Sunday, May 28, 2006

Gone to the birds

Our vacation started off with a bang! We were having brunch with newlyweds L&Y when we heard a cacophony of birds in the backyard. "What the hell--are those birds in our living room?" I asked, and Y. went over to check out problem. "Uh-oh," she said, "Come look."

A baby bird had fallen out of its nest and landed on the dirt, and it was only a matter of time before Clary B. discovered him. I whipped on some latex gloves and ran outside to scoop up the poor thing. Fortunately, I got to him just as Clara discovered him; aside from a few head butts, she didn't get a chance to hurt him.

Petunia, meanwhile, was calling Tufts, our nearest vet school. After asking some questions about the bird's general appearance (feathers, fuzz, etc.) the vet advised her to put the bird back up in the tree, saying that its parents would care for it until it learned to fly. The vet also said we could dangle worms above its beak if the bird seemed hungry.

We started making a makeshift next out of a plastic plant container; we put a big rock in the bottom to weight it down, the piled it high with maple tags and pine needles. We got out the big ladder and I made my way up two stories to the crotch of the pine tree, but not before trying to give the bird some worms. He didn't open his mouth for them, so I guessed he wasn't too hungry. We were a little nervous to leave him there--what if he fell out again?--but we had to run some errands. We said goodbye and hoped for the best. We decided to call him Lou 'cause he's a plucky little thing (tee hee).

When we got home, we didn't see Lou on the ground. I decided not to climb the ladder again since all looked well. But a few minutes later we got a call from Pregnant Neighbor: "Your bird's in our yard!" On went the gloves and away I went, only to discover that the bird in her yard was NOT our Lou, but some other baby bird entirely! This bird was a tiny bit older than Lou; it kept trying to fly and it flew onto my shirt twice. We decided to stick this new Big Lou up in the nest, figuring the babies could provide some comfort to each other. When I got up there, Original Lou was crying for food. Pet and I dug up some worms, and I fed them to Lou--he ate 1 big worm and 2 tiny worms from my hand!

We saw Big Lou on the ground last night, but he was gone when we looked for him again. His wings are more developed than Original Lou's, so we think he might have gotten the hang of flying just like the vet said. In a bit, I'm going to check on Original Lou. I'll bring him some worms in case he's hungry, but I've heard his parents outside all morning. Petunia said they dive-bombed Lucky, a neighbor cat, as well as a squirrel that tried to go near Original Lou. That's good, isn't it?

I think I might be revising my original position on birds. After holding the Lous and seeing them calm down from the heat of my hand, and especially after feeding Original Lou, I no longer think they're rats with wings.


Blogger Clementine said...

I have awesome photos of Big Lou and Original Lou, but Blogger wouldn't let me post them. I'll try again later.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous Jenny PP said...

Only pigeons are rats with wings. ;)

10:08 AM  

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