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Friday, June 8, 2007

New features and information - diets and tips for what to do when you find Scrub Jay in need of a rescue

With summer upon us, many people are writing in for advice, all with different birds in different stages – all with different issues. We have helped 80 people with birds. I say we, because I learn from all of you too.

This is our latest rescue sent in from Andrew Knight. He will make a great caretaker and companion for his new friend who would not survive if released where he lives.

All the rescues have been Scrub Jays, accept Nessa. She has an incredible ability to find Scrubs and Crows covered in a mystery oil. She cleans them and saves them along with other birds in need of help.

For those that do not know, they are the in the same species as the Crow.

There is a permanent link on the top right of the blog, a post on what to do if you find a Scrub Jay in need of rescue. I will be adding quick tips there for people who just found a bird. Part of the post talks of making the right decision on keeping the bird or not. Most of the time its better to let them go back to their parents -- however, this is not always possible. Some rescue agencies will not take them. They cannot be kept long and still be released. Although one thing we have learned, there are exceptions to every rule. People have e-mailed who have a partial custody arrangement. The bird comes back at night to feed, sleep, and then back out with its original family during the day. One boy has had a Scrub Jay he rescued that flies free all the time and comes and goes at it pleases, but spends most of its time with him. I know of a Crow that has become very close to an Autistic child. This shows how social and smart these birds truly are.

The first thing when you get bird in trouble is determine if its injured, it may only be stunned and be fine in minutes. Put it in a dim lit box, padded with soft cloth or cotton.

They need to eat as babies every thirty minutes during the day. They sleep all night. The get all water from food until they can eat non-liquefied food.

Emergency diet ( Cant get to store in time)


Dry Cat Food

Hard Boiled Egg Yolk

Mix and liquefy. Feed with a feeder or small spoon if necessary.

A good diet –

Mix and liquefy the following as directed below



Dry Cat Food

Hard Boiled Egg Yolk


Boiled carrots, very soft

Mix the product EXACT with crushed up dry cat food. 70% exact 15% % cat food; add 15% egg yolk, hard-boiled. . Crush the cat food up very fine. Use good cat food, no fancy flavored moist treats -- regular cat food. Add water until it is like watery oatmeal.

You can also add

Crushed up meal worms

Boiled carrots, very soft

As the bird matures, they will start to be able to eat tidbits of all the above ingredients. Start with mealworms or egg yolk as a good natural food when he or she is old enough. They will drink regular water as soon as they are old enough to eat non-liquefied food.

It is very important to keep a very constant and steady diet. It is like feeding a baby; they will let you know when they are hungry. They will stop when they are done. You are more likely to underfeed a baby then over feed it, which in Blue’s case, was not possible.

If you need more info or help with any Scrub Jay feel free to e-mail me, but I appreciate posts so everyone can learn. I am glad that Blue’s life has helped save so many other rescues. Most all have been released. The few that could not, have great responsible companions and caretakers. A few went to wildlife rescue centers. A few died, one in my hand, hit by a car it had a punctured lung. You are the people who care enough to seek out information instead of going it alone. Someone helped me when I found Blue, or he surly would have died. I am also posting some quick emergency tips and diets on the right side soon for quick access.


elizabeth said...

this looks like a great list of foods! but i just want to highlite that it is very important that the main ingredient of the cat food is "chicken", not corn meal. jays need at least 22% protine and 8% percent fat. purina one is good, and so is chicken soup for the cat lovers soul "lite"....for proper plumage, or least glimmering plumage to brag about, it's also important that they get proper vitamins. the recipe that i like is as follows:
2 cups soaked cat food

1/2 cup NON MEDICATED chicken feed (this is already enriched with the proper vitamins, so you don't have to add extra)

1/4 cup apple sauce

1 hardboiled egg.

you blend this all together and it makes a yummy mash birdies love.but it spoils kinda quick, so change the food out as soon as it smells sour

if you can't find the chicken pellets, you can use vitamins like prime, or ultra preen, combined with 1 crushed tums 750. mix that in with the egg, applesauce, and catfood and that's just wonderful for babies and adults alike. recipe courtesy of starlingtalk.

i also love frozen peas as a treat, and mung lentils and whole wheat sprouts are yummy snacks too!
i'm going to try the cooked carrots tomarrow!

Realist said...

Thanks Elizabeth,
She is absolutely right. The main thing, which those who write me for help know, is PROTIEN. It had been ten years since Blue was on a baby diet, so Elizabeth's diet tip is better -- and I would use it. I also use Purina. It does not have the Wheat Gluten problem and has the stuff they need, meat protein.
She is right about the plumage too. I feed Blue the same, in a slightly different mix, but the many of the vitamins the need come from vegetables and fruit, but don't over do it. My vet tells me apple, carrots are good.
Blue just got his new feathers in. He is flying again and doing great, despite being blind in one eye. His new feathers are amazing for an old guy. Thanks Elizabeth!