Yes, it’s true. This past Thursday, August 1, we got a baby.
Ha ha! I didn’t say what kind of baby, However, he is a newborn. Here’s the scoop:
We were on our way out the door to a friend’s house for a Texas Hold ‘Em game when the hubs says, “Look at that baby bird just hobbling around in the yard.” And hobbling he was. I was worried he was injured, so he went to take a closer look. I’ll be damned if that little bird didn’t just hop right up to him, totally fearless. It appeared he wasn’t injured, but he was very young. After much debate, we decided to put him in a box (I put a makeshift nest in there) and keep him in the garage, where he would be protected from predators, until the next day. He actually followed us to our front door. It reminded me of a book I read as a child, where a baby bird gets lost and is searching for his Mom called, “Are You My Mother?” He goes up to a bulldozer, fire hydrant, etc, asking if it is his Mother. OK, on with the story…… (Also for cat lovers, let’s check my friend’s reviews on best outdoor cat house and shelter)
Fortunately, my vet’s office is open late on Thursdays. I called them for advice, and they told me there was a veterinary clinic in town that did wild bird rehabilitation. So, my task was to just keep him alive until the next day (much like when I babysit the nieces and nephews). Just fourteen hours. Fourteen little hours.
We still went on to our friend’s house. I posted the pics I took on Facebook and asked people for advice. I texted one of my besties, Tiffany, for help. A good friend of hers rehabbed (I speak the lingo now) Chimney Swifts, and they gave me great advice. Won’t bore you with all those details.
Now for some background. I really try to
not jabber on incessantly get to the point on stories. We had 3 old, dead trees cut down the day before. I was concerned there were bird/squirrel nests in the trees. I believe there was indeed a nest that was destroyed, and this little baby somehow made it. The Mama bird came back and realized her nest was gone and flew away, not knowing there was a sole survivor. I’ve just not dwelled on thinking about the other little babies.
Fast forward to Friday….he’s ALIVE!!!
Before I go any further, I have to tell you I am a koo-koo crazy animal lover. Total sucker for helpless, orphaned animals especially.
I got up every hour to feed him. So, no sleep for me Thursday night. Totally sleep deprived, I called the clinic with the rehabbers. GOOD GRIEF. Long story short, they would not take him until the next day, They wanted me to put him back in the yard where he was found. They insisted the Mama bird was around, and she would feed him and protect him from cats/dogs/snakes (like how she protected him from two gigantic humans that picked him up and put him in their dwelling). I explained all of the above to them. NOPE. Can’t bring him until the next day. Just to let you know, I did put him back into the yard, and watched vigilantly for two hours. No Mama bird. So I continued on with my bestie’s rehabber friend’s advice. And I planned to take him to the rehabbers Saturday, which is today.
I went to get the necessary supplies to feed him. Like meal worms. They are actually in a container in my refrigerator now. Note the “koo-koo crazy” mention above. I am someone who usually will not take “No” for an answer. I always try to figure out an alternative. So, I called Wild Birds Unlimited. They put me in touch with the sweetest, most helpful lady who has successfully rehabbed wild birds and released them into the wild. We talked for a long time, and she agreed to assist me in raising this baby, with the ultimate goal being to release him into the wild once he’s matured. I feel like Joy Adamson in “Born Free”! I also learned that the Mama birds only hunt from dusk til dawn. At night, they snuggle up with their babies, so I don’t have to get up with him during the night. Whew! Side note: I will not be snuggling with him in the garage, in case you were wondering.
Of course, I’ve named him. He’s Ducky! Like Lucky Ducky, which I hope he is. He’s made it for 2 whole days. He seems to be getting stronger every day. I got a bird “baby food” formula that I feed him from a syringe every hour during the day. Once he can open up his mouth and gape for food, he’ll get the meal worms and other foods that will help him grow.
Initially, we thought he was a mockingbird. I’ve Googled images, and he doesn’t really look like a mockingbird. So maybe a woodpecker? We have a lot of them in the neighborhood, and I believe they nest inside trees. If any of you have a clue as to what he might be, please comment. I’m sure we’ll know in a few days when all of his little feathers come in.
It is a labor of love. He was spared for some reason, so he’d better make it. I’m sure I will become very attached to him, and will be sad when it’s time for him to literally fly from the nest. But I will be more overjoyed to see him be able to take flight and leave his first home and be free. Fly on little wing!
These were taken today. No, he doesn’t have some sort of flesh eating bacteria on his face. His human Mommy is not good at feeding him, and he gets the food all over him. I will attempt to clean him up. If you’re interested, stay tuned for updates on my little Ducky.
This blog helped me immensely when we first found the baby: http://www.thegardeningblog.co.za/tag/baby-dove/page/2/
***Update 09/09/2013 – Ducky has been with us for one month and nine days now. He is doing extremely well.***
Thanks for reading!