Worried and Concerned – Single Dad Now Missing

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      Hello – I have 5 18 day-old babies that were being cared for by a solitary male after the female died nearly 2 weeks ago. The male hasn’t been around since last evening. Normally he pops right up when I bring the meal worms out. Is it normal for them to slow down feeding to coax them to fledge? If the male was killed will the babies fledge on their own at this point or should I contact my local wildlife rehabilitation center?


      Deb, have you checked the box to see if they might have all fledged yesterday or early this morning. If they have fledged, he probably has them in the trees somewhere and is feeding them from a closer food source since the female bird is gone. It also would not hurt to contact the rehab center to see if they can help.

      Stafford, VA

      Carol – Mid-Mo.

        Ditto to what David says – I bet they have fledged.


          No all 5 are in the box still. They’re poking their heads out calling. It’s truly heartbreaking. We’ve been sticking mealworms in there for them. Male is still nowhere to be found. :(


            They do slow down on feeding them a lot but he shouldn’t be gone. He should be in the trees making a racket calling them out. As others said, In my opinion They can’t live on their own after fledging. Usually the parents take them away and keep feeding them and teaching them to eat. They won’t make it on their own.
            If he is truly gone I bet he found a new love interest!



              If you bet that the male found a love interest you lost that bet. I found a pile of feathers about 1,000 feet from the box. These babies are doomed do die now I guess.


                Oh Deb, I am so sorry to hear that sad news. I honestly don’t know what to suggest from here. Do you have a local Rehabilitation Center that you can call. Maybe they can take them. Keeping you and the babies in my thoughts.

                Sassy40 (Connie PA)


                  My husband called 6 wildlife rehabilitation centers and they’re all full. One suggested to find another box and stuff them in with the other babies. Another said they’ll fledge eventually but as we all know, they still need their parents after fledging. I don’t think finding another box isn’t practical or a good idea. Maybe if they do go out on their own they’ll find another brood is my only hope. I’ve been sticking mealworms into the box for them. One stuck it’s head out and let me put a mealworm right up to it but didn’t take it.

                  • This reply was modified 1 year ago by Deb.

                    So sorry you are experiencing this awful situation. I have no useful suggestions but my heart goes out to you.

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