Baby birds orphaned by a storm found their way into our hearts and home.
Here Is The Full Story
These three tiny victims were lucky. A violent storm had saturated their nest and caused its partial collapse leaving one little bird dangling upside down. The fuzzy little birds feathers were in a very early stage of development. The bird appeared lifeless with one claw cemented to the ravaged nest by his own waste. It's amazing that my son happened to notice the limp baby bird .swaying in the wind. On closer inspection we found that two other birds had already fallen out of the nest.onto cement pad. The other two were barely alive and appeared worse off than the first. There was no way to put them back into the badly damaged nest and the mother bird was no where to be found. I did not know what to do and I could not walk away. I didn’t think they would live through the night without their mother, but I was wrong.
Caring For The Birds
I intervened and placed them in a box on top of a heating pad and they eventually perked up and began to make peeping sounds. At that moment I figured they had to be hungry. I researched, " what to feed wild baby birds" online and what I found surprised me. A mixture of dry pet food soaked in water and dry baby cereal. Feeding them was not easy. First, I tried thinning the mixture and placing it in a medicine dropper. I later discovered that it was best to make a thick mixture and form it into a ball on the end of a toothpick. The birds surprisingly grew stronger every day. They had insatiable appetites and wanted food every time they heard movement. They were fed 1-2 times an hour during the day. No feedings occurred during the night.
Through this experience I gained a new respect for mother birds. I was thankful that my in-laws were visiting because mother-in-law and I took shifts and we could barely keep up. The job was so demanding that I even recruited my mother to help once. It took three weeks for the nestlings to turn into fully feathered fledglings. They maintained a natural fear of humans the entire time and I was sure to keep contact to a minimum. I replaced the nest bedding daily which was comprised of leaves, grass and sometimes straw with papers towels layered underneath.
Time To Say Good Bye!
The day they flew away was an amazing and rewarding experience. I could not tell the dangling bird from the fallen birds. One bird flew into a nearby tree early one morning, he was followed by the second bird a few hours later. The third could not manage to fly high enough to join the others right away. The first two birds waited in the same tree for several hours while the last bird practiced. One bird even returned for a last meal but they all took flight later that same day. We're not sure if they've returned since we have so many birds flying by everyday. We are surrounded by orchards. I'd like to think they are still around.
Two days after the bird's departure I ran across another baby bird. This young bird was already a fledgling. It was out of the nest taking practice flights. There was an adult Robin within close proximity that kept swooping down and watching the little bird, I presumed it was his mother. I watched from a distance until the fledgling was out of my sight. There was no need to intervene this time, sweet!