Monday, September 11, 2023

Little Bit

I was walking through the barn and saw a tiny baby bird on the floor in the middle of the aisle. I picked it up. Although cold and not moving, it was still breathing. I closed it in my hand to keep it warm and finished my chores. Driving home, it began to chirp.

At home, I set him up in a bowl on the kitchen counter, under a heat lamp. That night I fed him dog food – human grade, lightly cooked. At first he hesitated, but after a few tries, he gaped for food. The next day I added mealworms, wax worms, and soaked insectivore diet.

He grew quickly, and graduated to a heated reptile cage, where he perched on a beanbag. Guesses as to what kind of bird he was included barn swallow, starling or sparrow. Now that his feathers are in, it is clear he is a sparrow.

He began to flap his wings, and one day took off flying. At that point, he graduated to his "big boy" cage. A cage large enough for him to fly from perch to perch, explore some toys, and bathe. 

At this point I started offering him a dish with a variety of foods which included finch seed, insectivore diet, mealworms, kitten kibble, dried black soldier fly larva, fresh fruit/veggies, etc. He reached a point where he refused to be hand fed, and now eats heartily from his dish. 

Whenever he sees me, he "vibrates", moving his wings rapidly to say he's happy to see me. And he has started to sing.

He will have his first moult in a month or so and I will know if he is a boy or girl. As he is imprinted on me, he cannot be released and would not be accepted by a wild flock. But he is happy and I play him a CD of birdsongs in the morning. My cockatoos love to watch him, regarding him as BirdTV. He doesn't seem to mind.

Welcome home, Little Bit.