Rescued Baby Jackdaw! advice please

Hi Everyone.

Im in France and my dog had in his mouth by a wing a large baby Jackdaw. It wasn't injured and was just sat on the grass after my dog dropped him. 

The dog pulled him out of my barns fireplace that is unused so I am unable to put the chick back in the nest I have left the bird in a box in the fireplace incase the parents find him but

What if they don't?

Its very large has nearly all feathers and looks healthy and alert I don't want to leave him to starve and the Vets in france just kill them.

Anyone have any ideas what to feed and how often? 

  • Hi Rynn, welcome to the forum.

    with all juvenile / fledgling birds the best advice is to leave them alone!

    Certainly don't place them in a box or any other container!

    I know your intentions were in the best interest of the juvenile, but Mother Nature can be cruel. Birds generally don't fledge unless they are ready. I know very young birds sometimes fall out or the runt of the nestlings is pushed out. These birds can be sometimes returned to the nest.

    The parents will do everything they can to fend off any predators, fledglings are also very adapt at hiding and keeping quiet. To give the parents every opportunity of looking after it, return it to were your dog found it immediately.

    The parents will only call for the young for so long, if they don't respond the parents will move on!!!

    I know it is very difficult not to intervene, but again I can't put it any other way but to leave any fledgling alone.

    Regards Buzzard

    Nature Is Amazing - Let Us Keep It That Way

  • In reply to Buzzard:

    Hi Buzzard,

    Thank you for your advise but the dog found the bird inside a fireplace in my barn. There is no other way the birds can get in other than down the chimney. 

    Is it likely they will be able to come down the chimney to find the chick?

    I do not know how long the chick has been in there as my barn is only used as storage and it is possible it may have been in there for a number of days.

    Is it your advice to just let the poor thing starve to death? 



  • In reply to Rynn:

    Hi Rynn, my advice is to return the bird were it was found?

    Also this would be the advice given by any member of the RSPB.

    If you are absolutely certain there is no entry points to the barn, then I would release the bird outside on ground level as near to the nesting site as possible.

    I'm sure I don't need to give a reply with regards to the other birds coming down the chimney!

    Regards Buzzard


    Nature Is Amazing - Let Us Keep It That Way

  • In reply to Buzzard:

    I have returned the bird to where it was found as soon as i managed to get it off the dog it has been there all day and has been calling when I pop my head in the door 20m away.

    As of yet there are no signs that any parent birds have managed to get in. 

    I will leave it there as long as possible but as I asked before is your advise to leave it there until it starves?

    I have experience with almost every other animals as I have worked in zoos on farms and with domestic pets - having spent 2 years doing an animal care diploma and the last 9+ years working full time with animals in one job or another 

    But I must admit I have never had any knowledge with wild birds like this before so any advise is needed and very welcome.



  • In reply to Rynn:

    I hesitated to answer as Buzzard is amazingly knowlegeable and has given me and many others excellent advice on these boards. He really knows his stuff!  (I am just a garden birdwatcher and amateur).

    This is just as an extra comment really, if the parents don't appear, could you put some mealworms in a flattish dish in the hope that the bird will take them? I know I could not just leave it to starve, as you fear it may. Some people have successfully bred young fledgings and I will attempt to add a link which may be of some help.

    Kind regards Jane.

  • In reply to Goldcrest:

    Having left the chick alone where it was found, for 2 days late yesterday I finally heard two different calls one was the chicks and a different one.

    I thought the mother had found it at last but when I looked closer - there sat next to chick number 1 was another chick who could be his twin both sat in the fire place next to each other.

    I now have two chicks sat in my fireplace and both calling for food the first is becoming quite hungry now after two days maybe more without food. I will now be hand rearing both chicks as I cannot leave them to starve.

    Any advise on what to feed and how often would be most welcome I understand tinned cat food is best?

    Also these chicks have almost all feathers even wing feathers. but they still only sit in one place without moving so are not able to look after themselves yet.

    Advice please.



  • In reply to Rynn:

    Hi Rynn,

    It seems pretty clear that the standard 'leave them alone' advice won't work in this case, as the chicks have landed somewhere where the parents cannot safely reach them. The next best thing would be (in my opinion) to put them outside somewhere elevated where they'll be visible to their parents and safe from ground predators, but that may not be possible.

    In the UK there are strict laws about taking wild birds into your care but I don't know what the deal is in France, quite possibly different. Ideally if they cannot safely be left somewhere around your property where their parents will find them, then they should go to an experienced wild bird rehabilitiator, but again that may not be possible.

    If you go ahead and handrear them, this link may be helpful: Good luck :)

    My blog:

    My Flickr page:

  • In reply to Buzzard:

    Hi Rynn , we had this , they love soft cat food , the tins you peel the foil lid back on - they love chicken flavour , just a bit on your finger into their mouths and they love it , they will be shouting you for it , about every hr or 2
  • Hi Rynn

    I suggest doing whatever you feel comfortable doing. Leaving well alone at the bottom of a fireplace is clearly NOT the best idea. I've recently 'rescued' one from the impending clutches of a local cat and whilst I subscribe to 'mother nature' doing its thing I'm afraid I won't stand by and see an invasive species (cats) take a baby jackdaw. I know, I know all you 'experts' out there will be having fits but thats the way I roll so get used to it.

    Hope yours was ok?

  • The jackdaw will be long dead as the thread is over a decade old.

    Re rescuing birds from cats, I don't think anyone on a bird forum would have an issue with that action.