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Old 23-06-2008, 21:58
fluffydice
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4 weeks ago a baby seagull was sitting in a corner in our busy town center and a group of young kids found it and started to terrorise it, they were throwing it to each other and up in the air to try and make it fly, it was tiny and had downy feathers so looked about a week or so old, (I have no idea how to tell a birds age though!)

I waded into these kids and told them in no uncertain terms what I thought of them and took the poor little thing off them, I brought the baby home as I didnt want to put it back where it was found as it was in town center with no trees or anything around, I kept it in a box indoors over night at took it to the vet the next morning, he told me the only option was to put it to sleep, I thought after all the terror it had been through and survived it would be horrible to have it put down so I told the vet I would take it home and hand rear it, he told me that was a nice option but it was very doubtful it would survive more than a few days.

Well I fed it cat food and tinned fish, and now, 4 weeks later he is doing really well, hes very big and got most of his flight feathers, I think very soon he will be ready for take off! which I will be happy to see but also very sad as its been a pleasure taking care of him, although Ive never cared for seagulls much as living by the sea I see hundreds of them everyday rummaging through the dustbins!

I dont know if there are any birdie people on the forum but what is the best way to let a hand reared bird fly away, do you take them some where or will they just go off all on their own, hes not in a cage or anything like that, he just lives happily on my balcony, he has never lived inside as I do know that seagulls live on roof tops so being outside is not a problem for them. I just wondered if I will get up one morning and he will be gone, will he come back to feed as he has never had to hunt for food himself, if he is a she will he lay eggs in the box its been using for his nest. Just some advice if there are any experts or members who know somehting about rearing wild birds.
thanks
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Old 23-06-2008, 22:03
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I'm no expert so unfortunately cannot help you, but I just wanted to say, what a lovely thing you did. People like you restore my faith that there are still decent people in society
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Old 23-06-2008, 22:03
bankgal
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Contact the RSPB - they have all the knowledge you need and may wish to keep the little thing to adapt him/her before letting it go - and often they are more than happy for you to be there when they allow it to fly away.

That way you will know the bird has the best start in life.

To just let a hand reared bird go free can be disastrous to it so I would do the above if I were in your situation - very well donefor having reared it so well, by the way!
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Old 23-06-2008, 22:14
Keefy-boy
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we looked after a seagull for a while. rspb didn't want to know! rspca took it in pending release.
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Old 23-06-2008, 22:22
stud u like
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4 weeks ago a baby seagull was sitting in a corner in our busy town center and a group of young kids found it and started to terrorise it, they were throwing it to each other and up in the air to try and make it fly, it was tiny and had downy feathers so looked about a week or so old, (I have no idea how to tell a birds age though!)

I waded into these kids and told them in no uncertain terms what I thought of them and took the poor little thing off them, I brought the baby home as I didnt want to put it back where it was found as it was in town center with no trees or anything around, I kept it in a box indoors over night at took it to the vet the next morning, he told me the only option was to put it to sleep, I thought after all the terror it had been through and survived it would be horrible to have it put down so I told the vet I would take it home and hand rear it, he told me that was a nice option but it was very doubtful it would survive more than a few days.

Well I fed it cat food and tinned fish, and now, 4 weeks later he is doing really well, hes very big and got most of his flight feathers, I think very soon he will be ready for take off! which I will be happy to see but also very sad as its been a pleasure taking care of him, although Ive never cared for seagulls much as living by the sea I see hundreds of them everyday rummaging through the dustbins!

I dont know if there are any birdie people on the forum but what is the best way to let a hand reared bird fly away, do you take them some where or will they just go off all on their own, hes not in a cage or anything like that, he just lives happily on my balcony, he has never lived inside as I do know that seagulls live on roof tops so being outside is not a problem for them. I just wondered if I will get up one morning and he will be gone, will he come back to feed as he has never had to hunt for food himself, if he is a she will he lay eggs in the box its been using for his nest. Just some advice if there are any experts or members who know somehting about rearing wild birds.
thanks
It is difficult because he or she is going to smell different to other seagulls and they will pick up on it. They will also notice any odd human behaviour which might have been learned by your gull.

It is also going to be difficult to teach him or her to fly. It can be done. I taught my cocketiel to fly but a seagull is a lot bigger and is going to need a lot of lift and encouragement. In the wild,the mothers push them off and they flap their wings and fly.

