Registered Charity No. 1228
Registered Charity No. 1228

Hand-rear birds

Barn swallow fledgling taking a mealworm from a pair of feeding tweezers Feeding a swallow

It’s an amazing privilege to be able to watch baby birds grow, nurture them, get to know their individual personalities and release them back into the wild.  It’s also a huge responsibility and a lot of hard work! Do you have what it takes? 

Hand-rear ducklings, baby gulls, pheasant chicks and similar

Rescued pheasant chick in aviary Pheasant chick

These birds are already well developed when they hatch, and can run around following their mother and peck at their own food. You need to keep their cage or enclosure clean and make sure they always have food and water. You can look after these birds in your own home even if you are out for most of the day. When they are small they need to be kept warm so they will need to be indoors or in an outbuilding with electricity. When they are older they will need a run or pen outside, or be allowed to exercise in an enclosed garden. 

Hand-rear songbirds, crows and similar

Young Barn Swallow with eyes closed and almost naked lying in a rehabilitator’s hand A helpless baby swallow

These birds are born helpless and almost naked. They soon open their eyes and begin to grow feathers but they remain in a nest and must have food placed into their beak when they gape. They need to be fed around every 30 minutes from dawn until dusk so you will need to be home most of the time if if you want to rear these babies. 

House martin nestlings in a bowl gaping House Martin chicks gaping

If your job will allow it, you can take them to work with you and continue feeding them. Once they are feeding themselves, they are ready to go into one of our release aviaries. 

Hand-rear pigeons and doves

Collared dove squab in a nest bowl Collared dove squab

Baby pigeons and doves have a large crop to store food, and can be fed formula every 2 to 4 hours. 

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© Manx Wild Bird Aid --- Isle of Man registered charity No. 1228