Monday, July 20, 2009

Gone to the Birds...Bird Rehabilitating that is


my afternoon was spent on bird rehabilitation.
Not because I really wanted to, but when I took Collin(my mini schnauzer) out to go to the bathroom this afternoon ... he kept sniffing and straining towards the big christmas tree type tree we have in the backyard...

and that's when I saw it...a wee tiny mockingbird(about 3 inches tall) that could not hop very well at all it kept tumbling over itself, and could not get away very well at all.(Couldn't fly at all) and when it tried to hop it literally did tumbles over itself..poor thing...

So my daughter and I scooped it up, found a nest that has been blown apart and another nest that was tipped sideways in the tree, so my daughter took the one good nest and set it back upright into the tree and we put the baby bird back in the nest.
I went back out about 3 hrs later and the same scenario ensued... baby bird back on the ground, no parents around, and the nest was again tipped over.

So this time around we went ahead and scooped the baby up and brought it in to keep the ants from getting it.

I have left little birds before like this thinking that nature would do what nature would do, and the parents would find them only to return to the bird a few hours later to see fire ants having a feast...I did not want the fire ants to have a feast on this little one.

So this afternoon has been spent making sure it eats. I have also discovered that its leg is broken up near the hip joint, so I tried my best to bind the leg with some very fine,thin seam binding and tape. What a chore! Not only is the bird a little wiggle worm, but my gracious birdy legs are so thin! It is tough trying to bind a baby bird's leg.

But the good news is it is a vigorourous eater and has really been scarfing the blueberries and some moistened dog food. So that is promising.

My daughter managed to get it to eat a grub worm this afternoon too, so that is really good.

The one leg that I had to bind, it refuses to move it and the foot is just being held very limpy, the hip joint just kind of flops around, so I tried very hard to bind it up to minimize the flopping of the leg.I could see where the leg joint had gotten broken, but other than binding it up of course I don't know how to set it.At least it tries to hop around on its one good leg though.And boy it can chirp loudly too.So..that's how our day has gone this afternoon.------------We've gone to the birds..LOL
The leg appears to still have color and blood flow to it, so that is promising at least.(same coloring in the toes and foot as the healthy leg/so this is a good sign/only thing is it isn't using the leg and the leg has a good bit of "flop" even once it is bound) it definitely eats well, and tries to peck at the foods also.... so this is a good thing.... so far it is doing well.

We are using a Warm rice pack to keep the critter warm too.
Now if this was a baby dove I would not have even tried this, as doves have to be fed regurgitated "dove milk" ..but this one is a mockingbird, and eats a good bit differently.Had a treat of a fresh grub earlier that it enjoyed, and really enjoys fresh blueberries and moistened dog food.
I looked all over for any signs of other baby birds that might have fallen out too but this was the only one.
Had the situation not repeated itself 3 hrs later I would have just left it alone of course.
But we have some wicked mean fire ants around here that would have had a nice lunch had we not intervened, as I saw a few of them up under the tree when we rescued the baby.
Last year we had a baby blue jay fall from the nest and I spied the parents nearby, so I left it where it was... only to go outside a little while later to see it covered in fire ants...the poor thing. I know nature can be cruel, but I honestly did not want to give the ants a chance today.
I looked online for wildlife rehabbers and from what I could tell... the closest wildlife rehabilitator to us is about 40 miles away. So, we will do the best we can to take care of it here.(yes, I have a little experience in these types of things as we rescued quite a number of little birds like this back when I was a teen, and I have done some research also on how to take care of the wee one/if I feel that the little leg needs to be amputated I will find a capable vet in the area/am keeping a close eye on the development with its little leg and so far the color and blood flow look to be good)
This afternoon and evening the little chirper packed away the following:

the insides of about 2 big juicy blueberries
1 fat grub worm
1 rolly poly bug
and about 2 pieces of moistened dog food

4 rolly poly bugs
and 1 big juicy blueberry innards.
All's well so far at the "zoo" ...LOL
Have a goood day!
~The Garden Goose!~


Gerry said...

This is a wonderful thing that you have done. As much for your children as for the bird. You're showing that life matters, no matter how small.

I hope all is still well and that the more "sad but true" lesson does not have to be learned just yet.

Good luck!

violetlady said...

Your post took me back to the day I found a robin.I had been blackberry picking and saw the robin in the grass with its mouth wide open. I thought I should feed it a blackberry, not knowing it couldn't swallow a whole blackberry! (I was about 9 years old). I ran home shrieking for my father and he removed the blackberry. We then raised "my" robin and I taught him to fly (at least I thought so). Robbie returned every year after that (we liked to think). You are wonderful to try to save this little creature.

nfmgirl said...

Yeah. Unfortunately those fire ants aren't part of our nature, as they are introduced from...South America, is it? Fierce. The other day I was putting my passion vine in the ground. I moved some things, and stirred up a couple of roaches. A few minutes later I went back over to that area and found one of the roaches wriggling on the ground, covered in fire ants. That quickly they had attacked him.

My mother and I found a baby bird covered in fire ants when I was a kid. It seemed too far off to save, so all we could do was to try to get the ants off of it, and put it in a sealed jar to starve it of oxygen, hoping it would go to sleep peacefully.

Nowadays I have CROW wildlife rehabilitation located within 20 miles of me, and I often take them animals. I took them some baby opossums once that had been attacked by fire ants after their mother was hit by a car. Unfortunately they didn't make it. The fire ant poison got the last of them a couple days later.

Good luck with the little guy. I hope it works out okay for him.

Cindy B said...

There was a lady in town where I grew up , that we would take injured birds to( usually after a storm etc) ...she did the same, much as you did...this particular robin she helped had a broken wing which she splinted and she fed it all summer until it was able to fly. For a couple years, the robin returned to the same nesting area on her porch she had provided it stay that first year, protected from neighborhood cats and harm...and would usually have its own nest near by. Loved reading about your birding experience!