My Cedar Waxwing Larry

by Linda
(Michigan)

As I type this story, my cedar waxwing, Larry sits happily on my head. I stick my finger up there every 15-20 minutes so he will hop up on it and I can bring him down to poop in a napkin.


I wonder if this story will ever make it online because I disagree somewhat with your article on baby birds.

I am not a rehabilitator, I am a stay at home mom who loves animals. I have taken in dozens and dozens of baby animals birds, rabbits, squirels and groundhogs.

They have all been able to go off on their own at some point. Your question "what should you do if you find a baby bird that appears to be a fledgling (a baby that has left the nest, but is not yet able to care for itself?)"

I believe you should always take the bird in and care for it. This will only be for a short period of time as the bird is in its final stage of dependence.

While it is certainly true that the nest can be a dangerous place for a baby bird, so can the ground! Most do not make it through this last stage.

Cats, dogs, lawnmowers and feet can be the death of these helpless animals. They sit quietly during this time so that they remain unseen.

Yes their parents continue to feed them but are unable to protect them. The computer is a wonderful tool and it is remarkably easy to search out information on your baby bird to ensure you are feeding it properly.

If the baby bird is gaping to you (opening its mouth wide, begging to be fed) and you are feeding it corectly (the right food, often enough) the bird will not become stressed.

Indications of stress include the bird refusing to eat and or closing its eyes. The baby bird should be kept in a margarine container that is lined with a clean cloth (this will have to be changed often).

Yes it is small and cramped but that is what it was used to. The bird should be allowed to practice its flying every day in a room where it cannot hurt itself.

I find a bathroom without a window to be best.

Birds can and will fly into windows and could injure themselves. Giving baby birds this extra time to grow and develop gives them a better chance at making it in a world that is full of dangers.

Adult birds spend little time on the ground (except for robins of course) because the ground is a dangerous place.

My cedar waxwing, Larry is very happy and nonstressed I assure you. I can't see him right now (because he is sitting on my head) but I'd guess he is preening himself, which he spends alot of time doing, he is pulling his feathers free of the little tube like shafts they come down from.

Larry is already a good flyer, but he still lands on the ground a lot and is not feeding himself yet.

I believe I'll have him for another 2 weeks, the last of which I will have him in a covered flight cage outside during the day so he can get used to the sights and sounds of his future environment.

Larry was brought to me by a lady who found him trying to hide at the base of the tree he was probably born in.

His parents were probably nearby, the problem is that this tree was located in the yard of a Dairy Queen and was a favorite place for children to sit and play while enjoying their ice cream.

Larry would have been stepped on for sure! This way, he will be released in my yard where I may still have a relationship with him as I do with a starling and a sparrow who still land on my head and beg for food.(I raised them 2 summers ago)

Birds do have memory capabilities and I believe they stop by to say Hi. I also have wild cottontail rabbits that I can feed by hand because they remember being raised by me.

Does being this "tame" put the animals in danger? No! They are still afraid of dogs, cats, lawnmowers and other people.

In fact when I "show" my animals to visitors, they have to watch me interact with them through my windows or the animals would run or fly away.

Is helping baby animals ever a mistake? If you put a little effort into making sure you know what kind of animal you have and what its needs are, the answer is no! note: Larry just flew down on his own to gape to me for another thin slice of cherry.

Cherries are $7.00 per pound near my home now, but I'll buy him all he needs and will continue to feed him some when he is free if he wants.

Larry also enjoys blueberries, flies (fed to him with my eyebrow plucker) and mealworms. The first week I had him, he was also fed baby bird food designed for parrets for extra nutrition.

Cedar waxwings are very social birds and since I am his family right now, I have to break it to you, he loves to be petted, as did my starlings and all my many sparrows!

Cedar waxwings (and other birds) love to bathe so put a shallow bowl of fresh water in their cage everyday.

Administrator Replies

It's nice that it all worked out well for you and the birds and animals that you've taken in. Unfortunately, for every one you may have saved, thousands have died due to someones kindness and lack of knowledge.

Yes, you can go online and find information. You can also find misinformation on caring for wildlife. Not everyone can tell what type of bird they've found. This makes a difference. Not every bird is a waxwing.

We receive many emails from young and old alike who've found baby birds and have no idea what to do. These well meaning people end up drowning the birds by trying to get them to drink.

We still recommend placing any found wild bird in the hands of a licensed rehabber. These individuals know exactly what to do in order to return the bird back into the wild.

Rehabbers are some of the best people out there. They've gone through the effort to get licensed and more often than not volunteer their services.

You sound like someone who might make a great rehabber.

I might add one last point:

It's still illegal to be in possession of Larry.

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Jul 28, 2016
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Helping...or not?
by: Sally

We found two cedar waxwing babies a few days short of fledging that had been dumped from their nest by a terrific storm that went through our area. Long story short, we brought them to a rehabber, then spotted the mom and found her nest, got them back from the rehabber later that day and put them in the nest. We saw mom then going to and from the nest area to feed them. Then one of the fledglings a few days later found its way into our garage, and mom was in there too when I opened the door in the morning. It seemed best to shoo them both out of there since it isn't a very safe place and we couldn't leave the door open all the time.

I'm glad we helped get them back to their nest but I think we did the right thing not keeping and feeding them, for two reasons. One, I would imagine the mom really has to be upset to have her babies "kidnapped" by us and it has to be pretty stressful for her. Two, with Larry as example, yes she survived and may appear happy, but what about her lost opportunities to have broods of her own? Possibly roping off the tree or putting up a sign asking people to keep a distance while young birds are fledging might be a better idea.

Jul 26, 2016
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On the branches is best
by: Gene

The adults are probably still around and feeding. As long as it is not on the ground things should be fine.

Jul 25, 2016
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Waxwing on motorcycle
by: Nat

As I came home from work, I was very surprised to see a baby cedar waxwing (my favorite bird) sitting on my motorcycle. I picked him up, fed him a few blueberries, and put him outside on a branch. He seems to hop and flutter from branch to branch fine, but I'm not sure if he is capable of flying yet. Should I keep him for the night or let him do his own thing?

Jul 15, 2016
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Update on Larry!
by: Linda Cull

I want to update you all. Larry is still alive! I wish you could see her. She's very happy. She really could not be released. She is imprinted.

We have a roof over out backyard deck and often I will put her in the smaller travel cage and sit it next to me while I read. She mostly ignores other birds and just flirts with me. Waxwings do their mate bonding by turning to the side and sticking their chests out while looking you in the eyes lol.

She's happy and healthy. I recently had a baby duck given to me by someone who found it. I knew I couldn't take it, as I have no outside water on my property. When I was at the nature center, I saw a Cedar Waxwing in a cage.

It was shaking and it's beautiful feathers looked horrible. I asked about it. The woman told me it couldn't be released and it was "quite old" as if that explained it's ragged feathers. She said it must be around 5 years old. I was heart broken for it. Larry is SEVEN years old. She's beautiful! She does not shake. Her feathers are perfect.

I told the woman the bird should be out of the cage as much as possible. I asked if it wouldn't sit on her head or the back of the computer screen while she worked. She seemed shocked at the suggestion and said a short "no" I felt quite stressed about leaving the baby duck there. I had already surrendered it to them.

I cried on the way home. Animals that can not be released must have exercise outside of the cage. They should sleep in their cage but need hours of bonding time.

Larry will sit on the back of anyone in the houses collar. Guests are always charmed by this. Until she poops on them lol.God luck to all you fellow bird lovers. God bless!

Jul 13, 2016
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

I found a fledgling Cedar Waxwing in the middle of a busy street today..as I picked him up and brought him to a tree his mother swooped down and began flying around me..I quickly Googled what to do and read your article and decided to leave him alone under the tree...your article was excellent. Thank you for your help.

Jul 02, 2016
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

My daughter found a fedgling cedar waxwing yesterday in my strawberry net who was injured on his wing. He can not fly. After being cut out of the net I set him outside in a laundry basket with a home made nest in a tub and a cloth towel... mom came back every half hour to feed him.

I took him in next to my slider all night and locked my cat up. He slept. I took him back out this morning and mom is back again. Hope he makes it. I have meal worms and didn't know if he could wait them or just berries I see his mom feeding him.

He has been eating blue berries out of my hand and a fly but I didn't read anything on meal worms. Thank you

Mar 17, 2016
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Oh Please
by: Anonymous

Linda,

I congratulate you for doing something by learning yourself instead of relying on "experts" to do everything for you. We have become a nation of complete imbeciles, reliant on over-educated know-it-alls.

My experience, by the way, with the "experts" at a very highly regarded, NY institution, which seems to have become the preeminent final authority on just about everything having to do with the natural world in general, and gardening in particular, had very little in the way of answers for me, a novice gardener.

In fact, whenever I asked, what seemed to me to be pretty basic lines of inquiry, the "experts" there had usually never even considered those lines of thought.

Keep up your amazingly effective pursuit of animal and bird rescue and please do share it with your friends, family, neighbors, and even those of us outside your "circle". It made my day!

Jan 04, 2016
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.. Don't go by your 'belief', go by the facts
by: Sean

... I also just realized the writer of this article says she 'believes' you should always take in a fledgling bird.

That is why I recommend you all send your inquiry to cornell university ornithology dept. They will tell you many times it is the worst thing to take a fledgling from the ground. You think you are helping, but you may not be.

Don't go by what you 'believe', go by the facts that experts who study all things bird, and bird behavior know to be fact.