I guess it might be easier to hire a glider and teach the seagull that way or you might just have to keep him or her as a pet as the poor little thing is missing so much of it's socialisation from the nesting mother.
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Old 23-06-2008, 22:30
bankgal
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we looked after a seagull for a while. rspb didn't want to know! rspca took it in pending release.
S*ds!! At least you found someone who would!

I agree with SUL which is why I think both you and I, Keefy-boy, referenced certain organisations.
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Old 23-06-2008, 22:49
Spot
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Birds don't have a good sense of smell so I don't think that aspect ahould be too worrying.
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Old 23-06-2008, 22:58
littlelady
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I don't know anything about rearing birds or anything but what a nice thing to do! Too many people are cruel to animals these days nice to know that there is people like you! Hope all goes well with the birdy!!
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Old 23-06-2008, 23:08
Spot
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A wildlife centre might be able to give advice. Try 'Animal Welfare Societies' in the yellow pages.
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Old 23-06-2008, 23:58
Binnman
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Give your local Police a call. They usually keep a list of folks/groups who can help in these situations.

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Old 24-06-2008, 00:00
gonnaenodaethat
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I've had a disasterous weekend with sea gulls as a thread I started shows.

Well done for hand rearing the young chick this far. i think now it has to go somewhere where it can be properly weaned and made wild again. I'm up in Scotland and our SSPCA does it but I'm not sure about England. You could try phoning the wild life rescue place at Leatherhead in surrey for a wee bit of advice. I seen on their sos programme a seagull they helped back into the wild.

Have a look at my thread and look at my pics. It was a sad outcome today but I'm hoping for better news tomorrow but I'm not setting my heart on them being ok.
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Old 24-06-2008, 00:11
jon8769
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Just wanted to say what a kind thing you did for the seagull fledgling; you've given it a chance. Its good to hear there are people in the world willing to put themselves out for one of nature's creatures. I was touched reading what you did.

I am not au fait with rearing fledglings etc but am sure the RSPB will be able to give you some advice.

Good luck with it and let's hope he takes flight soon!
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Old 24-06-2008, 06:03
fluffydice
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Thankyou for all your replies, unfortunatly the animal welfare people round here, including the RSBP dont really want to know when it comes to seagulls, I guess its cos there are so many round here they dont worry about dwindling numbers.

I did report what happened to the police, I dont know why to be honest as it was an animal the youths were hounding not a person, but they were more angry with me wading into the gang, they thought it was a silly and dangerous thing to do for the sake of a baby bird, or flying pest as the desk sergant told me! But I am a great animal lover no matter what creature it is and cant stand to see something being tortured for the sake of fun.

I will just have to wait and see what happens when he gets all his flight feathers and hope I can get him to fly away safely. If he comes back then thats fine by me as long as he can get the freedom he needs when he wants it.
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Old 24-06-2008, 07:13
fluffydice
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I've had a disasterous weekend with sea gulls as a thread I started shows.

Well done for hand rearing the young chick this far. i think now it has to go somewhere where it can be properly weaned and made wild again. I'm up in Scotland and our SSPCA does it but I'm not sure about England. You could try phoning the wild life rescue place at Leatherhead in surrey for a wee bit of advice. I seen on their sos programme a seagull they helped back into the wild.

Have a look at my thread and look at my pics. It was a sad outcome today but I'm hoping for better news tomorrow but I'm not setting my heart on them being ok.


Awww thats the exact size the gull was when I resuced him, Im gonna attatch some pics so you can see how hes grown. He just wanders into the house when he wants, which annoys my hubby lol.



http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...chris/Pip2.jpg



http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...eringround.jpg


http://i184.photobucket.com/albums/x...tingbigger.jpg

Last edited by fluffydice : 24-06-2008 at 07:18. Reason: I didnt put the pics on right
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Old 24-06-2008, 09:58
goldberry1
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Well done for rescuing and rearing the seagull. In my opinion you need advice from a bird sanctuary or wildlife centre.

I once had an experience with a seabird too:

I think it was not last autumn but the year before. We were walking on a lonely beach up here and came across a strange bird. At first it reminded me of those pictures of the extinct dodo, then a bit like a penguin. It seemed only a young bird and it was sitting forlornly on the sand. We thought it looked sick or lost so my boyfriend managed to get it wrapped in his coat (with a lot of struggling). We rang the RSPCA who suggested a nearby vet on their lists. The vet wanted to put it down which seemed a bit drastic - so even though we lived a few miles away from the coast we took him home - at one point this bird , straight from the north sea, was in my sitting room in the cat basket watching the football with my OH watched nervously by my two cats (had a sharp beak). We rang the RSPCA again, explained what had happened, and they came to collect him - it turned out he was a guillemot who spend nearly all their lives out at sea and if they come in land like he had it usually meant there was something wrong. The inspector thought he wasn't too bad, took him away to have him looked at , be given some sardines and hopefully re-released.

