Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A surprising update

There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”― Albert Einstein

I have some pretty astounding news about little Eggbert!

First, to answer a few questions you all had about him/her. It became pretty obvious yesterday that it was a baby mockingbird (more about that later). With a few exceptions, like doves for instance, baby birds need soft, meaty food. No, I didn’t mouth feed him (!!), nor did I go searching for worms and such. No, the easiest and best thing to feed tiny baby birds is moist dog food. It’s cheap, easy, and most importantly, full of protein and water to meet all the babies’ nutritional needs. During daylight hours young birds need to be fed small amounts every 20 minutes or so. It made for a busy time yesterday, popping into a quiet back office to feed Eggbert while also attending to my job. I’ll admit I wasn’t looking forward to another week or two of bringing an increasingly active and vocal bird to work with me, but I was resigned to the job. Goodness knows I’ve done it countless times in the past!

Nature had a surprise in store for me, though.

After I got home yesterday afternoon and changed clothes, I fed Eggbert and put him in a large clear plastic container to give him more room to move around than the little box he had spent the day in. Then I brought him out to the screened porch where Gregg and I sit every afternoon, so that he could get some fresh air and sunshine. While we talked about the day, little EB started running around, hopping, and stretching his wings out. He was also loudly vocal, in that persistent baby-bird kind of way.

After about 20 minutes of this, we noticed two adult mockingbirds hanging around nearby and acting agitated. We looked at each other……could it be….?? We decided to try an experiment. We put the plastic container out in the backyard and waited to see what would happen. Immediately the two adults started hopping all around the box, calling to the baby and trying to figure out how to get to him. Finally I walked as quietly as possible out there and lifted Eggbert out onto the grass then retreated to the porch to wait and watch. Sure enough, the mother and father birds immediately started bringing tidbits over and feeding their baby! We couldn’t believe our eyes! 

Our backyard is only a little way from where we found the little guy earlier in the morning, and obviously the parents heard his calls from the porch and came to find him. As soon as they had fed him a few times, one of the adults started coaxing him over to the back fence and the large hedge behind it.

Never once in all my years of rescuing baby birds have I seen anything like that happen. Gregg and I were astonished. It was pretty clear he was their baby; he got excited when they found him and started doing the classic mockingbird thing, running a few steps and then flexing his wings, running a few more steps, flexing again, and already you could see the white bars on his wings. Mockingbirds have very defined territories when they have a nest so I’m certain there were no others nesting anywhere close by.

So Eggbert is back in the care of his parents! Can you believe that? I would have a hard time believing it myself if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes!


28 comments:

  1. What a sweet story, baby reunited with mom and pop. Einstein was a wise man, I agree with him, miracles are all around.

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  2. That is amazing! I do love a happy ending!

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  3. Wow! That's awesome! I have read that many times when we find "abandoned" baby birds, they're simply in the process of fledging and the parents are nearby. As you said in your previous post, it's best to leave them alone. But then, obviously, if there's a cat standing over them, that changes the equation.

    In any case, I'm so glad eggbert is back with his family! Hopefully that cat won't come around again.

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  4. You did the right thing!!!!! When friends I know find baby birds like yourself, I always tell them to place the box outdoors somewhere, but keep an eye for varmints.. 9 out of ten times the parents are indeed aware of the baby and it's where abouts.

    What a happy ending. It's also a myth that if you pick up a baby bird, for example to place back in a nest, the parents won't care for it. Most birds don't have the sense of smell.

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  5. Reminds me of that classic children's book I've read to my kids and grands so many times- Are You My Mother?
    SO glad the parents found the baby. There could not have been a more satisfactory ending to this story. And isn't it wonderful you got to witness it?

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  6. How wonderful! I'm happy for you, Eggbert and his parents.

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  7. That's amazing. You should coast on this good deed for a long time. Thanks for making me smile this evening!

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  8. That is such a sweet, perfect story! Thank you for sharing that. I was imagining the whole thing in my mind as I was reading it. -Jenn

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  9. thank you, jennifer, for reuniting baby with parents!

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  10. That is so nice!! They were no doubt separated by a Republican.

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  11. That's the best story ever. It's wonderful that you took care of their baby for them.

    Love,
    Janie

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  12. How wonderful. Often the parents won't touch a baby that's been handled by humans.

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  13. The best news I have had all week! Thank you for this wonderful update.

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  14. Always good to have a happy ending

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  15. Nature nurtured. A grand story. Well done you and the Mockingbird family.

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  16. Lovely story. Clearly the aroma of human contact had not put off the parents.
    Hush, little baby, don't say a word,
    Mama's gonna buy you a mockingbird.

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  17. When I was about 11 (long time ago) I rescued a baby sparrow. I housed him in a bird cage and fed him. The bird still had pin feathers. We placed the cage in a verandah each day and the parents came and fed him. Each day he got more feathers. each day the parents flew into the room to feed him. After about 5 days, I decided to take him outside and open the cage door. The parents came and encouraged him out of the cage and gradually encouraged his fluttering attempts. The roof of our house seemed covered with other sparrows as the parents spent hours till he could fly a little and off they went, It was fascinating watching this and all the other birds coming to 'cheer him on'. Since then I have rescued quite a few birds and helping them recover.
    Kathy

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  18. I have been so busy recently - only now catching up on some blogs. What a heart warming story to come back to. Funny how nature finds its way...

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  19. So wonderful with a very happy ending.
    cheers

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