Friday, June 24, 2011

The Arrival of Winn

As most of you already know, ever since moving up here 4 years ago our family has had a summer tradition. A tradition that we neither picked out, nor made happen. Almost every year we have what we call our "Summer Birds", baby birds that have fallen out of their natural habitation and need foster care till they grow and can take care of themselves. The first year we were thrilled to raise Stormy the Blue Jay that fell out of our willow tree, and the next year we were dismayed to find four starlings babies in our attic and as we had to remove them and couldn't destroy them, we fed them:) 2009 we had a reprieve, from birds, and as we had a lot of other things going on then it wasn't such a bad thing, but thankfully we weren't done for good as last year we rescued another fallen Blue Jay from our friends house, who I am sure you remember was named "Kevin." So as this spring rolled along in the back of our minds was the question, "will we have a summer bird this year?" Two weeks ago, our Sunday afternoon naps were interrupted by our dear friends and neighbors. They had found a little baby bird whom they believed to be a Baltimore Oriole. Like a streak of lightning Josiah, Faith and I jumped in the car and headed down to the Bryson's house to check out this candidate for our foster care program;) It was indeed a Baltimore Oriole, and after peering up into the tree above, and ascertaining that we could not return the baby to it's 20 foot high nest without endangering life and limb, we took the little creature home.

Over the next few day the new bird, dubbed Winthrop after John Winthrop, ate and slept and ate some more, and to anyone but his multiple mothers looked slightly ugly. :)

As the bird's feathers grew out, we debated back and forth whether it was a boy or a girl (Winthrop or Winnifred) finally Charity found out online that they wouldn't grow in their adult male/female plumage until they are a year old!!! So for now we are just calling her/him Winn.

Winn loves fingers and as she got more talented (Orioles mature fast) I was able to take her outside where she said hi to the chickens, and Sadie, and watched Faith water the garden.

Align Center

Miss Sarah Bryson who found and named him/her came down a week later to visit Winn. She had grow up so much in just one week.

Winn thought that she had fledged and tried to fly as high as possible, but she was still a little bit wobbly and ended up on the floor quite a few times, so we confined her to a cage so she couldn't fall so far.

Now she has quite recovered from her falls and is about ready to fledge for good. She is so cute and looks more like a Warbler then an Oriole, but I am sure she will grow up to be bright and beautiful. We all are very grateful for our 2011 "Summer Bird."


The Younger Rachael said...

That is a ton of fun! I rescued a baby bird, years ago, in China, but due to knowing nothing about it, it died within a week (poor think, I felt horrible about it).

what does one feed a baby bird? Does what species of bird it is matter as to its feed or how you house it? Are you able to just release them after they fledged and can fly?

anyhoo, tons of excitement and joy there. Though I hope we never have orphaned baby birds, I know who to come to if I end up with one!

Sauve Family Blog said...

Hi Rachael!
Yes, it is so much fun to raise birds!

Feeding wise: It does usually depend on the species to a degree. We do a lot of research on the internet to learn what to feed them. The Bluejays, starling and now the oriole have a diet primarily made up of soaked dog food and whatever grubs, crickets and meal worms we can find for them. The dog food gives them the high protein that they need, and some grains, so it is very close to what the parent birds would be feeding them.

We usually begin with keeping the baby bird in a bird cage or a small box until it begins to fledge, then they move out onto the front porch where we have set up various sticks and tree branches. It stays there until it wants to go out. They do make it very clear. :) We have never had trouble with a bird not wanting to go back into the wild. Usually they hang around for several weeks after permanently moving outside, and come to the window or deck for a snack now and then.(the bluejays LOVED peanuts!)

Hope that helped to answer some of your questions. Thanks for commenting!