If the bird is not in immediate danger, and especially if the parents are still watching/ feeding it, then it is fine! It did not 'fall' from the nest, and if you take it in and try to raise it you are putting it at a huge disadvantage for long term survival in the wild.

This is not my feeling, it's a confimed fact.

Please, if you love birds, think of them first.

Thank you to the people who help when it is needed, but please be educated on when it is not!:)

Jan 04, 2016
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Please be careful when 'rescuing'
by: Sean

I see a lot of 'fledglings' are being rescued and wanted to share some info. If you contact cornell university's ornithology department they will tell you to NEVER take a fledgling bird unless it is immediate danger, ie: the cat or dog pool etc. this isn't accusatory, just giving you guys info.

Many birds have fledglings that leave the nest up to a week or more before they are able to fly.

The parents watch over the fledgling, feeding it and swooping around it for protection. This is the case with crows, not sure with waxwings.

Where I live, (Santa Ynez, CA) people mistakenly kidnap baby crows thinking they are rescuing them all the time.

So if the parents are around and the bird isn't in immediate danger, Dont interfere! It is traumatizing to the parents to have their perfectly healthy baby 'kidnapped' by a well- meaning human.

Obviously many of these stories needed human intervention, but thought I would share this as it was news to me when I heard it!:)

Dec 23, 2015
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Cedar Waxwing Fledging
by: Charly Mann

I found a fledgling about a week ago in Northeast Oklahoma. All the waxwings have left my area, and probably will not be back till mid April when my mulberry tree will be in bloom.

The waxwing is now in a large room with a floor to ceiling window of the backwoods. She has a very large flight cage that is usually left open. She eats lots of blackberries, raspberries, and oranges - sliced in quarters.

I have cared for many birds, and she is the smartest I have ever encountered. She likes to eat out my hand - flies next close by when I come in the room, and often sits beside me on a pillow when I come to read in the room.

There are two pet parakeets in another cage nearby that also are usually out, and they all seem to enjoy each others company.

When the waxwings return this Spring I will allow her to go out and eat with them, and I suspect she will become part of that flock.

Oct 01, 2015
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Help!
by: Deanne

My baby waxwing which is around four weeks old is losing his feathers around his neck, can anyone tell me what to do please, love this little bird and I want to let him back in the wild before it gets to cold, I live in north Massachusetts, please email if you want, thank you,
Deanne. ngall027@comcast. net

Sep 08, 2015
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Our cedar waxwing rescue story
by: Anonymous

I wanna thank everyone that posted on this blog for their very valuable stories and advises, which helped us in taking care of our little cedar waxwing.

My husband rescued "Chirpie" 8 days ago from a certain death - he was helpless on the ground while the neighborhood cat was roaming around looking for food. He jumped on my husband's finger and came into our house like it was very normal.

We built him a house and fed him all kinds of berries - strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and especially blueberries, which he loved. In the last days we had him we gave him fresh figs, and he devoured them.

He would eat every 20 minutes and seemed hungry all the time. Also, we caught all kinds of bugs from outside and he couldn't have enough.

During the day he was flying in our living room (although we had to force him to fly at the beginning) and at night we kept him in our bathroom, were he would also practice on the curtain rod.

We tried to get him used to eating by himself and spread berries on branches of blue spruce for him to find them. He was thriving and growing fast and he changed all his yellow tail feathers in one week, growing new ones.

Yesterday we decided to take him outside for a flying lesson, aware that he might take off....which he did. He flew a long distance to a tree and after that he flew again. We stayed and watched him for an hour, calling his name but he would not come down.

This morning we went back to make sure he's ok and he was in the same tree chirping away. The good thing was, there were a lot of other cedar waxwings around and after a while he took off with one of his new friends.

He integrated quickly and was back in his element, which made us very happy.

This was one of the most rewarding experience ever and it was a delight to take care of this gorgeous, intelligent and very adaptable little bird.

Aug 31, 2015
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All is well here.....
by: Anonymous

Bomby flew off with friends and he is back on track....

Aug 31, 2015
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Proper way to rehab
by: Anonymous

If you have questions, or experience doubt, the best thing to ultimately do, is to call your closest local wildlife rehab and rescue center, or at least do some research online or on their website until you come in contact with a rehabber. It's NOT ok to turn any wild animal you find, into a pet. It's very illegal, and not in the best interest of the animal.

Aug 31, 2015
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reply re Bomby and your guest
by: Anonymous

Please give me your email and I will reach out to you.
Where are you located? How long have you had your bird?

Aug 30, 2015
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Larry the waxwing
by: Christy

I would love to chat with you about one I am taking care of right now but am hoping to let him go soon. Is there a way for us to talk? Your story inspired me because we really did play the waiting game to see if anyone would feed him, and he sat for 6 hours with nothing! If you are still on here let me know and I will get you my email or cell number.

Aug 24, 2015
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Bomby
by: Anonymous

Has anyone seen any cedar waxwings in the Fox River Grove/ Cary IL area.

I rescued "Bomby" 3 weeks ago and he is doing excellent.
He has a healthy appetite and eats 10-15 crickets a day plus, blueberries, mulberries, raisins, cactus fruit, cherry's and even a little bird seed. At night and during the day he fly's around out side in the many huge tree's in my yard and when I call him he comes back in eats then sits in "his" tree in the house.

He looks out two big windows and feels like he is outside I'm sure ( since only the screen is the barrier). He is totally precious and I love him.

I just found the perfect brand new cage for him at garage sale but have yet to put him in. Freedom for him is key! I will have to use cage this weekend as I will be gone for at least 8 hours and I don't want him to be too hungry.

He has found his own food, however, I know because he pooped out some hard seeds ( i have given him NO seeds). So he will be going for his 4th ride in the car so we can keep up the feeding routine.

Its all been so amazing but it is so very time consuming!! finding crickets in the yard....I now buy crickets at the pet store.
Good thing I work from home so I can care for him. I would like to find him some friends tho.....Again I am in the Cary /Fox River Grove area

Aug 03, 2015
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When can I release a cedar waxwing?
by: Jennifer

I found a cedar waxwing on the ground, he couldn't fly, I watched him all day, he fell into my dogs swimming pool, so I got him out. then a couple of hours later a cat tried to pounce him. I know have him inside until he can fly well and wants to eat on his own. Does anyone have a picture of what they look like when they should be able to be released? my email is 1jenniferwatson@ gmail.com.

Jul 18, 2015
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Thank you
by: Anonymous

Just found two in my driveway. I kept an eye on them most of the morning, saw no parents. When they moved toward the street and were in the sun on this 90 degree day, I finally stepped in. They were peeping and opening their mouths, so I gave them a crushed cherry with a dab of moist cat food. They ate with gusto. I have them in a huge open top pen under the tree where I saw mom and dad hang out, safe from daytime cats, but easy access for mom and dad. If the parents do not show up, I will take over. Will keep them fed and hydrated in the meantime.

Jul 04, 2015
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commendable
by: Anonymous

Good for you!
I commend your compassion and efforts. People seem to get very bent out of shape over the topic of raising wild birds I had a similar situation with a robin fledgling that I rescued from a group of children that were poking it with sticks.

The bird's mom and dad were swooping overhead, but the children were going to end up harming or killing it, so I took the baby home with me.

When I went to online forums looking for info and advice, I was berated with comments about how I did the wrong thing. In the end, I learned on my own and raised Jasper to successfully release him into the wild. He left when he was ready.

I'm glad you wrote of your experience so that others might not feel so alone and discouraged when they rescue a baby animal.

Apr 16, 2015
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caution
by: Anonymous

If it was a fledgling, you should have placed him out of harms way and left him alone. More than likely, his parents were nearby or out gathering food. Placing him in a secure spot, would have been well enough. Fledglings are capable of survival out of the nest, while nestlings are not. Also, provide a source of protein and calcium such as waxworms or mealworms, or hard boiled egg. You can also mix that with bird formula. Berries alone, are not enough.

Apr 16, 2015
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Excellent Info!
by: Anonymous

I just returned from lunch to find a "fledgling" cedar waxwing on my stoop. He didn't flinch when I was only 1 foot away taking a picture so I tried leaving him alone.

Then I remembered...there was a conference next to my office and about to be over! He could have (and probably would have) been trampled over. I placed him gently in a box with him not even getting upset.

I will pick up blueberries and blackberries from my mom on the way home. Thank you for the article!

Sep 20, 2014
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agreed
by: Anonymous

I agree. A bit of care, effort, time, and common sense can mean the difference between life death for these little fledglings.

I had zero experience caring for wild birds until a few days ago. But when I arrived home one night and found a terrified and nearly motionless baby bird sitting in the middle of my driveway, I just had to figure it out.

I'm certain she would have frozen to death or been killed by an animal before learning to fly.

I kept her inside overnight and read as much as I could about how to keep her safe and well. I didn't know it was a cedar waxwing until the next day when I noticed the tiny bit of yellow on her tail and googled that.

Then I figured out she'd eat fruit and the rest was pretty easy. Only sat outside with her for a short time before someone came to feed her.

Then I could watch where the parent was going and put the little fledgling back up into the tree. She's still doing well.

I feel so happy to have been able to help keep this little thing alive. So glad I didn't follow the advice most seem to give online...

Sep 12, 2014
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My first Cedar Waxwing Experience
by: Brittney

I recently found 3 Cedar Waxwings that fell from their nest, which was later abandoned. The fourth sibling that was left in the nest died, as we later checked the following day, with no sign of the parents. So, we took the remaining three in.

