be in (they are trained to signs of pain whereas most lay persons have no way of knowing) - until the feathers are back and he can be set free again

S. August Abbott, CAS, Certified Avian Specialist
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 7328
Experience: Cert. Avian Specialist; Int. Assoc.Animal Behavior Consult; Pet Ind. Joint Advisory Council; author
S. August Abbott, CAS and other Bird Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  S. August Abbott, CAS replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

S. August Abbott, CAS

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