The area had a lot of palm trees; and when the winds came or trimmers where hired to cut and trim the palms, a lot of nests and baby birds where thrown out onto the ground. I started rescuing just those in my yard, but some of the neighbor kids in my cul-de-sac would bring me theirs. I would put them in shoe boxes with nesting and feed them with a dropper. As we had gas to heat and cook with and therefore pilot lights, I'd place them in my two ovens or near the countertop range for warmth. Most were so new they had no feathers, and their eyes were not open yet.
One day, I got a knock at my carport door; and two very young children stood there--a boy and a girl. I had never seen either of them before. The boy had a baby bird in his hands; and his sister looked at me with beautiful, wide-open eyes, full of hope. They were also full of the silent question of children asking for help.
The little boy said, "Are you the Bird Lady?"
I said, "Yes."
I asked where they were from, and he told me from a neighborhood a little north of mine. So, word was getting around.
Without further comment, he handed the bird to me; and they left.
Soon I had shoe boxes and Kleenex boxes and any box I could find full of baby birds, not only in my double oven, but my kitchen cupboards as well.
Wild baby birds, and baby birds in general, are difficult to keep alive; but I learned. Most grew and got their feathers and would sit on my shoulder and nestle under the collar or in a pocket of my blouse. I was "Momma."
The day always came when they would "try their wings." They would fly short distances between me and someone else or a perch or branch. And, the day always came that I prized most...they would take flight on their own--grown, healthy, ready to take on the world and what it had to offer.
All my love,
ED (aka Deanna)
If it is still cold where you are, place them in a shoebox or some other like container with paper towels on the bottom, so you can change them quite often and keep the bottom from being ruined.
You can keep the lid on ... punch a few holes. Just check to see that they are not panting/becoming too warm. If they still feel cold to the touch, place a heating pad under the box on LOW! Don't overheat them.
One factor I learned was that they *drown* very easily if you don't push the food and water way down their throats passed the holes in the roof of their beaks which allow air to their lungs. These can get clogged very easily. Probably why baby birds have such big mouths and adults have such long beaks. :) But, be gentle doing this, too.
I used to soak wild bird seed in warm water. You can use a dropper at first, which will get the water/food combination down well ... squeeze GENTLY on the dropper ... the birds should try to gulp it and usually back off when enough or they will stop screaming for food.
Keep the finger pressure on the dropper; DO NOT let go until you have removed the dropper from the bird's mouth or you will suck up the food/water and may injure the bird, also.
When they get bigger or if they are the babies of a large bird, you should be able to "pinch" some seed and water between two fingers and place it down far enough ... don't let go until you're passed the air holes.
Make new food everyday, and you can reheat what you've made for the day in the microwave each time you need it ... not too hot!
They usually will let you know when they are hungry or, when you remove the lid to the box, they will spring up with mouths open. They may need coaxing at first ... you may have to pry the beaks open, but they will soon know that your voice and look means "Momma" and food. :) In any case, check every couple of hours to feed ... it may go down to every four as they grow. They should soon want to sleep all night.
For added information or if you want someone to take the birds to feed, call the Humane Society in your area .. .hope you have one ... or the local Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ... they may have some referrals.
Check through your phone books and/or call your local information operator if you need assistance finding them. Even check under phone book listings in "B" for Birds or "F" for Fowl or "W" for Wildlife. Who knows ... strange things happen.
If you have a Veterinarian that you use (or call some in the phone book), ask him/her for a reference, if he/she is not strong in this area. You might even call your local "pound," as they are called in some areas ... city/county run but usually put animals to sleep they can't adopt out or can't take care of ... so watch that.
A long shot might even be your local Chamber of Commerce ... the personnel just might know some referrals/places to call or someone may have checked in with them offering a service for wild animals/birds. Your local pet stores may have business cards on people who do this or just know of them.
Also, check for "emergency" animal shelters.
But, please remember, go with your good instincts. I don't think we have many "experts" in this area, outside of maybe zoos and raisers. Even with these "professional" groups, ideas and methods abound! Whatever works. Listen to it all, think it over, and make your decision as to the right course to follow.
Good luck! About all I can think of right now.