I cut up some soft fleecy blanket and placed it in a small bowl. This was their makeshift nest. We fed them every 30-45 minutes. Food consisted of hard boiled eggs, cut up into small pieces, and chopped blueberries and raspberries.

I'd also recommend waxworms. We cleaned (and caught their poo, cause it comes out quickly!) during each feeding. That's when they seemed to do it most. We changed their bedding as needed.

They were kept under a red heat lamp most times, kept at a respectable distance from the birds. But most importantly, we called a wildlife rehabber and brought them to the rehab center as soon as we could, which was in a span of three days.

I strongly recommend doing the same with any wild animal you find, as it's illegal otherwise.

Aug 16, 2014
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Need a referral or guidance
by: Anonymous

Long story short - I found a cedar waxwing nestling and then the sibling (a little bigger, fully feathered) the next day (and in the same spot in the grass).

First I hand fed them "baby bird formula" and occasional soaked cat food while they stayed outdoors. We could not find a nest of any sign of the mother and because there were stray cats in the neighborhood (we don't have a fenced yard), we brought them in and continued feeding.

I called everywhere and I have not found a bird rehabber anywhere in the Portland, Oregon area. The nearest wildlife rehabber is in Clark County, WA but she only takes squirrels.

On day 3, I drove the birds to the Audubon Society. They refused the birds saying they were healthy and needed to be put outside for the mother to find them. They said to put a box at least 7 feet high and leave them.

Well, the mother never returned and I have not seen any from the flock. I think maybe they abandoned this location due to lack of berries. ???

So the babies came back inside.

Day 4, I woke up to find the first bird had died in its sleep. Bird #2 still looking great.

I tapered off the baby bird formula and cat food and I am primarily feeding it crushed blueberries with some crushed blackberries and tiny grapes (those little dark ones). It eats every 40-50 minutes, roughly.

-- by the way, when can I stop crushing these things and feed them whole?

Anyway, the bird seems energetic & healthy except for one of its feet. It curls its claw into a fist type of shape and won't stand on it much. He gets wobbly trying to stand on one foot, so he compensates by flapping or by leaning on one wing.

It does not appear to be in any pain, but it favors that foot and I am afraid it won't be able to perch, which would mean it would not do good in the wild.

I know the law, but I feel stuck between a rock & a hard place, so I am still caring for it.

I would gladly let a rehabber take this bird, but I cannot find one that specializes in birds. For now, I am grateful I can telecommute into work, but I want to do what's best for this bird (and that is NOT euthanasia)

Help?!

Aug 16, 2014
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My little waxwing Cricket
by: Rhonda

As I was doing the dishes one day and looked out the window and saw two birds flying up and down. I went outside and realized one of the cats had a little bird in its mouth.

After I got the cat cornered, I saw this little almost bald bird with its mouth wide open looking at me. My son looked on the net and told me it was a cedar waxwing.

The noise he makes sounds like a cricket, thus his name is cricket. He eats fruit and some whole wheat bread, and just about anything he can snatch off our plates.

Yes, he flies now, I can't bring myself to cage him except at night. We will be moving in the next month, (we live on a farm) so I don't want to leave him with no one to feed him. He comes when called, he sleeps in my hand or on my leg.

Just in the last couple of days will eat cut up fruit in small little pieces. He still begs me to feed him with the medicine dropper. I am getting tired of cleaning up the blueberry, blackberry poop. You have to be quick or it will stain.

We've had him for over two months and he's part of the family. I hope he can be set free, but I don't know if he can make it on his own this close to fall.

Aug 12, 2014
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I miss my baby cedar wax wing!!!!
by: Yve

I have been taking care of (for his mohawk) since I found him on the grass in my neighbourhood.

He allowed me to pick him up and had a little injury under his wing with a little bleeding so I brought him home. I made a small warm nest for him and he wouldn't eat.

The next morning I went into the yard and dug up a worm, I also dripped some water on his beak until he finally drizzled some down his throat. Finally, he started accepting worms & berries!

He could only fly very short distances and kept trying to land and falling so I got him a little cage and bought mealworms and waxworms. Long story short, I believe he imprinted on me...he would fly on to my shoulder or head and scream for food constantly.

He was a little glutton! I had him for two weeks and then one day I was in the yard and I opened the top of the cage and told him he could stay or go. He flew up into a tree and then would come down for food.

This continued for a few days until one night I came home late and he wouldn't come when I called. We had a call and response thing going so whenever I called, he would chirp back.

So that night I called, he chirped back quietly but wouldn't come so I reluctantly accepted the fact that he would be on his own that night. Next morning, he was on the cage and crying for food.

I came out and fed him and that night I took him in. I would let him fly around all day outside and one night I had to go out of town and he was nearby outside but wouldn't come and I had to go.

When I came back 1 day and a half later, he was nowhere to be found. I even had a friend go and put worms and berries on his cage while I was away. I miss him so much!!!

I know that it is the best thing for him to be free but I feel like I just need to know that he is ok and learning to eat and forage for food on his own.

Is it possible he may come back? it's been three days and my neighbours must think I'm totally bonkers because everyday I go out and call him in a high pitched voice that he responded to so well. Momo, although you were a lot of work, I love you and miss you and wish for you a very happy bird's life.

I am from Toronto and wonder if he will try to fly south for the winter, It is now August and there are lots of berries and bugs out there so my hope is that he found his family and is learning how to be a real free bird.

Aug 06, 2014
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Young Waxwing Lost Her Voice
by: Anonymous

I saved a baby Waxwing from a cat attack, took her in, fed her cherries, blueberries, strawberries, ect. She is starting to fly, and is getting feathers, but now her chirp seems to have disappeared.

I can't figure out what's wrong. Could it be from her diet? Could she have something stuck? (But, she's still eating.) Do birds voices change as they grow?

Has anyone heard of this/ experienced this? Any help would be appreciated! I want to release her as soon as she can fly well enough to stay safe, but I don't want to hurt her by neglect or mistake.

Jul 23, 2014
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Juvenile waxwing escape
by: Ashley

I found two cedar waxwings on the road and seeing that the younger one was hurt I grabbed both and brought them home.

The older one had all his feathers and even the yellow tail while the younger one was still missing feathers on her chest area.

I have had them for eleven days now and they are both eating a lot as well as flying. The older one flies much better and even has two small dots of red on his feathers.

Recently the older one escaped from the enclosure that I kept them in and is flying outside around my house.

He is flying large distances however, I do not believe that he knows how to find food on his own.

His sister is calling to him and he is attempting to get to her, but he never flies directly to her. Once he is close to her, he flies off in the wrong direction.

Should I attempt to catch him or do you believe that he was ready to leave and is prepared to find his own food.

If I placed food in his enclosure he wouldn't grab it, but would grab it if held between my fingers.

Jul 15, 2014
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baby waxing help needed
by: shawna

My husband found a waxwing on 7-6-14 and broght her in. I would say she is less than a week old.

We had a recent storm and searched high and low for a nest or any other birds to put her with. She had feathered wings, but minimal feathers anywhere else.

She is almost fully feathered, flying short distances in the house and is extremely healthy and happy.

I would like to know when or how to release her.

I want her to live the life she should have, but healthy and alive. I am unsure when to release. She has had berries and mealworms and a lot.

Fed regularly and has not been alone for more than 2 hours at a time, sleeps throuh the night. She does not feed herself.

Our wildlife center open 9-3, I work until 5 so that is less than helpful.

Jul 09, 2014
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juvenile waxwing
by: Janine

I have a question, we had a nasty storm that knocked a nest out of our tree with only 1 survivor.

We have had him all night and have been feeding him but the problem is, how long can he go in between feedings without putting him in stress? He has already been through a lot and we want to make sure he is healthy and will be able to go back out.

Jun 10, 2014
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authors update
by: Anonymous

I just found this post that I wrote! Here is an update on Larry. She is alive and well! She is a pet, as she made the decision to live inside the house.

We had made repeated attempts to release her. I believe she did not imprint on me, this means that she realizes she is a bird. She simply prefers my company to that of other birds.

Her cage is large enough for her to fly in but she has several hours each day where she is free to fly around the house.

I believe she is happy. I know she is healthy and has already lived longer as a pet than she would have if she had been released.

She has watched me raise and release many other birds and has never been inclined to interact with them in anyway.

I'm glad she chose to live with me. She is a beautiful bird and a good pet.

Sep 17, 2013
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My Little Cedar Waxwing
by: Sockyre

Two days ago, I found a little waxwing on the ground, and took him in. I'm calling him Phil Coulson, and she is doing great!

I give her raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, and juniper berries, and I crush the head of a mealworm every now and then for him.

He takes the food very enthusiastically I'm guessing he's around 6 days old) and is just the sweetest thing.

As soon as he sees me he chirps loudly and jumps up to the side of his cage, and I take him out, and he seems happy to be just be held.

When winter is over, I plan on releasing him.

Aug 15, 2013
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my experience
by: Anonymous

One of our dogs bit a baby waxwing in 2000. Vet I took it to within 24 hrs. stretched the wing this way and that way. Nope, wing wasn't broken! Wing was broken.

After a month, too late to fix. Bird rehabilitation facility told me if I liked the bird, not to bring it to them because they'd have to destroy it since it could no longer fly.

