Baby starlings found in Gander home need their mom, SPCA says

Staff at the animal shelter are feeding the starlings by hand.

6 little birds were found in a home under construction

The tiny birds have to be fed by hand, and they're hungry. (Martin Jones/CBC)

The Gander SPCA is looking after a family of six babies — but they're not a species you'd typically find at the shelter.

A nest of starlings was delivered to the SPCA after the birds were found in the vents of a new home being built nearby.

"They were siding over the vent hole and they brought the birds down here," said Bonnie Harris, SPCA manager, on Wednesday.

Harris estimated the starlings are eight to 10 days old.

Staff have been feeding them cat food using tweezers, trying not to handle them so they don't imprint on humans. They sleep a lot, Harris said, until they get hungry.

"Right now i think the only thing they're concerned about is getting fed. They have to be fed every 45 minutes to an hour."

Bonnie Harris, manager of the Gander SPCA, feeds the birds, while some of the other shelter clients watch from another room. (Martin Jones/CBC)

After three days at the shelter, Harris is hoping to reunite the birds with their mom back at the house.

"The plan now is to bring them down to the home when they're hungry, making all this noise, hoping mom will still be nearby and if she is, we're going to be setting up a birdhouse at the back of the property and hopefully she will take care of them from there."

If that doesn't work, Harris said the SPCA will try to raise the birds until they are old enough to fly, something she has done before with robins. 

The birds were found in the vents of a home under construction and were brought to the SPCA in a plastic tote. (Martin Jones/CBC)

That doesn't always work out, however. 

"I had another bird that wouldn't go. It wanted to be with people. It ended up in a convenience store on somebody's shoulder," she said.

Whatever happens, the starlings won't be offered up as pets.

"These are wild birds. They will not be up for adoption ... they will definitely be released."

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Martin Jones and Central Morning Show

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