Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I Let Her Go

Imagine my surprise after coming home from JoAnns (a super fabric purchase) to check on the baby bird only to discover she wasn't in her cozy nest. Geez - talk about going into a panic. Alissa and I looked all over the room and couldn't find her. Then I realized the space under the door was big enough for her to go out into the dangerous house with two cats and two dogs - all of which would love to have a tiny bird to play with.

We went into the den and there was Topaz - the black kitty - crouched in stalking position looking under the blanket chest. Yep, there was the tiny baby. How in the world she made it across the house in one piece is a miracle! So we caught her and put her back in the cage and proceeded outside to catch a meal for her. Alissa informed she she was afraid of crickets (I laughed) so she supervised while I caught them along with rollie polly bugs and a couple of other crawly things. That little bird ate them as fast as we could put them in her nest.

I was really torn between releasing her and keeping her till her tail feathers grew out so she could fly. She wasn't happy at all and I knew I'd have to feed her bugs every four hours. Right now, I just can't manage that. And she was ok except for some raw spots and gunky feathers... and the all-important tail feathers. I knew I had to get the residue of that adhesive off of her to give her a fighting chance so into the bathroom we went again - this time with adhesive remover, soap and water. Poor little thing endured my torturous treament pretty well and only struggled a few times.

That gunk remover isn't good for the skin and I was concerned about that so washed her twice. I could still smell a little on her but at least her wing feathers were clean and dry. I gently dried her using the blow dryer on warm and held in far from her.

Her little head was still wet when I took her outside but knew I needed to let her go well before dusk so Alissa and I took her back to the front porch close to where I had found her this morning.

She was exhausted from being handled so much and sat in my hand for a very long time.

Do you see that tiny speck on her wet little head? It's a deer tick!!! I had no idea they got on birds!!! I was able to pick it off and squish it; ticks are so thick around here.

After several minutes, she jumped off my hand and onto the edge of the glider. It only took her another second to jump to the ground. I told Alissa to say a little prayer that the baby bird stays safe. I had put my mouser kitties in the garage so she had a chance for getting to a safe place for the night.

Safe life, baby wren. I'm sorry I endangered you.

The Best of Intentions

Last week I moved my doves and baby quail outside. The doves are still in their large cage but on the front porch where they have protection from the sun, and I don't think any predators will be coming up on my front porch....well, other than the two mouser kitties.

Enter the TomCat glue boards designed to catch mice. Now this has got to be one of the most inhumane ways to trap a mouse - they get stuck and suffer till they die. But I've used them on my kitchen counters to keep the cats off and they do a good job of that. Well, I put two of the glue boards on top of the dove cage to serve the same purpose with the mouser kitties and it has worked just fine. Trouble is, I forgot about them and they are still in place even though the cats don't bother the doves anymore.

What a shock I got a few minutes ago when I went outside to feed the doves only to find a baby wren stuck to one of the boards! OMG - I had to be very careful getting the bird removed from the board. Not only is this thick glue very, very tacky, she had struggled so much that her entire side was stuck tight. And that delicate, tiny wing was completely attached to the board. While telling myself what an idiot I am sometimes, I picked up the board with bird attached and brought it into the bathroom and promptly closed the door - I didn't want one of the dogs or inside kitties coming in to see what I was doing.

What a mess! I had to be so very careful with this tiny creature. She's fully feathered and weaned but still not full grown. She had struggled a lot and there were a couple of raw spots on the joint of her wing. I had to use warm water and mild soap to get the stupid board off of her. I was so nervous about that tiny wing being fully glued down too.

I managed to get her detached but she got drenched in the process. All her little tail feathers are stuck to the board but I managed to save most of her wing feathers. One of her tiny feet is still gunked up but I'll get that cleaned up after she rests from her ordeal.
Right now she is in a cozy nest made from a hand towel and under a lamp to keep her warm. I'm prety sure she will survive but I'm not even going to put food or water in ther for now. She needs to dry out before I can unwrap her. Poor sweet little thing - one of my favorite birds.

Needless to say, I've thrown the glue boards away and won't be using those outside again!