I knew nothing about caring for a bird. Vet did help me with caring for bird with antibiotics and finally liquid bandage. After two months though, vet wanted to amputate wing.

Stopped taking bird to Vet and finished third month on my own with the liquid bandage and a small collar around bird's neck. Tear to bone finally healed.

Waxwing is now 13 years of age.

Jul 05, 2013
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My little baby
by: Anonymous

I am currently caring for a baby waxwing who fell from its nest and had barely any feathers when i took it in. I feed him bird formula for hand feeding baby birds you can get at Petsmart or Petco.

I have had it for 6 days now and he or she is doing beautifully. Feathers are coming in and it's hopping around and whistling.

We have never seen these birds in our area so it was a surprise to us to find out how beautiful it will be when grown.

Mar 27, 2013
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Lazarus the Waxwing
by: Amanda

Today, I met a sweet Waxwing at work. He was sitting outside in our courtyard and didn't want to move.

I went outside to check on him and tried to pet him just to see if he would do anything. He then hopped away a bit and then sat still. When he hopped away, it appeared that he had an "accident" and was sitting in it.

Then, a man I worked with tapped his toe next to him and there was another spot.. but it looked more like blood. So I was very worried!

Then, some men helped me move him onto higher ground in some bushes in the sunlight.

I called the Department of Wildlife in Fisheries and they told me that was the best thing that I could do.

We have highly reflective windows where I work and we think he flew into one. I'm concerned, though, because he was bleeding I think. Or just had an upset tummy.

I just don't want him to die. So, I considered putting him in a box and taking him home with me to nurse him but I honestly don't think I have time to take care of him since my husband and I work all day and have quite a commute to work.

Any ideas of what I should do? I told myself that if he was still there at 5:00 I would take him with me. I thought it'd be a good idea to take him to a vet but I can't really afford a vet bill for a wild bird.

Any suggestions would be appreciated! I don't want Lazarus to die! :(


Feb 17, 2013
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Dogs and Cedar Waxwings
by: Perry Archer

We have a serious problem at our house here in Houston. One of our dogs, a very athletic, high-leaping 65-pounder, has caught and killed five in our back yard, the latest today (2/17). We can't find any nests, and don't know their feeding habits. We've not seen any of the incident occur. Do they nest and/or feed close to the ground? We also have not seen them until we find a dead one. Would appreciate any advice that would help stop this. Can't blame the dog, and the birds don't learn. Perry,at keydet54 @gmail. com.

Sep 07, 2011
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Need to talk to Linda from Michigan!!!!
by: Anonymous

Linda, can you write me and give me your number or email address please. My name is Jennifer and right now have 2 cedar waxwings, really need your help!! My email address is jblasuw 77 @hotmail.com
Please contact me!!

Delete the spaces in the email address

Aug 24, 2011
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Thank You!
by: An Admirer

I work in an office on a golf course. A guy brought a baby cedar waxwing to me at the end of my shift because he thought the baby bird had been separated from its parents and was afraid it would die.

I always thought that once you touch a baby bird the parents won't come back for it. There is a wildlife sanctuary near my house so I planned on taking it there.

When I arrived, they were not open so I had to keep the baby bird overnight. I followed your instructions on how to care for it with blueberries, butter dish, etc.

This am I brought the baby bird back to work with me and put it in a large tree outside my office. The baby bird began chirping and BOTH mom and dad came back for it.

For two hours the baby bird followed mom and dad on the ground. It finally just flew up and away. I can't begin to describe how amazing it was to see.

Humans can help nature without controlling nature. Thank you for your inspiration.

Jul 30, 2011
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Cedar Waxwing babies
by: Karyn Aspan

I feel these are natures creatures. One day my husband called me outside after a storm and showed me 3 baby birds.

We immediately looked for the nest and could not locate it so we built on out of tupperware and fleece, put the 3 babies in it and waited.

I knew if their mother didn't find them that I was going to call a wildlife center. About a half hour later the mom showed up and has shown up every 15-20 minutes since. The mom slept in the homemade nest too!

One week later they hopped the nest and the mom has gathered them into another tree. I miss my visits with them, but when I go to the tree the mom has brought the babies to the outside of the tree so I could see them.

There were 4 of them, but when they hopped the nest one landed in our pool, but I saved it, and the other died flying into a window. I have been enjoying listening to them and watching mom feed them.

I will miss them when they fly off to freedom. I am so happy I let nature take its course as that is how God intended it.

I think it is wonderful that people want to save wildlife, but just because you think the mom is not around and you feel sorry for it, please give it time.

The mom is not to far away and when humans try to save them they leave the momma bird looking for her babies until she believes they are dead. That is bird kidnapping and cruel.

Jul 13, 2011
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our new houseguest (we could use some advice)
by: Anonymous

My lady found a lonely little cedar waxwing this morning. She put it back where it came from for a few hours but after returning it was still there chirping away. We've been feeding it berries and he seems happy. He's so friendly, he still can't fly or feed himself so we're doing our best. If anyone can help me with questions or advice please contact me at expertsalespro @ gmail.com. I'd love any advice you could give us.
Thanks

Jul 08, 2011
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Answer to Baby Cedar Waxwing
by: lovebirds

Way to go, my son, daughter, and myself nursed a baby cedar waxwing as well last year for about 2- 3 weeks. We did feed it some grapes, cherries, cranberries, flies.

We kept him on our deck it was all screened in.
My son would put him on a branch outside and it just sat there.

We taught it to fly as well. When the first day of school came my son put him on the branch outside and I took my daughter to school.
When I came back he was gone.

We gave him the opportunity to stay or go.
If he had stayed we would of continued to keep him safe. We miss him and called him Patrick.

We still look to see if he comes around but it is too hard to tell as there are a few cedar waxwings around.

We hope that he is safe and was able to fend for himself. That is awesome that you are taking good care of baby cedar waxwing. If you have a computer and google cedar waxwings, they have interesting information about them.

Take care and keep in touch to let us know how everything is going.

Jul 08, 2011
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To Anonymous..
by: Tracy..

Howdy Anonymous...
Please read all of my previous posts...including the first one that I wrote on July 17th.. I forgot to sign it so the name is blank. I am a licensed rehabber and I still suggest giving your bird to a rehabber in your area.

It needs much more than fruit...it needs protein and more than the few flies that you may be able to catch for it. It also should not be exposed to your cats because even seeing them will give him a false sense of security and he will not realize that cats = danger.

There are many steps to go thru in order to release this bird in a healthy condition in the best way possible. And another rehabber may have other waxwings that yours could go with...and that would be best for your bird.

I know you mean well...and thank you for taking the time to care for him.
Take care...
Tracy.. :)


Jul 08, 2011
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Baby Cedar Waxwing
by: Anonymous

I'm taking care of a Baby Cedar Waxwing I've read on what it's supposed to eat and I've already got a big cage with plenty of branches for perches.

And I keep him/her in a safe room next to me because I have four cats. I make sure that I lock them in a room to where they can't get him/her when I let it go and fly around the house.

I've got a bowl with shallow water also I've been giving it flies and berries when ever it opens it's mouth at me and tries to eat my pinky. It is very confident and loves to fly in his/her cage and outside it.

I want to know what I should definitely feed it that way it doesn't die. Please help and thank you so much from me and Wax (The baby Cedar Waxwing I named it that).

Nov 14, 2010
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Sandie
by: Tracy

Howdy Sandie...
I just read your post today so if you still have the cedar he definitely needs water and much more than a couple of berries.

Blueberries, grapes, raspberries etc. fill a small shallow bowl and give him as much as he will eat, they can eat a lot.

Take him into a safe room with no windows (he could fly into them and hurt himself again)and check him out to see if he can fly.

Birds can recover from head trauma depending on how serious the injury. But sometimes they need much more than a couple of days to recover if it is more serious and sometimes they don't recover enough to be released at all.

Ideally he should have been given medication which could help him if it were a serious injury. Either way, meds should have been given. That is where a rehabber or veterinarian could be of great help because they would know the extent of his injury and be able to get him the proper care needed.

You did good not putting him outside in cold weather if he is injured. If you still have him then how is he doing now? Thanks for taking time to help him out. :)

Nov 13, 2010
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Young waxwing
by: Sandie

Earlier today a young cedar waxwing flew into my front window. He was knocked out but I held him in my hand for awhile and he slowly came around. I set him on the porch and he was still there a few hours later.

He looks fine but it's going down into the low 30's tonight so I brought him in. I got a box and put a towel in the bottom and a stick for a perch. He's now sitting on the perch. I had some frozen blueberries so I thawed one and cut it in half and he actually ate both halves.

I rarely see waxwings around here and with it being cold I'm afraid to release him. I have no idea how often he should be fed. Does he need separate water or are the blueberries enough? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Sandie in NC

Sep 16, 2010
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Baby Cedar Waxwing
by: Margaret

We found a baby bird walking in our driveway 2 days ago. We investigated and found that it is a baby cedar waxwing. We put it in a big box in our bushes to protect it from predators. The mother comes frequently to feed it and it seems to be thriving. It flutters to the edge of the box and sometimes we find it on the ground walking. Any information from anyone as to when it will fly on it's own?

Sep 06, 2010
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Anonymous
by: Tracy

Howdy Anonymous...
Hopefully I can help you a little. You didn't say what kind of bird you have. Is it a Cedar? Or something else? What have you been feeding it and how often?

Before I repeat myself perhaps you could scroll down the page and read my other posts.

