Hi, we raised a starling for a bout 3 weeks. He was feeding himself and flying outside and getting his grown up feathers. He always came in at night time. We live deep in the countryside. He flew off one sunny morning and he hasn't come home since. I read so many different opinions. Some say never let them fly outside, some say set them free when they feed themselves. Would love to know what the RSPB thinks about this. Hard to keep starling in cage! Hated it! I like to think he has found some other youngsters and is off on his adventures.
I hope he has flown away and mixed with his own kind.I presume you reared the bird by hand because he was orphaned,if so releasing into the wild should always be the aim,the idea of a cage is a big no no in my opinion.
Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can
I also hope he has joined a flock of his own kind and having fun in the countryside, where he should be.
See my photos on Flickr
I agree about cages. I couldn't have kept him in a cage. When I tried to put him in one if I was cooking he got so angry! We rescued him on a dreadful rainy and windy day from being attacked by other birds when he was quite small and had been orphaned and he grew and thrived. Thank you for reassuring me that birds should fly free. I know nature is survival of the fittest and tough but isn't is better to have perhaps a shorter life and to be free than a long life in captivity?
issyisn't is better to have perhaps a shorter life and to be free than a long life in captivity?
Absolutely. Far better to have the glory of only one day of freedom than a lifetime of caged misery and frustration.
The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing which stands in the way - William Blake
He's probably found the local flocks and joined up. If he'd become imprinted you'd have known about it. He would have stuck close by and preferred your company. I have a starling in the house that was hand-reared at a wildlife centre and released but landed on a lady in her garden 2 weeks later and followed her into the house. This bird is definitely an imprint and when out of his cage tends to only spend time on humans.
As for caged birds, if they're used to it, its their home/territory and not a prison (as long as they have enough space, the right equipment and the right food). Given an open cage and the choice every evening, sometimes our birds don't bother to come out.
A closed mouth gathers no foot.
MaisieAs for caged birds, if they're used to it, its their home/territory and not a prison (as long as they have enough space, the right equipment and the right food). Given an open cage and the choice every evening, sometimes our birds don't bother to come out.
Captive bred maybe otherwise very debatable point.
Had your starling been away for 2 weeks then and suddenly turned up on the lady? I miss my starling and even though he used to fly away for hours he'd come back. I suppose he had imprinted on me a bit as he used to land on me if I was in the garden. But he was very feisty and furious when I shut him in the cage. He loved flying outside. Maybe he'll come back and visit me one day!?
The starling had been released by the wildlife hospital and presumably had been with other wild starlings (or at least coping on his own) before deciding he liked the look of the lady in her garden and landing on her. You may well find that yours comes back after he's done some exploring. We hand-reared a jackdaw some years ago and he used to come back for a while before he properly joined the local birds and stopped turning up in the garden.
Ok thanks, that has cheered me up!
Some hand reared then released birds will often look to humans for food at times,this can be interesting but also annoying if the person is not a bird lover.
A family member raised an jackdaw (he/she was blown out a nest and the nest destroyed in a storm) and when he fledged he rejoined the flock. It still visits and chats to her and also brings it's offspring for treats.
Caroline in Jersey
Jackdaws do seem to do this a lot more than other birds,they seem to know a good food shop.