Has it been just 27 hours since Morrie brought the baby bird in? So many gerrymandered solutions to keeping him alive in that time. (For the first two episodes of this saga, go HERE) This morning led to this one. Since Lenny (our makeshift name for the baby bird. It’s explained in an earlier chapter of the saga) has taken to hopping and jumping with great vigor, yesterday’s solutions wouldn’t work. I resorted to building a sort of fortress on top of the table that I thought he couldn’t get out of, but the parent birds could get to him to feed him. The heater, set on low, would keep him warm as it had during the night which he spent in a covered cage in the spare bedroom, away from marauding dogs.
That should have worked. Right? Wrong. Within minutes, he had hopped up on the back of one of the chairs and fluttered to the stone floor of the terrace and was headed for the cover of the ferns!
OK. Plan 2. I sopped all the remaining water out of the otherwise empty hot tub, plugged up all the vents, drains and bubblers with masking tape, and put baby bird in the bottom. (I later moved him up to the ledge–easier for his mom and dad to see him and get to him.) Mom and Dad flew overhead, but I was unable to see if they fed him anything. Lenny is that little brown blob up on the hot tub bench level.
Here’s a better view of him. I was so relieved to find him awake this morning. He looks better than yesterday, don’t you think? He seemed more content in the hot tub, but when my friend got home, she thought she had a better idea.
Her idea was to put him on the grass. He seemed to enjoy this, but there were so many potential dangers and hiding places.
Then came the flying lessons, but alas, although he is very good at fluttering, without tail feathers, Lenny has no lift or rudder. The grass furnished a soft landing, though. Do birds think? If the parents were watching , I wonder what they thought.
She then put him on the same rock as yesterday. “Be careful. He’ll hop away and he’s fast today,” I warned, backseat driving. About a half hour later, she called up from babysitting duty in the hammock of the gazebo. ‘”I need your help!” The good news was that the parents had fed him seven times since he’d been down there. Bad news was that afterwards Lenny had hopped down from his perch and scampered across the lawn and hidden somewhere within a cave created by two huge rocks surrounded by dense plants. We looked for awhile before I was sure I heard him cheeping from the deep recess between the rocks. My friend started to reach in and then remembered scorpions!
Finally, however, he hopped out from behind the rocks on the other side and we captured him again. With the skies starting to become overcast, we had run out of solutions. Bring him back in and take him outside each day for feeding? We could see the mother bird ripping material from an old nest in the huge cactus tree and flying off with it. If she was building a new nest, there would soon be new babies. Would she forget this one? We called Animal Rescue and they suggested we do what I’d thought we should do in the beginning. Build him a nest and put it in a sheltered tree for the parents to find him.
Building the nest was no problem. A plastic storage dish with holes poked into the bottom, stuffed with stripped bark and other fibers wound into a sort of nest, covered with fresh grass.
My friend found the perfect spot. The air intake of my water heater for the hot tub (long out of disservice) was under a teja awning. The opening was the exact size of the plastic “nest” container so it could be tucked securely down into it .
Lenny settled down immediately. No more cheeping or flapping or scrambling or running. We are hoping the parent birds have found him. Wind is rising and it is getting overcast. What will win out? Will we let nature take its course or go rescue him for the night? Wildlife rescue says wild baby birds will not survive in captivity, although some Youtube videos have shown otherwise. Problem is, he will not eat anything we’ve prepared–even the recipes suggested by the bird rescuers on Youtube. So, for now, this is the end of our saga. Perhaps I’ll go down just once to peek to see how he is doing, though. And perhaps put on a jacket and go hang out in the gazebo to see if the parent birds are coming around.