You will find info there to answer a lot of your questions regarding releasing and begging. And also about taking him outside and then bringing him back indoors. You might want to consider not doing that.

As far as releasing him you have to make sure he is really ready and eating on his own and flying really well. He should not get tired or breathe heavy from making a few flights around the room without having to land.

He should be able to fly upwards from the ground easily. Just because he can fly doesn't mean he is strong and flies good enough to be released.

You said you have only had the bird a couple days. That is way too short of a time to make any decision on the condition of the bird or to know if it is ready to release.

If your fledge was not afraid of you and begged from the moment that you got him ( a couple days ago ) then he is too young to release.

When fledges are older most of the time they are afraid of you and will not be calm nor beg immediately.

f you are not sure and have any doubts it would be doing your bird a huge favor and in it's best interest to find a rehabber to assist you.

I am sure you could find one in your area that would be more than willing to help you.

There is a lot involved in raising a baby bird...before during and after release. Please read my other previous posts. Thanks for caring for the little guy. :)

Sep 06, 2010
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When do you know if a bird is ready
by: Anonymous


I've been taking care of a little fledging for a couple days now and I wanted to know when do you know when they are ready to be released?

I know that usually a fledging will take rests and stuff after it flys and will wait for the parents to come feed it.

Does that mean I should let this little guy go, and if I do will he just feed himself? (when I first got him we watched from afar for three hours to see if his parents would appear but we didn't see any.)

Or do I have to keep him a bit longer and how do I know when he is ready.

(little info about the bird)

The bird eats on its own but when I hover my hands over the cage he has his mouth opened for food.

When we take him outside he hops around and flys short distances but he still begs for food. His feathers are in good shape but he still has some baby "puff" on his breast.

Sep 04, 2010
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Thank you
by: Tracy

The first time I posted on this board was July 17th of this year under "rehab" but I forgot to sign my name. Since then I have recently checked out this entire website and also read every post on this board.

My hat is off to the administrator of this website...(Gene if I am correct ). What an enjoyable, entertaining, informative, educational, pleasant, carefully researched, trustworthy, and well written website.

I wholeheartedly agree with and respect your views and the information that you have provided thru out your website and certainly hope all who read and visit it will feel the same.

And also thank you for working so hard and a job well done maintaining this board. With many differing opinions posted here I am sure this can be a lot of work at times.
Great site !

Thank you Gene... :)

Sep 03, 2010
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Liz and Anonymous
by: Tracy

Howdy Liz and Anonymous,

Maybe I can help. There are times that a bird has to be wintered over if it is not fully ready to be released.

A rehabbed bird is an automatic handicap to begin with because it does not have the benefit of being raised by it's parents. You have to make sure it is really ready to go or you are just sending it out to a probable death.

Wintering a bird over is ok if necessary as long as you are caring for it properly. That is a judgment call.

Ready to be released means it is eating fruits, meal/wax worms & knows how to tear fruit off a vine. And it's feathers are in perfect condition.

You have to be careful keeping birds in small cages because they can wear their feathers down by rubbing on the cage & then you may have an unreleasable bird until it molts. And also stress bars on a feather is a clue to poor diet.

Do not put it outside until it is eating on it's own & ready to begin the conditioning process for release. You just confuse it by taking it outside and bringing it back in.

Never take the bird outside unless contained because you run the risk of it suddenly flying off and possibly not getting it back.

Having it sit on the ground not moving when you had it outside was no surprise because it was afraid & did not know what to do.

Even though eating on it's own it will still beg. They do that in the wild to their parents which is normal, so don't deny them, if they beg, feed them because you are their parents. They will continue to explore eating on their own anyway.

Keeping a bird longer than maybe necessary is much better than releasing it too early.

If it is active, vocal & has perfect feather quality & eating on it's own begin its conditioning or find a rehabber to do it.

Don't do a cold release ( read my other posts )
Also it is getting late in the season so I would hesitate releasing a bird with a small window of opportunity before cold weather hits.

They need time once released to adapt & figure things out before having to deal with cold weather too. Please read my other posts if you haven't already, they will explain more.

Good luck with your birds & GOD bless you for caring enough to help them.

Sep 03, 2010
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Rehab
by: Deborah

While I have read repeatedly and understand that seeking a professional rehabber is ideal, often the ideal simply is not available. There is no shame in an uneducated layman attempting to rehab a bird as long as they seek as much information and guidance as they can.

Often there is a choice between walking away and allowing a bird to perish at that moment, or attempting to give it a fighting, albeit less-than-perfect, chance. Some may be able to 'let nature takes it course' at that moment and let the bird die, but nurturers, like many on here obviously are, trying to help.

Fortunately there are forums like this with good information to help in these less-than-ideal situations. Congratulations to everyone who sincerely try to help by seeking good information in order to make the best out of a bad situation.

Yes, it is illegal to possess a wild animal for any reason, and I do not take that lightly, which is why I went to a state park naturalist for guidance. A state park naturalist was who I had access to.

I would advise everyone in a similar situation to do the same - immediately seek the guidance of a naturalist, rehabber, or whomever they have immediate access to that's in a position to be of official assistance with the knowledge to help.

Sep 03, 2010
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Please help my baby
by: Anonymous

I need help. I rescued a nestling that was clearly raccoon food if I didn't do something. His/her pinfeathers were still sheathed and her back and stomach were partially devoid of down.

"Mom" was not yelling at me after 10 to 15 minutes of waiting, and I could not find the nest. I knew that trying to get her to a rehab facility was dangerous. She was really weak when I found her.

It is 2 weeks later I am happy to say, thanks to the internet, she is thriving. I am totally in love with this bird. This also means that I want to release her when she is strong enough. Anything else would be cruel.

She still is being hand feed but she is starting to pick at food albeit unsuccessfully about 80% of the time. I have borrowed a cage and I am taking her outside in the cage about 30 minutes to 1 hour per day.

When do I begin to increase the amount of time outside? And how to I insure that when I release her that she finds a flock right away. We live in the Great Lakes region so timing is important.

She needs to be strong enough to survive the transition but she also needs to be released soon enough that she can successfully integrate with a migrating flock.

Anyone that has experience with this that can offer some useful advise would be greatly appreciated. A timetable and milestones would be helpful.

"Birdie" currently sports 3 tail feathers, has fledgling plumage, and can perch very well. She has learned to fly effectively and can (as of a 2 two days ago) triangulate well enough to land where she intended to land without crashing.

I never would have guessed that caring for a baby bird would be so much work. But I also never expected it to be so rewarding. I will miss her so much when she is gone.

I hope that I haven't done her a disservice by becoming so attached. She sits on my hand to be fed. She also chirps when I come in the room and promptly lands on my head.

This bird is a beautiful soul very worthy of a wonderful life. If you know how this should be done please help a novice with only the best of intentions. My cedar waxwing and I would be eternally grateful.

Sep 03, 2010
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Alejandro
by: Liz

Thank you Tracy and Deborah for your advice.

I've added a few things to Alejandro's diet like raspberries, blueberries, grapes, and I'm leaving later today to get him some worms and bird vitamins.

He has started to eat on his own (we got him a small bird cage with dishes for food and a shallow dish of water, later tonight I'm going to rip up some paper towel so it feels more nest like), but he still begs for food by opening his mouth.

My family members so far are enjoying his presence in my household so he gets lots of attention and they take him outside a lot when I'm not able to.

I find it odd though that he doesn't move at all when he is set on the ground, is that normal? I would expect him to hop around, but he has no problem doing that inside the house. We left him outside (with supervision to make sure nothing would bother him) but he didn't budge an inch.

We have a lot of neighborhood predators like possums and cats so we didn't risk him being out for more then 30 minutes.

Alejandro seems to be enjoying himself so far he chirps a lot, but none of my family members have complained about it. Thank god he is cute or I'm sure my family would made me leave him outside and exposed and helpless.


Sep 03, 2010
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Rehab
by: Tracy


I'm a Licensed Rehabber & as said before it is a very bad idea to cold release your bird. What I mean by cold release is taking a bird raised indoors & suddenly taking him outdoors & turning him loose.

Birds need to be conditioned in an outdoor flight cage for a MINIMUM of 2 wks. In all kinds of weather w/ partial roof for shelter & they need sun. Exposed to everything they will encounter in the wild.

When birds are raised by their parents they are not suddenly abandoned by them. They are with them being taught skills they need to know to survive. When you take a bird outside & open your hand & watch it fly off it is abandoning it.

It may have flown off but later it will be sitting in a tree terrified & hungry not knowing what to do & wondering why it's "parents" (YOU) aren't up in the tree with it.

Birds need weather & proper diet to condition their feathers to survive. They need to be released in an area they are familiar with which means the flight cage they have been in. While in the flight they are checking out the area & watching other birds & learning. When released they are then in a familiar area.

My birds are released on my property & after released are provided food & water kept in the flight with the door open. The majority of my birds come back to the flight. Some return for days, weeks, or even months. That gives them the option to be able to come back "home" if they are having problems.

If you don't have access to a flight cage in a good area then find a rehabber who does. Do what's best for the bird.

Unconditioned birds get soaked to the skin, cold & unable to fly so they can't escape predators nor get shelter or food. They are grounded & become someone's lunch or starve to death unless they can get dry. And if it rains for days they aren't going to get dry.

Good rehabbers are trained & have the knowledge, experience, supplies, caging, & commitment to provide the necessary care needed. We go to classes, seminars etc, & some of us spend hundreds & thousands of dollars on food, supplies, medical care & cages.

