I wonder if I can have some advice regarding a young rook with pins on the feathers found on the ground near us. We attempted to reunite the bird with its parents, which hasn’t been successful. The bird is not eating by itself and still needs to be fed. The animal is otherwise strong and stands tall, although it trips over a lot. He or she has attempted a couple of flights, which always end in a crash landing. Can you please advise what to do next?
This years fledglings, assuming they are healthy and the plumage is of good quality, are best released in early autumn, after the breeding season. This gives these birds enough time to get the strength and confidence they require to survive in the wild. They are best released in small groups and near a rookery or a roaming mixed flock of rooks and jackdaws. This means, until then, the bird need to go together into a suitable aviary together with other youngsters, and ideally with older birds too, which may also be earmarked to be released in autumn. This will help the youngsters to learn how to forage, how to socialise and how to communicate. This will also reduce the extent off imprinting and habituation.
The only safe way to release these birds is a soft release, meaning from a release aviary, which remains open during the day so that birds can come back for food, water and shelter. This process may take about 6 to 8 weeks, and some birds may decide to stay for another year or even two years, before they decide that they feel fit enough for the harsh life in the wild. Please check out our corvid care page for more detailed information.
Please check out the links below, which will take you to third party databases of rescues and rehabbers in the UK. Please note that not all bird rescues and rehabbers are specialised in corvids or are able to provide long term care facilities suitable for the specific needs of corvids. Prior to the hand over of any rescue animal, it is recommended to check the relevant policies of the rescue or veterinary surgeon concerned, which includes respective euthanasia policies.