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 EinsteinI 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!