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Birding/Handfeeding a baby (wild) finch


Lisa wrote at 2006-07-24 05:15:59
Thank you! That website was very helpful.  My husband and I just spent a few minutes catching a baby finch that couldn't fly yet.  He was on the ground and our Chihuahua was trying to catch it.  The nest is in the eave of our house so we put it back in the nest.  After, I googled baby finches and was very glad to find this website so we would know what to do.  You were right, the parents were still in the area and have their little tyke back on the ground already - at least now we know that they finish rearing their young on the ground, so we will keep our Chihuahua out of their way!  Thanks again!

BuzGuy wrote at 2009-05-06 13:54:27
I would not pay any attention to this Roger character regarding the legality of raising your wild finch. He is a total jerk to suggest you release the baby because it will surely die in the wild. Do remember the compasionate park ranger that suggested you take it home to raise it. Once the bird reaches maturity you can release it in the wild which you surely should do. You will know the sex by color. If it is a goldfinch it the male will be bright yellow and the female will look like a sparrow in color. Males always have more colorful colorful plumage than females. Best wishes. You are obviously a comasionate and good person---don't forget to release the bird when it is old enough to fly -- give it a life because it will surely die in captivity witout a mate.


Roger wrote at 2015-01-20 05:09:08
Besides being illegal, raising a finch to maturity just assures it will not make it in the wild.


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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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