There are standards & requirements that must be met in order to be a licensed rehabber.
We have inspections & must renew our license yearly. There are reasons for this. To ensure birds are being cared for properly.

Example of one requirement:
MINIMUM Standard Flight Cage : 8' x 8' x 8'
That means anything less is not acceptable & we don't get a license.

My flights are 30'L x 25'W x 8'H. Because no cage is too large & the birds need it.

Rehab is hard work if done correctly so if you can't provide what rehabbers do then take it to someone who can. There are excellent rehabbers out there to help you.

These birds are dependent on you. They have to deal with whatever you decide you want to do with them...good or bad.
:)

Sep 03, 2010
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Alejandro
by: Tracy

Howdy Liz....

I thought you might like a little info here.
Cedars need different kinds of fruit such as blueberries raspberries blackberries grapes etc. etc. and they eat insects so they need protein to survive.

Get meal worms and wax worms. A high protein dry dog food soaked in water until softened should be offered...and add a bird vitamin. If he likes tomatoes fine...but vary his diet or you are going to have an unhealthy cedar with poor feather development and bones. Good luck with your friend. :)
Tracy...

Sep 03, 2010
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To Alejandro
by: Deborah

Please read through the comments here about Buster and the article about Larry - you will learn a lot about how to care for your little guy.

The pet store is useless in providing anything for a Cedar Waxwing (or any other wild bird). A diet of mostly berries, and an occasional worm will suffice. Tomatoes are good, if they are fresh grown and never treated with pesticides, but I'm betting you find they go through him like water.

Buster ate some, but they weren't a big part of his diet after I noticed how watery they passed through, without digesting the skin at all. Raspberries were on here, so I had lots of wild ones to feed. I also had blueberries in the freezer, and fresh cherries. I paid the little boys next door to dig worms for Buster.

At first Buster ate every 20 minutes! Yikes! I really did not go anywhere for the first 10 days we had him, and he was a fledgling at that point.

This is exhausting, time-consuming, and their constant calling might get on someone's nerves. My husband started appearing visibly tense in the evenings, so I moved Buster's cage to a window on the other side of the house and everyone was happy.

I felt keeping him in an open window was important - fresh air, in view of trees, he could hear birds, etc. I would have put his cage outside, but couldn't do so unattended because there are several cats outside that love to play with birds!

I hope you have great success with your little guy!

Sep 03, 2010
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Buster
by: Deborah

I wrote about Buster a few months ago and wanted to bring everyone up to date.
We kept Buster for three weeks and here's the progression we took in rehabbing him:
1. Completely handfeeding and babying him - feeding bits of crushed berries and worms. His cage had several broad, easy to sit on perches out of consideration for his bumble foot.
2.Changed out the perches for narrower ones to encourage balance - he adapted to this very well. We started dangling food throughout the cage (attached with tight twist ties) to encourage him to look for food. He ignored these for several days and we still handfed him throughout the day. Started letting him fly in a protected area of the house - he always found a high area and perched.
3. He finally started eating the food left for him and we stretched out the time between handfeedings. Eventually he received most of his food by eating what we put in his cage, we only offered handfeeding of worms, but did this at the cage door with minimal handling.
4. The last week we didn't hold him at all. This was hard because we liked the little guy and he seemed fond of us. But I felt it best for his future ability to adapt to the wild.
5. Before release, we made several visits to Lake Hope, and with the help of a naturalist, found an area colonized by Cedar Waxwings. It had an abundant food source. We visited this site a few times just to build our confidence!
Cedar Waxwings are very social birds and will share food, passing berries back and forth until someone eats it, then they'll fetch another and do this again. We observed this behavior in Buster when handfeeding - he would receive a morsel then give it back (not drop it on the ground, but give it back), I would give it back to him and we would do this a few times until he decided he would eat it! This also gave me confidence in his ability to be released.
We chose the day of release by the evidence provided by Buster. At our house, his cage was in the window and he was still calling, calling for other Cedar Waxwings. He was eating the food in the cage without hesitation, pecking into solid cherries and the last few days, eating little worms we left in the cage. His balance was good, which was a major concern with his bumble foot, and he was consistently landing safely when flying about the house instead of falling down.
He could eat. He could fly. He could land.
We took him out to the selected spot, removed him from the cage, and without hesitation he flew up to a large pine tree at the edge of the woods and perched there. We watched for awhile, and he called, jumped around a bit. A berry thicket was right there. When we heard another Cedar Waxwing calling, we left.
I miss my little friend, but was very pleased with his progress and glad he could re-enter his own world. It would have been selfish to keep him any longer.

Sep 03, 2010
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Alejandro
by: Liz



Today my mother and I came across a tiny waxwing after its next had blown over from the storm. It was the only baby to have survived (and later on we found the mother birds's body hidden underneath the nest).

I at first was eager to find someone who would want to take care of the bird, but after seeing how it responded to me I decided I would try. I don't know much about these little guys but the one I found seems to like tomatoes. He has eaten three slices to far since he has been here, but I will probably be going to the pet store to find something that can provide him with some more essential vitamins.

We gave him a name also, since all we had in our fridge was Mexican food we named him Alejandro. I hope he lasts the night and more nights to come.

Sep 02, 2010
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The story of CW
by: Anonymous

Hello again everyone. Just wrote a blog post about my wonderful experience with CW - just wanted to share the story and some photos. The link is Madamedamselfly.Blogspot.com

Hope everyone is doing well!

Aug 28, 2010
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rehabber for Kim
by: tracy

Howdy Kim...

There are several rehabbers in Michigan. I don't know what area of Michigan you live in but I am sure I can find one for you. Tell me what part you are in and I will get you names and numbers if you still need them.

I am a wild bird rehabber but live in Ohio or I would help you. I have a bunch of cedars right now getting ready to release. Take care.
Tracy....

Aug 24, 2010
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waxwing
by: Kim

Hello,

I am very thankful for this site, and all the information it contains. I am currently searching for a rehab for a waxwing in my area. My children found a broken nest on the ground with a baby waxwing next to it.

I quickly told them to leave it alone, just because it has fallen out of the tree, doesn't necessarily mean it is abandoned. The next day, I was mowing the lawn, and happened upon the nest and bird.

I took a closer look, only to find that this baby had no chance of survival, unless I helped it out. You see, its tiny little foot and leg, were woven right into the fibers of the nest!

It was so tight around the poor things toes, that a few of them were shriveled looking, while another was swollen, purple and clearly in need of help! I gently broke apart the nest around its leg, and brought it inside where I could work on it.

It took several minutes of careful work with tweezers, scissors and a needle (used only to separate the fibers from the birds leg). After doing a bit of research, I grabbed some blueberries out of the freezer, thawed them and mashed them up.

It quickly gobbled them up. Now it has been a few hours, and he is hopping around, and making noise. His foot and leg are actually looking like the bloodflow is coming back a bit, and he might regain function (crossing my fingers!).

I live in Michigan, and was wondering if anyone knew of a place that might be able to help this little guy?

Blessings,
Kim

Aug 15, 2010
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Approving Submissions
by: Wild-Bird-Watching.com

Hi Jackie,

I'm the one who decides whether post are added or not. I usually judge by whether guidelines are followed and/or if the post contributes in a positive way to the original story.

I don't mind that you say rehabbers in your area charge for their services. I'm surprised that more don't. Rehabbers are trained and licensed individuals who provide a valuable service.

Many post don't get published but it isn't personal.

Gene




Aug 15, 2010
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hmm.. why was my post removed?
by: jackie

Is it because I said rehabbers in my area require a payment of $40 before taking your bird?

Aug 14, 2010
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Update on CW
by: Lesley

Hi everyone!

Thank you all for your very helpful information. CW is healthy and happy and quite a character. We have grown very fond of each other. What a wonderful experience this is. We built CW a large outdoor cage which he/she has been staying in for the last 3 weeks. He eats grapes and berries from a bowl and we hang branches of choke cherries in his cage which we found growing along our road. I still hand feed him wet cat food and he likes to be fed slices of grapes. He enjoys a daily bird bath and likes to observe other birds in the yard. I'm working up to opening the cage door to allow CW freedom. Wondering how others have done with their releases. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Thank you again everyone for your suggestions and stories.

Lesley and CW

Jul 18, 2010
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To Deborah
by: Tracy

Howdy....I read your post about Buster. I am the rehabber that just posted on this board for the first time yesterday.

In my post below I mentioned that his foot can possibly be fixed, also about requirements for a successful safe release.

Perhaps I misunderstood but it sounds like you are planning on cold releasing "Buster" out in the park without having "conditioned " him etc. or attempting to repair his foot.

If this is your intention odds are he will not survive. Nothing against naturalists but like everything else...some naturalists are not trained in rehab areas to offer the best advice you need regarding your bird.

I would be more than happy to tell you how to fix his foot and any other info you need. Again...in Buster's best interest....try to find a vet or rehabber in your area to give you a hand...that way you have given it your best shot and given Buster the very best chance to live and survive the way he was meant to.

Find the right people to give you the info you need....Do your homework....so Buster can pass the test and graduate. Right now he needs to stay in nursery school....he's not ready to get on the bus.

I know you want what is best for him and thank you for taking care of him. I wish you well.

Jul 17, 2010
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Rehab
by:

I am a licensed wild bird rehabber and I was told of this site from the person who had Peppenot. Who incidentally did an exceptionally wonderful job in caring for the Cedar which she has now given to me.

