Found a Starling?
Here's what you'll need to know to provide the proper care for the little guy...


  How do I know this is a Starling?
  OK, so what do I need to do first?
  What should I feed as a regular diet?
  How do I find a rehabber or an Avian Vet?
  Do Starlings make good pets?
  Great links to more good info about Starlings



How do I know this is a Starling?

A Starling is a brown (juvenile) or black (with "stars") short tailed bird with a distinctive beak. Babies will have a huge bright yellow beak, a fledgling will have a more proportional and more slender beak with some of that bright yellow remaining, and adults have a long pointed beak that is dark(but will turn yellow when they are in breeding condition). The photos on this page show some of the growth stages.
(First 4 baby pictures courtesy of John & Veda VanHorn)











OK, so what do I need to do first?

This information is intended for short term, emergency care only. Please contact a professional as soon as possible for more detailed instructions or to obtain more information about feeding and care if you intend to keep the bird as a pet or to raise and release him.

Check the bird for injury, look for broken limbs or open wounds. Stabilize the injured limbs and stop any bleeding. If the baby has had ANY contact at all with a cat, dog, or other mammal, he needs immediate antibiotics. Contact your local avian vet or wildlife rehabilitation center as soon as possible! See the links below.

Keep him warm - you may use a covered (with a towel) cardboard box, lined with paper towels like a nest, placed on top of a heating pad on LOW. If you have several babies, they will keep each other warm without additional heat, but single babies MUST have heat if they have little or no feathers. Fully feathered (but not ready to be released) juveniles do not need additional heat, but if in doubt as to the age - provide the low heat.

Give him some water immediately when you first find him - put it on the top of his beak, not in his mouth.

Emergency food can be bits of soaked dry dog food, canned dog food, cooked chicken or turkey, tuna, or hard boiled egg. Unfeathered baby birds need to be fed often (about every 20-30 minutes during daylight hours), older birds can go longer between feedings.





What should I feed as a regular diet?


For a regular diet the following is a good example:

Basic Dog Food Mixture
(made with dry dog food)

2 cups dry dog food*
1/2 cup of poultry mash (or baby cereal)
1/4 cup of applesauce
2 tablespoons of mashed hard boiled egg
Avian vitamins (follow dosage on pkg.)
Enough water to cover the dry ingredients

Soak dog food and poultry mash until soggy, pour off excess water, then mix together with egg and applesauce.

*Suggested brands of food/what to look for on the label...And do check that the first ingredient listed is chicken...
Good Suggestions:
Dry Dog food: Purina Senior One (approx. 28% protein 12% fat) , Innova Dry Puppy Food (approx. 26% protein 12% fat)
Dry Cat food: Chicken Soup for the Cat Lovers Soul Adult Light (approx. 36% protein 9% fat)





How do I find a rehabber or an Avian Vet?


Find a rehabber in your area

Find an Avian Vet in your area (bird specialist)



Do Starlings make good pets?

First, lets start by stating that the best place for a wild Starling is in the wild. However, there are situations where that is no longer possible. So with that said...

Starlings make GREAT pets! But they require a long serious and commitment. They need proper food, housing and care. And LOTS of love!





Great links to more good info about Starlings - good info and links. The FIRST place you need to go.

Doodah's Page - Doodah's family, GREAT information on care is always available, just ask!

Yahoo! Groups PetStarlings - Nice friendly people, stop in and chat!

StarlingChat - A home for Starling families



We are not licensed rehabilitators nor veterinarians. We do not claim to be experts on the care of Starlings. Use our suggestions at your own discretion, and please contact a professional for additional assistance.

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