I was angry with the vet who didn't even want to look at the guillemot but said would put him down - at a fee.....
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Old 24-06-2008, 10:19
liquidJP
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Well done you have raised a pet, totally incapable of feeding or looking after itself in the wild, if you release it in the wild it will be dead within days.

I totally commend your actions in rescuing the chick, but i don't think you have done the right thing in the long term by hand raising a wild bird.

You raised it and made the choice not to do the humane thing, it's your responsibility to look after it for the rest of it's life, or you can hand it over to a charitible organisation, and of course make a suitible donation for it to be looked after.
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Old 24-06-2008, 11:16
fluffydice
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I respect how you feel liquidjp but I didnt see the need to have a perfectly ok chick put down, and I thought he had been through enough being chucked about by youths.

I am prepared to look after him for as long as it takes, if that means forever then so be it, at least I know he will be warm and well fed. Yes he is a wild animal but even wild animals deserve a chance.

The wild life sanctuary nearest to me is full up and wont take him so I am left with him but thats fine. I didnt rescue him to become a pet I rescued him to save his life from a horrible death.
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Old 24-06-2008, 13:08
FearFactor
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I've been in a similar situation, when I rescued 2 ducklings from a busy city street where they were running around dodging the traffic.

I took them home and kept them in a pen in my garden, fed them chick crumbs and then larger food as they got bigger, and encouraged them to forage for themselves by only minimal feeding. After about 5 months they were fluttering about and sometimes leaving the garden, and by 6 or 7 months they seemed to have fully "fledged".

I would keep the bird on your balcony (from what you've said I assume he could fly away if he wanted to?), give him a bit of food, and if he decides he wants to fly off and join the other birds then be pleased for him, but if he decides he wants to stay with you, keep up the good work you've been doing and continue to feed him, he'll be a great pet.

fF
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Old 24-06-2008, 13:41
charlie1
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I think what you are doing is wonderful!
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Old 24-06-2008, 13:54
sheddy99
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great well done, no doubt it will be ripping open binbags and attacking smaller birds within weeks
Nice nurturing instinct you've got, commend you on that, but seagulls are vermin. I would be less worried about 'dwindling numbers' of seagulls and more worried about dwindling numbers of the baby swans and ducklings they kill for food.
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Old 24-06-2008, 14:15
jon8769
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great well done, no doubt it will be ripping open binbags and attacking smaller birds within weeks
Nice nurturing instinct you've got, commend you on that, but seagulls are vermin. I would be less worried about 'dwindling numbers' of seagulls and more worried about dwindling numbers of the baby swans and ducklings they kill for food.
To be fair to the OP, they acted upon impulse after seeing this fledgling being attacked by children. Or do you condone animal cruelty so long as its on animals you don't like?
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Old 24-06-2008, 15:49
Becky Bloomwood
 
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*shudder* I hate seagulls. They scare me a bit

Out of interest, OP, does it know you? Can wild birds form attachments to people?
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Old 24-06-2008, 15:55
gonnaenodaethat
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*shudder* I hate seagulls. They scare me a bit

Out of interest, OP, does it know you? Can wild birds form attachments to people?

Yes they can in a way. Sam is a seagull who stays in my street and he taps on windows for food. He sits along side cats waiting for cat biscuits.
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Old 24-06-2008, 15:56
gonnaenodaethat
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Well done you have raised a pet, totally incapable of feeding or looking after itself in the wild, if you release it in the wild it will be dead within days.

I totally commend your actions in rescuing the chick, but i don't think you have done the right thing in the long term by hand raising a wild bird.

You raised it and made the choice not to do the humane thing, it's your responsibility to look after it for the rest of it's life, or you can hand it over to a charitible organisation, and of course make a suitible donation for it to be looked after.

I agree with what you say but i feel the OP had her heart in the right place. As its only a few weeks old I would urge her to contact wildlife sos in leatherhead for advice.
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Old 24-06-2008, 17:32
Brain Donor
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Wildlife Aid contacts page

I'm sure they'll be able to give advice on getting it back in to the wild, or put you in touch with someone closer to where you live.

Well done for rescuing it in the first place.
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