This week has seen 2 storms including a hail storm which left a ghastly aftermath of birds killed by hail stones, some as big as golf balls. Yesterday walking through the garden I noticed a flicker of life on the grass. Two baby birds lay on the ground beneath the Ash Tree, one was dead and the other barely alive. As I picked him up he opened his mouth and was clearly hungry. I decided not to muck about and we drove straight to the vet for advice. I was told to buy a tin of ” Hills Prescription Diet” food for “Canine and Feline critical care” and was given a syringe to feed with. Poopsie (named by my children) lives up to his name, he poops away all day long and opens his mouth to eat beautifully. My relative Bruce who has raised many nestlings successfully gave me lots of handy tips including to mush up oats with water to a gruel which can be added to the meaty food.
At first I had no idea what breed of bird Poopsie is but during the day noticed an Olive Thrush in the Ash Tree which he had fallen from, she seemed reluctant to leave the tree. Sensing that she was Poopsie’s Mother I put a camping table under the tree and placed the container with him in it on the table. Watching through the window I saw her eventually land on the table and feed him, so beautiful and special. However Mummy bird did not seem to like the ‘nest’ which I had him in (a plastic tray lined with kitchen paper), she tugged at the paper and he fell to the ground. I returned him to the container on the table but next she tipped the container over.
When Cliff came home from work he found a nest which had blown from a tree and placed it in a large seedling tray which he tied to the Ash Tree, our plan being to place Poopsie in this new nest to be cared for by his Mummy but another storm was brewing and we decided that it was safest to keep him indoors for the night. The storm was a big one and the rain continued for several hours. We made a better bed for Poopsie fashioning fabric in a nest shape for him to nestle in a shoe box. This morning Poopsie woke me at 5am to be fed, during the day he eats roughly every 20 mins.
Now Poopsie is in the nest which Cliff put in the tree but gazing out the window I cannot see any sign of Mummy bird, I will keep an eye and climb the ladder to feed him when I need to but it would be best if he is cared for by his Mother. A selfish part of me which has grown to love this little bird wants me to carry on caring for him. To keep him, I just have to remind myself that he is not mine to keep and that hurts just a little.
Update 20/11/13 – Unfortunately Poopsie’s mother did not return to him, you can read of his further development here
And week by week after that until we took him to a rehabilitation centre to be released as I never managed to get him to feed independently