The bird is healthy and strong. However I can not tell you how many times someone has called me wanting to give me their baby bird that they raised and upon taking it I have ended up with an unhealthy weak malnutritioned bird that could not be released or if released was very doubtful that it would survive in the wild.

One of the reasons it is illegal to have a wild bird in your possession is to protect and ensure the life of these birds.

Depending on the kind of bird you encounter there are different nutritional and care requirements for them. One size does not fit all.

Baby birds grow and develop extremely fast so it is very important that they get the right food and care from day one otherwise you are doing more harm than good.

I applaud and thank each and everyone of you that are kind enough to try to help these birds but please remember, other than the bird's parents...an experienced knowledgeable rehabber is in the bird's best interest.

If you have doubts and your bird is not positively thriving please find someone to help you out...otherwise you may very well be sending that bird to it's death without even realizing it.

I've read some of these posts today and thought you might want to know a couple of things. It is NOT a good idea to cold release a bird you have raised even if it is flying and eating on it's own.

You can't just take it outside and open your hand and say goodbye. That bird will be completely lost and terrified and not know what to do...also it probably is not conditioned feather wise and will not be able to deal with weather, rain, etc and odds are it will die.

It needs to be put in a large outdoor flight cage for a MINIMUM of two weeks day and night,and make sure it is indeed predator proof. And please never put it in a regular bird cage outdoors unattended especially at night.

Raccoons cats dogs etc can get the bird and kill it. Bird cages do not protect it from predators.

I don't mean to sound rude arrogant or harsh here, because I know all of you are kind hearted and mean well.I just thought I might give you a little help and advice.

And when you come across the knuckled under foot thing, many times that is reversable,you can fix that relatively easy.

If you release a bird w/the foot problem he will have a rough time perching trying to get food and sleeping etc.

That's a handicap against him...big time. If his nails are growing and becoming embedded into his foot that is painful and will become infected and he can and likely will die. Try to fix it first. A vet can help you,so can some rehabbers that have experience with that.

There are vets and rehabbers that are more than willing to help any bird.

Hope this helps you...and God bless all of you for helping them.

Jul 17, 2010
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Peppenot the Cedar Waxwing
by: Anonymous

Cedar Waxwings are very communal. They learn from one another - how to eat on their own, how to find food, and migrate. I've turned my sweet little bird over to an experienced wild life expert. She has two other Cedar Waxwings.

She keeps Cedar Waxwings for a long time (I think she said up to nine or ten weeks). First they are kept inside in a cage and hand fed. When they learn to eat food from a bowl, she moved them to an outdoor "flight cage." They spend several weeks in the outdoor cage before she releases them. She released a set of Cedar Waxwing's a few weeks ago.

She has trees and bushes of ripe berries on her property. The flight cage door will be left open for the birds to come and go as they please (she closes the door at night).

Once the birds are ready, they will take flight and find their way in the world. Best wishes with your birds.

Jul 14, 2010
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Update...
by: Robin

My little guys foot is working perfectly- He is eating like a little vacuum and is starting to fly-
To help out with getting him weaned I started with Zoo-preem pellets (he only likes the red and orange ones - lol) and he eats them on his own. He isn't picking up the berries on his own yet but we'll get there.... I continue to give him berries throughout the day and he is thriving.
He has a small dish of water but I have yet to see him drink (One of the reasons I continue to give the berries - to avoid dehydration)-
We started calling him Cricket and will be moving him to the aviary once he is eating berries on his own so he can learn to catch bugs / forage for himself....

Jul 13, 2010
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Peppenot
by: Candace

I've have a baby Cedar Waxwing, Peppenot, for three weeks now. He loves tiny grapes, blackberries, and raspberries. I also feed him moistened dry cat food (lamb and rice). Pepppenot flys some from tree to tree, but mostly he stays in our hedge. I don't have any ripe berry bushes or trees in my yard currently. I've wired bunches of grapes in the hedge and he will occasionally eat a grape on his own, but I still am feeding him every half hour or so. I've thought he has become too dependent on me. I released him yesterday in a wild cherry tree (with ripe berries) close to where my daughter found him in the road. Much to my disappointment I returned this evening to find him very stressed and very hungry. He flew right to me, I fed him and brought him home. I really don't think he can fend for himself. I'm going on vacation for three weeks, and I must launch him successfully. Does anyone have any advice for me. Has anyone successfully launched their cedar Waxwing? Thank you, Candace

Jul 13, 2010
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First time Mom
by: Lesley

On Saturday we found a fledgling cedar waxwing under a tree in our yard. Hoping that the parents would return we put him in a berry basket and tied him to the tree and waited. No luck. Came across your wonderful site and found your conversations very helpful. We have been feeding CW cherries, raspberries from our yard, blueberries and a bit of moist dog food. It is now Tuesday and CW is thriving! During the day we have him in a screened tent set up in the trees. We have placed some branches in the tent and CW practices his flying skills from tree to tree but only when we're out there with him to cheer him on. At night he sleeps in a bird cage in a nest that we found under the same tree. We think that we found evidence of the mother in our driveway - probably killed by a cat or other creature. CW still only eats when hand fed. Any tips with weaning would be helpful. Perhaps it is still too early - we're in no rush - enjoying every moment of this experience. Also - haven't seen any adult cedar waxwings in sight - any thoughts? Thanks for the help : ) Lesley...and CW


Jul 11, 2010
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I have one too now...
by: Robin

I rehab tons of animals- rabbits, squirrels- all sorts of birds... You name it and I've probably had one at one time or another.

On the 8th my neighbor came up to me and said "I have another one for you." She handed me a tiny waxwing fledgling.

I had one I raised before and I knew exactly what it was (My husband had neither seen nor heard of one before so he was very impressed- lol).

The neighbor said there were 3- she put them back into the tree and one died, one disappeared (I found the body in my yard minutes later) and this little guy wasn't doing too well.

It may have been the heat over the past couple days or perhaps something happened to mom and dad. But whatever the case, this little guy hadn't eaten in a long time.

I fed some hand feeding formula and went to buy some berries.

He is eating VERY well now-- chirps when he sees me and is hopping all around- I have only one issue:

His right foot has been constantly clenched in a tight little ball ever since the day I got him. He hops around and puts weight on it, but won't open the foot. If I open it for him and perch him properly he can use it but then goes back to the clenching.

Is it a vitamin deficiency? Rickets? Is it permanent? Does anyone have any ideas?

He is not splay legged (I have parrots / chickens / etc). I had a squirrel who had mobility problems due to vitamin deficiencies but some small animal vitamins and he was good to go.

I also had a Jay with a similar problem that didn't make it- when I got him neither of his legs were working at all -He had been alone under a bush in the summer heat for 2 days before the people called me.

I expect this waxwing will be just fine-- just worried about this foot.

Any ideas would be appreciated-
Robin

Jul 09, 2010
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Fledgling Cedar Waxwing Found cont'd
by: Deborah

We've been nursing 'Buster', as we now call him, for 6 days, under the supervision of a state park naturalist. If you're just checking in, Buster was rescued on Saturday, July 3, at the canoe livery where my daughter works.
Fortunately Buster's wing was not injured. Unfortunately, his crippled foot is a real handicap for him. It prevents him from landing safely when flying, unless he lands on a large surface. The foot is curled under at the fore joint, resulting in twisted claws that are totally useless and a knob that is actually a bit slippery. He'd probably be better off without the foot entirely.
He eats voraciously - blueberries, raspberries, bits of tomato and worms. He's noisy and as happy as a bird in a cage can be. I've let him fly in the bathroom - he lands well on the curtain because he can catch himself in the fabric; the shower rod - not so well. He has smacked into the wall a few times and went sliding down, fortunately he hasn't hurt himself.
Now I'm trying to get him to look for food by leaving berries in the bottom of his cage. He stubbornly refuses and I can't let him go hungry too long. I guess it's like weaning a baby. I plan to put some grasses and tiny twigs in his cage today to encourage nest building. Any suggestions on this weaning process is welcome.
The naturalist anticipates releasing him in a week or so if all goes well. We'll look for an area of the park where there are other Cedar Waxwings to release him; there is too much human and dog traffic at the canoe livery and too many cats in my neighborhood.

Jul 04, 2010
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Cedar waxwing won't see June 4 story
by: Connie

Well I let my little cedar waxwing go... i cared for him for 2 weeks.... moved him from a small budgie cage to a larger cage that i had made myself out of 'hardware cloth'. ( wire with small 1/4 holes. easily bendable and you can make quite a large box shaped cage out of).

They are VORACIOUS eaters ! He liked to eat any flying insects that i could catch... mosquitos etc. ( no house flys!)blackberrys, blueberrys, cherries, raspberrys, and i would wire a piece of apple to the inside of the cage so he could pick at it.

They are messy little birds and the cage needed to be cleaned every day.

After 2wks i took him back to the tree nursery where i work... walked out into a field and held him in my hand as he flew just a few feet into the nearest tree....... he sat there and puffed him self up... gave himself a little shake.. took one look at me... and off he went ! What a wonderful feeling !

With a warm heart and tears in my eyes i headed back to the office.

I was standing outside my vehicle talking to a co worker when she suddenly says to me .... DON"T MOVE !

A cedar waxwing was flitting around my head and almost landed on my shoulder !!! I wonder if that was my little 'buddy' come to say thank you and bye bye. I like to think so.

