Friday, June 12, 2009

Original or Extra Crispy?

This is the brief history of 2 valiant wee birdies, so deliciously adorable they were named "Original" and "Extra Crispy."

A week ago Biff and I pulled into the drive around lunchtime after running a cupla too-tree errands. Something in the driveway caught his eye - a baby bird. So tiny, half-naked, and breathing fast. because we are soft-hearted people, the bird was scooped up, nestled close, brought inside, and subjected to examination and online research. Common wisdom, at least the interwebly type, said to put the birdy back in the nest and the parent birds would take care of it like nothing had happened. SO, off to the maple tree we went to try to find the daggone nest.

While under the tree, peering up through thick foliage, we heard a rustle of wings, a squawk, and lo and behold an adult bird flew out of the tree, dropping another baby onto the driveway As We Watched.

SO very not good news. There were now 2 baby birds. Who looked a lot like this:

This is them on the day we found them, eatin' hard-boiled egg whites, just like the internet said to feed them. They are about 6 days old here.

The birdies LIKED hardboiled egg pieces. They also liked wetted-down cat food kibble and blueberries. They liked these foods a lot. The birdies also liked to poop a lot. That's OK though, they have this neat lil' poop sac thing that was easy, at first, to clean up. The design is spectacular, really.

And so the birdies grew. This is them at about 9 days old, huddled down in their artificial nest, a surgical glove full of warm water as their stand-in mama. Look at how many more feathers they have!

They eat about every 15-20 minutes, poop every time they eat, and are gaining use of their legs more and more each day. They're really interested in what's going on around them, but still don't move around a whole heck of a lot. Kinda nice, akshully.

A few more days went by, and they were 11 days old. Time for a bath, little birdies! (Hand modeling by me and Biff)

It was readily evident from their reaction that birds at this age do not much enjoy baths. What they DO like is hanging out in a little plastic bucket lined with pine straw that is hung on a hook on the front porch. They can poke their wee heads over the side and observe the world.

They also still like eating. A lot. And often. Still about every 20-30 minutes, from dawn to dusk. Canned dog food is now on the menu. They dig the dog chow, man.

Today are 13 (or so) days old. It's been a week since we found them. Look at how they've changed!

When the lid was opened this morning on their shoebox nest, they were ready to STRETCH, have some chow, and start to hoppin' around on their much-stronger legs.

Hopping is a big step for them.

Bigger still was the flying.

Extra Crispy was first to fly, straight from the shelf by the kitchen sink to the laundry-bedecked kitchen table, where Mutzi the cat was sleeping (but not for long). the sudden arrival of a wee feathered bomblet onto her head scared the cat into immediate action, which consisted of running away.

Today has been an interesting day, what with all the flying. Right now, the birds are out on the back deck, hopping, flying, and napping in between feedings. Oh yes, they still want to be fed. Often. And a lot. They will continue to want to be fed for a few more days, after which time we hope they will have gotten the hang of eating out on their own...

What a difference a week makes.

Oops - I hear them cheeping out back. Time to grab the can of Rover Me Right and get to feedin'! I wager there are not too many more days I'll get to do so, and want to be there for each and every one.

Y'all have a great Friday afternoon and a wonderful weekend. Tiff out.

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