“Animal lovers are a special breed of humans, generous of spirit, full of empathy, perhaps a little prone to sentimentality, and with hearts as big as a cloudless sky” John Grogan
It's often said that a mom must wear many hats. At times she is a chef, a chauffeur, a referee, a teacher, a housekeeper, etc. Well this weekend I had to become an animal rescuer.
Saturday evening Ashley and I were sitting outside waiting for Larry to arrive when we heard a chirping noise. Ashley walked all around the front of our place and said she knew it was a baby bird, but she couldn't find it. She asked me to follow her so we walked around a bit more and finally found a tiny baby bird in the corner of a flower bed. It was so small it had no feathers and its eyes weren't open yet.
This isn't the bird we helped, as I didn't take a picture for fear of upsetting it.
However the bird we helped looked exactly like this and was about this size.
Luckily Larry arrived a few minutes later, and then the hard part began. We looked all around but couldn't find a nest. This is a good time to point out that the rumor about not placing a bird back in its nest is a myth so finding the nest and placing the baby back really is the best option. However, we couldn't find a nest and we didn't know what we were going to do with with the bird. All the animal rescue places were closed, and the baby bird was so small we didn't think it had any chance or survival. However, we really just couldn't leave it there as it was right out where any predator could get it. We finally found a box, shredded some paper, and placed the bird inside. Larry had cared for a baby bird before, although much bigger than this one, so he had some idea what to do, and we got online and found some extra helpful info as well. We were able to feed it a bit through an eyedropper and then from the advice on the rescue website we placed the box containing the bird outside, but out of harms way. I will say, I was very glad Larry was here to help with all of this, because I was a bit creeped out by it all, and thinking about it being too small to save was bringing out many other emotions in me as well. He handled it all very calmly though and for that I was grateful.
After placing the bird outside we left to attend our obligations for the evening. Larry and I returned several hours later and were shocked to find the bird still alive. We fed it a bit more, added a washcloth to its box for warmth, and placed the box back outside. Sunday morning, upon checking, we found the baby bird still alive, but looking even worse than the previous night. We loaded up, collected both the girls, as we knew they would want to be part of this, and headed for Lakeside Nature Center. One of the workers there took the bird from us and informed us she would be placing it in an incubator to try and keep it warm. She believed the bird was a sparrow or starling and estimated that it was only a day or two old. It would definitely be hard to save, but they were going to try. After some time in an incubator they would call a lady who helps nurse these types of birds back to health and see if she would be able to work with this baby as well.
Everyone was a bit said to leave the bird off, but knew it was for the best. Although the little bird has little chance or survival I still have hope. If he was able to survive the night here, it seems likely he can survive there with all the extra help.
Ashley and me outside Lakeside Nature Center.
Ashley was especially sad, as she already wanted a bird, and after saving this one she wanted to keep it. We had a talk about the bird needing more help than we could provide, but how proud of her I was for doing so much to help it. She definitely has a very caring heart and it expands beyond just caring about people, but animals and other creatures as well.
After leaving the bird, we spent a bit of time looking around the nature center and checking out all the animals. In addition to seeing the animals, the girls also liked putting on a puppet show, looking at the animal artifacts, and especially loved seeing the different types of animal scat and learning the scat rap. Lakeside is a great place, and the girls definitely enjoyed it. I know it is a place we will visit again, and a day we won't forget!
Ashley examines some animal bones.
Larry talks to the girls about the different types of snakes, and which ones are dangerous.
The girls putting on a puppet show inside Lakeside.
I know our girls loved the Scat Rap and thought it was rather funny, so here it is for all of you to enjoy!
It starts with an "S" and ends with a "T,"
It comes out of you and it comes out of me;
I know what you're thinking, it could be called that,
But be scientific and call it "Scat."
You're walking in the woods and your nose goes "ooh,"
You know some critter's laid a scat near you;
Now don't go screaming and lose your lunch,
If you picked it apart, you could learn a bunch
If you park your car near the woods or a field,
You might find scat on your windshield;
If parts of it's purple and the rest of it's white,
You just got bombed by a bird in flight
If you want to find out what animals eat,
Just take a look at what they secrete;
Inside the scat are all kinds of clues,
Parts of the food that their bodies can't use,
It tells us what they eat and it tells us who they are,
And that's what we know about scat so far;
So if you want to find out what animals are around,
Take a look and the scat on the ground,
We're talking Scat.
For more information on Lakeside Nature Center check out their website at http://www.lakesidenaturecenter.org/