Jul 04, 2010
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Fledgling Cedar Waxwing Found
by: Deborah

My daughter works at a busy canoe livery where they found a young cedar waxwing today. He's just at the point where he's fluffy and trying to fly, but he was on the ground in distress with a crippled, curled up foot and possible wounded wing. It's a busy place with people and dogs running about so leaving him lie there was not an option.

When they first found him he was pretty shook up and crying out in an unhappy manner. She snugged him into a little nest size box and kept him in a quiet place until she finished work.

8 hours later he is happily eating bits of fresh cherry from our fingers and sipping drops of water, even singing. He turns his attention to my daughter when he hears her voice. We're hoping to keep him safe and alive through the night and will take him to a friend who is a state park naturalist tomorrow.

He's a beautiful, personable little bird and we'll do what we can to help him survive. As fun as it might be to keep him, we would do him a great injustice.

Thank you for giving people enough information to make an intelligent rescue AND for discouraging them from making pets of these lovely wild creatures.

Jun 04, 2010
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Injured adult Cedar waxwing
by: Connie

I just had an adult cedar waxwing fly into the window here at the office, I immediately went outside to see if he was ok.

I'm glad I did as I rescued him from certain death, as one of the cats we have was looking at him for lunch!

I carefully picked him up, thinking that he was just stunned and needed awhile to get his bearings again (this has happened before), I found a safe quiet place where the cats wouldn't find him and set him down, twice I went to check on him expecting to find him gone, but no he was still there, he had hopped away a bit , but didn't seem to fly away.

By 5pm when he was still there, I knew I was taking him home. I bent to pick him up and the little fella bit me ! I knew this was a good sign, it meant he was feisty enough to survive.

All I could do was try. I have raised a few injured birds before until they healed enough to fly again. So I thought I'd give it a go.

Thankfully the little fellow is relatively easy to look after and feed, he is an adult after all, and fruit is easy to come by, apples, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries I bought at the grocery store and cut into small bits, I found a small budgie cage and set it up with a bird nest that I had found, some sticks for a couple of perches and some pieces of sod that i had dug up previously in my yard to lay on the bottom.

He is eating up a storm, drinking water out of a small dish and seems to be holding his own right now.

When I put my hand in the cage he sometimes wants to bite me, but I usually have a small piece of fruit in my fingers and he gets that instead of me.

I am not, will not make it a habit to feed him, I've watched him and he is capable of eating on his own. So for the most part I'm just letting him be, we'll see if he heals or not.

I might just wind up sending him to a sanctuary if he can't fly. Or then again..... I might just keep him if they can't/won't.

One more mouth to feed with a house full now makes no difference. At least I know he'll be cared for.

Mar 27, 2010
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Rehabbing a Cedar Waxwing
by: Adrienne

Update. When I called the rehab center they said I should bring him in with a window of opportunity to rehab and repair the wing.

When I asked what they did , they said they put them in a little basket and they don't let them move around.

If the wing does NOT get better they euthanize him. I freaked out. I didn't save him to be killed.

They went on and on about him being stressed.
This bird is anything but stressed! He sings, sits on my shoulder, eats well, altho I still fear he is not getting a balanced diet..
The worms were of no interest. I got wax worms and mealworms.

Anyway, I decided against taking him. He sits on his perch and can fly a little. I will of course release him if he gets his full ability.

I just don't want to see a cat or predator bird get him because he can't fly right.
Thanks again for all the tips,
Adrienne

Mar 27, 2010
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my cat just brought one in...
by: Anonymous

and he is injured. I called the local vets and found no help there. So I just have him in a box with a screen and hopefully he will recover. thanks for the input I am gonna get it some berries.

Mar 05, 2010
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Rehabbing a Cedar Waxwing
by: Adrienne

HI.. we had one fall in the pool. He and his flock were eating berries off of a tree above the pool.
By the time we found him we thought he was dead.

I have raised hundreds of parrot species and handfed Baby birds for years. This bird is not a baby.. he is male.. under the chin is black , that will tell you the sex.

I was able to bring him back with a healing lamp for birds and reptiles. I was shocked. Problem is one wing is higher than the other and a toe is askew. He can't fly.. he can perch tho.

I am thinking he will never fly again..
I am feeding him red berries from the bushes.. he loves them.. and the last of these black little berries from the tree.
He just ate grapes this morning.. he eats right out of my hand or fingers.
I am concerned that he will not get a rounded diet.

Thanks for the info on this site!!!!!!
I will try blueberries and blackberries.
Also meal worms..
He is a voracious eater!!!! LOL
SO tame.. he knows I saved him he just sits on my shoulder or hand. I found a sound clip of waxwings chirping.. and I play it for him.. he sings along.. so sweet.

Any other diet tips would be appreciated.
Thanks again for your site!!!

Oct 06, 2009
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Suggestions to possibly help caring for your cedar waxwing
by: Anonymous

Hi, We did the same caring for our little one.
I would suggest at least this is what we did and it flew away on it's own is we as well took it out to learn to fly. Then during the day we would leave it on a tree branch and feed it.

One day I went out and it was nowhere to be found. I knew it flew off because we knew it was ready to. If it did not leave the branch at night we would keep it in a cage till morning with food in it so we knew it was safe till the next day before we put it back on the tree branch.

We would also work with it to teach it how to spread it's wings and fly.

Good luck!! They are very social birds. We still miss our Patrick. We have not seen him yet but we do have berries on our tree and it just might come back for those in the winter.
Take care

Oct 06, 2009
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Baby Waxwing
by: Birdy

We'd found the lil one sitting in our yard 3 weeks ago. Not able to fly then.
I couldn't just pass knowing he wouldn't make it at this time with barely feathers on him.
He'd turned out to a pretty lil fella now and we taking him out for flight practice.
He doesn't seems to be scared of anything and sits in a cage outside, when not sitting on us.
How do we best release him?

Sep 02, 2009
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Any suggestions we are caring for a young cedar wax wing
by: Anonymous

Hi, I found a young cedar waxwing walking on the ground and realized it could not fly. My 12 year old son and I have been feeding it blueberries and grapes. Do they like raisin's?

We love this little guy. We decided to keep it in a big cage outside at night so cats and dogs etc cannot get it. We leave food in the cage for it.

Once morning time comes we take him or her out not sure how to tell the sex of it and we put it on a branch. It has one wing that lifts higher than the other. We are hoping it will fly even though we are going to miss it.

We adore it and my son named it Patrick assuming it is a male. I can't tell if it is hurt or if it is just needs to learn how to fly. If anyone can give us any suggestions we would be happy to hear them.

We love the little guy and if it flies we hope he will come back to us some day to say Hi. My son mentioned if it does not fly could we care for it. We live in Canada Pinawa, Manitoba.

If this is the case would it stay in a big bird cage in your home? How would you care for it or what do you suggest if he does not fly?

Hats off to all the people who do care for our wildlife in time of need.

Jul 17, 2009
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Cedar the baby
by: Baby Cedar of my Own

My roomies and I just found a baby cedar waxwing caught in a netting. There was no way he/she would survive on his own even after we got him/her free. Too many wild cats around. So now we have "Cedar" the baby wax wing.

He was really thirsty, so we first gave Cedar little drops on our finger. Cedar started getting more alert after that. Cedar loves to eat blackberries and riding on our shoulder.

Your blog about Larry was very helpful! Any other advice would great help!

Jul 10, 2009
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Who Named Him?
by: Anonymous

Knowing that you are a mom I thought it most likely that your kids or husband named him, is this true?

Jul 10, 2009
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Gooooo Larry
by: team larry

Larry sounds happy in YOUR hands you don't have or want to ever give him up to a "rehab pro"
who does not have the time to feed or poop every 15-20 min.

Nobody is gonna stand there all day 16 hrs a day 7 days a week four weeks a month 12 months a year and so on, unless they love him! If you can take care of him you should!

I say they should leave you alone he is your pet and if he is happy LET HIM BE I sure hope you don't give in and abandon him to the "rehab pro's"

Jul 10, 2009
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Cedar Waxwing
by: k.d.

hats off to you girl...you don't need a license to save an animal. 50 years ago there were no vets for hundreds or thousands of miles away, so many of us had to get the job done with common sense.

I've seen more harm done by "licensed professionals" to animals than by adults with common sense.

I myself have raised many types of baby animals, from feeding baby raccoons with an eyedropper when their mom was killed by a neighbor...to raising a baby fawn who's mother was struck dead on the side of the highway ..the list goes on and they're all running free in the forest today.

Like I said all these professionals are man made titles that didn't exist until recently and weren't needed for thousands of years to help humans care for the creatures of the forest.

We should always be on the lookout for our little neighbors!

Jun 28, 2009
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law of the land
by: Anonymous

I am a federal rehaber and I can assure you that just having that title does not mean squat. It sounds like the person here is doing a great job at raising this waxwing. We must leave liberalism out of this and stick to the law of the land. These birds belong to God, not any government agency. Good job on what you are doing!

Feb 09, 2009
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Call Wildlife Rehabber
by: Gene

It sounds like you should try to find a rehabber. Try this link or call a local vet and ask them if they know a wildlife rehabber.

http://www.tc.umn.edu/%7Edevo0028/

Feb 09, 2009
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care of a newly found injured adult cedar waxwing
by: mary

I want to know what how when to feed. the tail is askew, he is unable to lift off, but can move quite easily. thanks

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