Juvenline Starling

by Ashley

My friend found a juvenile starling near the road last night. She doesn't appear to have anything wrong with her wings, however she can't seem to stand properly. When she tries to sit or land after fluttering, she leans to one side. I've checked her legs and there are no obvious injuries or breaks. She's not bleeding and she's perfectly alert.

At the moment she is relatively calm and just looking around, as we currently have her in a bird cage. What could be wrong with her and is there anything I should do? How long should I wait before releasing her?

Comments for Juvenline Starling

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Jul 03, 2012
My Darling Starling
by: Anonymous

Wow! Some folks REALY have a negative outlook on Starlings! Imperial is one year and 2 months old as of this post. My husband found him on the road in front of our house when he was maybe 4 days old. He has had vet check-ups, has no parasites etc. loves his baths and loves ME! My vet couldn't believe how spoiled a little wild bird could be,nor could believe how close he and I are. he sleeps in a pet carrier every night with his blankets and a heating pad underneath. I give him kisses before putting him in his bed every night and tell him "Momma Loves YOU". Imperial talks, laughs and throws kisses at me. Some pet shop birds aren't so intelligent and frustate their owners because they were promised the bird would talk... Imperial put togthter his own sentences, loves playing with the cat and our dog, he is such a BIG part of our family and I feel truly blest he his here, a wild animal that chose to stay and it was all his decision to make.

Oct 05, 2011
starling care
by: Anonymous

Some starlings are a little wobbly when first leaving the nest. That limp may go away on it's own. Broken coracoids (like our collar bone) are common in nestlings hitting the ground. If the wing is involved, the bird most likely will have problems molting. Normally wing feathers molt equally on both wings, however nerve damage to one wing can cause all of that wing's feathers to molt at once leaving the bird vulnerable to predators.
The others are right about getting the starling reunited with it's parents, however if the parents are no longer willing to take the baby, my advice would be to keep it as a pet. First of all, in the US starlings are non-native and most licensed rehabbers won't take them. Some of the ones that will,take them will use them as food for other animals. And then there are the people proclaiming to be rehabbers, but are just goofs without a license.
My darling pet starling was rescued from a rehabber who was going to put him down because he was too you to successfully raise for release. Right now he is on my shoulder saying "Can I get a kiss?" Yes, they are great talkers and legal to keep as pets in the U.S.A. Some states do have restrictions on them, so check with your state's DNR.
Starlings are not supposed to be syringe fed parrot formula. Go to Starling Talk's web page for futher instructions. And anybody who wants to take in a starling as a pet should have a fecal done on him by a vet. Sure it will cost $100 or so for the exam, however these birds are every bit as worthy as any store bought bird, which (knowing breeder's practices) should also be brought to a vet for an exam.

Jun 23, 2011
Juvenline Starling
by: Linda

Your question has been covered, and I just want to add a few comments. Some years ago, I found a partially fledged Blue Jay baby in our back yard. I immediately flew into a tizzy thinking this baby was going to die. I put him in a cage, fed him baby parrot handfeeding formula with a syringe which he loved by the way! I kept him for a week and all during this time, his mother was at the garage windows calling to him and making a lot of stress for the baby. I finally called the Audubon Society and was informed to put him back where I found him and where his mother could see him. The hardest thing I've ever done was to walk away from that baby who now viewed me as his mother. He was crying, flapping his wings, and still I walked away. I sat on porch steps with binoculars and watched and waited as I was not going to leave him to die out there.

It was only about 5 or 10 minutes when the mother flew over to him, offered him some food, and started hopping/flying away from him so he would follow into a safer area. As far as I know, he did fine as I did not see him out in the open again.

The Audubon people said the Jays, Mockingbirds, Starlings and most of the other larger softbills do this. The babies are actually able to glide gently to the ground because they are fully feathered just not thickly yet. After that, mother shows them how and what to eat and feeds them to make sure they are eating enough. This goes on until babies are able to find food and fill themselves. They are also able to fly very well by the end of this training period.

So, take heart, and put your baby back where it was or under a nice shade tree in the area. Watch for a bit, and you'll need binoculars as mother won't come near if you are anywhere close. See what happens. If mother bird does not come for baby, then take him to a rehab center so he can be fed and nurtured until he is ready to be released. If he has not eaten in a while, you'll need to buy some baby parrot hanfeeding formula, mix and heat according to directions and feed with a 30-60cc(mm) syringe. They have to be fed several times a day if you're doing it. Continue to feed baby until he is turned over to the rehab center and tell them what you've been feeding.


Jun 23, 2011
Juvenile starling found
by: The Avian Vet

You should take her back where she was found and put her in a safe place so the mother can come and care for her. If this is not an option then you need to find a wildlife rehab facility to take her to. They will examine her and feed her and rehab her for release.

Wild birds should be left alone. These birds are typically trying to fledge and learn to fly and it is always best to leave them where you find them so the parents can care for them properly.

Dr B

Jun 23, 2011
Juvenile starling found
by: Tracie

Dr B will eventually answer this, but I just wanted to mention that if you have birds in your home, you should NOT allow the starling in your home and you need to change your clothes and wash before handling your birds so you don't pass on any disease the wild bird might have.

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