The Bluebird of Happiness
Visits the Lester / Del Rosario Household
So, we have a new addition to the menagerie. Well, a temporary addition at any rate.
The gardeners trimmed two large mock orange trees out front, and disturbed a bluebird's nest. The mother apparently kicked the nestlings out, or else they may have fallen out. One of them was dead when I found it; the other was struggling for its life. It was panting and twitching and gasping, obviously in great distress. These babies are very, very young, no more than a few days old.
The mother and father were hovering around anxiously as they saw me inspecting their baby. The mother hopped closer and closer, chattering and chirping at me. She darted from branch to branch, coming closer and closer. When I picked the nestling up and put it in my hand she became very upset. I talked to her and explained I was going to help her little baby. I don't think she was convinced.
I brought it in and made a nest for it in a little box with some shredded newspapers, and began to try to feed it. I found feeding information on the Audubon website. I mixed up some watered-down dog food and put it in a small syringe. The bird did not know how to eat yet, so I had to pry its beak open with the tip of the syringe. As you will see from the photos, it very quickly caught on!
I learned that the nestling has to stay warm so I have a lamp set up just at the top of the box to give it heat.
I also learned that theoretically I should have put the baby in a little basket and hung it out in the tree where its Mama could find it. However, our neighbor has a cat and I am afraid it would get to the bird. Also, since the two babies fell out of the nest I am not sure their mother has been back. There are a number of scrub jays (see update page; link at end of this page) around here, and none of them have been using that nest. I did refill the bird feeder and SOMEONE has been eating there, so maybe the mother will come back, or a new family will move in.
-- Day 2 --
Well, The little birdie is already doing better and has begun chirping and scratching around in the box. It seems to know my voice because every time I say something it chirps at me. Hey.... did that darn bird just call me a "mutha..."? Oh... it was saying... "Ma-ma..."! Close call. I was about to wash its mouth out with soap!
The little birdie is obviously strong, and a fighter. Its eyes opened last night for the first time, and it has become much stronger already. It sure does like to eat! I just hope that with this diet of dog food, it doesn't start barking instead of chirping!!
Once it gets strong enough, I'll let it go free outside. Hopefully, it will have a happy life. It's kinda nice to know that I snatched this little fluffy angel from the jaws of death.
(Click HERE for update pages.)