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Birding/House Sparrow Fledgling with a broken leg


My husband and I found a house sparrow fledgling with a broken leg- it seems that his leg broke and fused completely straight in the opposite direction. We were wondering what would be his chances of survival in the wild?

We would appreciate any advice that you can provide.


It would be unusual for the leg to heal that way but possible. It is also possible that a lack of Vitamin D in its diet as a nestling is responsible. Whatever the cause, its survival depends on how well it can get around. There are lots of birds doing fin on only one leg - I've seen at least dozens of examples. So leave him be and let nature take its course. But thanks for your concern.


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Roger Lederer


Any and all about WILD birds - the science of ornithology. Information about birdwatching, ecology, conservation, migration, behavior, banding, rehabilitation, feeding, songs, binoculars, identification, and careers in ornithology. No questions about pet or caged birds, please.


Have a PhD and over forty years as a professional ornithologist - research, teaching, author, speaker, webmaster of . Have written thirty scientific papers, three bird field guides, a textbook in ecology four other bird books, the latest being "Beaks, Bones, and Bird Songs". Have traveled to 100 countries watching birds and have spoken to hundreds of groups about birds.

PhD in Zoology/Ornithology; Emeritus Professor of Biological Sciences; former Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at California State University, Chico

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