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Name: Nory
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Question:
I am so glad I found this website. I am a teacher and at the school where I work there are alot of Hoise Sparrow nests. I found a baby about 3 weeks ago. I thought it was going to die and since I work in the 5th grade wing I didn't want the students torturing the animal. I picked it up and kept it, to my surprise it opened its beak and aloud me to feed it. She is now at home in a cage and very spoiled, I let her out and she flies around the house. She eats some seeds I bought for her and still calls me to feed her. My question is have I reached the point of no return in the sense that I cannot reintroduce her to her habitat? I tried releasing her in my back yard and she didn't take to it to well, she came back down to me. I do not want her to be unhappy. What should I do?


Replies:
At this point she has probably imprinted on humans too much to fully return to the wild. If you choose to keep her, make sure she is getting the proper nutrition. Obviously you have done very well with her since she has been able to grow up and mature with you! Other options would be to call zoos or wildlife centers around your area to see if they would like to use her for an education animal since she is so tame. I hope this helps, let me know how it turns out!

Grace Fields


Nory,

This bird may think it is human. It apparently imprinted upon you during the its "critical imprinting period" as a chick. This is the critical time a bird identifies its own species and, by the way you have indicated, it may not have any idea of its own species. The main clue to support this idea is that it will not fly away and returns to you, but there is a slight chance that you are just a convenient food source. If in a few weeks, it does not fly away when outside, you have a pet that will not be afraid of humans.

I am not sure if a wildlife rescue group in your area will be willing to take the bird.

Steve Sample


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