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edbradl

Too small for a yellow chat?

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We live in Washington DC and found this very small bird on a sidewalk in a shopping center. She looked very weak, was easily caught, and had her eyes closed. After a little rest in a dark box, we released her in our very wooded neighborhood and she flew off very confidently. My daughter was fairly attached to "Sunny" for that brief half hour and we are wondering what type of bird she was.

She did not seem to be fledging, and she was very small. This made me think that she might not be a yellow-breasted chat. These pictures are when she was in a little granola bar box, only 2" tall.

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Welcome to Whatbird!

This is a Common Yellowthroat, a type of warbler.  It looks like an immature male because a black mask is coming in.  Sounds like he ran into a window or something.  I'm glad he was okay!

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Thank you very much, all!  I'm sure this won't be the last time we use this forum.  And my daughter will hopefully be gratified to hear your affirmation that we made the best choice by catching and releasing. :)  She had hopes of keeping him.  I think a budgie is in our future...

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Welcome to WhatBird! Not only did you do the correct thing for the bird, but keeping it would be illegal :D A budgie or canary would be a much better choice! Even a small finch; Zebras are pretty, friendly, and easy to care for. They will reproduce like bunnies if you let them, though!

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I agree with everything said. Go with a Budgie, or even a cockatiel for your daughter. They make very good hands on pets. You can find breeders on Craigslist, and get them way cheaper than retail. Make sure you Google them a bit first, so you know how to pick a young one. Older birds are hard to tame/train. Feel free to pm me with specific questions you may have about their care.

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I had cockatiels growing up and am partial to them. But my daughter loves the color of parakeets. 

Creeker, or anyone else I'd love tips on picking a young bird from a breeder if you have any.

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Yeah :D Keets are lots of fun! Once you have found a reputable breeder, look for a bird that's active and curious, looks well-groomed, has bright eyes, no missing feathers or bald spots. Check the cere and be sure it's smooth and well-formed; bumpy or irregular can mean mites that would have to be treated. Beyond that, the personalily of one will speak to your daughter and that's the right one! A single bird is better if you want to hand-train them. It's hard to tell the sex of a very young bird; the cere color develops when they are older. Oh, and once you have the bird, be persistent in offering fruit and veggies. I have found they will often ignore these until you offer them repeatedly, and it's much healthier for the birds than just eating seed or pellets.

(Edit: of course a really good breeder is not going to offer any birds with these issues for sale; they would have them quarantined and under treatment or observation.)

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