Baby Birds Big and Small at WildCare

Did you know WildCare’s Wildlife Hospital treats over 200 different species of wildlife? During spring and summer’s baby season, we admit over 1,200 baby birds, all needing specialized care for their particular species.

It really is amazing how different baby birds can be! In the videos below, you’ll meet three baby Common Ravens, the largest songbird species,  and two of the smallest songbirds, a baby Hutton’s Vireo and a Dark-eyed Junco.

We also thought we’d include a baby Great Horned Owl for comparison!

WildCare’s Wildlife Hospital continues to admit dozens of baby animals every day using our social-distancing protocols during the COVID-19 shelter in place. If you think you have found an injured or orphaned animal, please call our Living with Wildlife Hotline at 415-456-7283!


Three Orphaned Ravens

Foster Care for birds as smart as ravens is a challenge! Raven expert Jan wears a disguise to cover her face, and feeds the babies with a raven puppet to prevent imprinting.

These three baby ravens came to WildCare after their nest was illegally removed from a barn. They were uninjured, but we not able to replace the nest and return them to their parents’ care.

They will grow up in Foster Care with a raven expert (who also raises ravens for Napa Valley Wildlife) until they are old enough to be released.

Due to their high level of intelligence and the extreme risk of them imprinting on humans, they will grow up in Foster Care with one single caregiver who wears a disguise to hide her face and feeds them with a raven puppet!

This expert volunteer also raises corvids for Napa Wildlife, and when our babies are old enough, they will graduate to Napa’s “Raviary” a huge flight aviary for ravens to build their flight skills and endurance before release.

In the video above you can hear our Medical Staff making noises at the baby ravens like the raven parents would to encourage them to gape. It works remarkably well!


Feeding One of the Ravens

We really can’t get enough of these wonderful babies and the sounds they make! You can see how large these prehistoric-looking nestlings actually are compared to Director of Animal care Melanie’s hands. Baby ravens are enormous!


Baby Hutton’s Vireo

This young vireo is definitely one of the smallest songbirds! This baby was found on a fire road after having fallen from his nest. He was cold on intake to WildCare’s Wildlife Hospital (always a danger sign for baby animals!) but, after a day in a warm incubator, he’s doing much better and eating well! This little bird will remain in care until he is old enough to return to the wild.


Baby Dark-eyed Junco

This baby junco must have jumped from his nest and then he was caught by a cat! Fortunately he was rescued in time. Due to minor injuries, he will remain in care with WildCare Foster Care providers until he is old enough to return to the wild.


Fluffy Baby Great Horned Owlet

This baby Great Horned Owl is a “brancher,” which means he’s learning to hop-fly. It’s easy to fall from a tree once you hop out of your nest! He landed safely on the ground and was rescued by caring people. After a check-up and x-rays at the Wildlife Hospital, WildCare’s Medical Staff determined he was healthy enough to return to his parents’ care. Volunteer arborist Jim Cairnes of Small World Tree Company climbed the tree and successfully returned him to his nest.