Helping a pair of young birds.

Hoping that this story of rescuing some young birds may be of help to others.

Last Saturday afternoon we were sitting outside under the shade with the ‘kitchen’ group of dogs enjoying themselves.

Jean and I noticed Casey taking a great interest in something on the ground.  Casey is a keen explorer as this photograph from earlier in the year demonstrates.

Casey demonstrating a dog's focussing skills!
Casey demonstrating a dog’s focussing skills!

The something that had caught Casey’s attention was a small baby bird that had fallen from a nearby nest.  We called Casey away and went across to see the tiny creature whereupon Jean picked up the baby bird.

The patch of ground where the birds were found.
The patch of ground where the birds were found.

Frankly, we didn’t have a clue as to what to do but called Wildlife Images, just a few miles away from where we live.  As the Wildlife Images website explains:

Our guiding principles are the foundation for “why” we do what we do. These principles guide us in our work, our relationships with each other, our guests, supporters, sponsors, and vendors.

Saving Wildlife

Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education Center is the educational leader of a healthy co-existence with our wildlife neighbors by rehabilitation sick, injured, and orphaned animals.

Involve – people to share in our vision.
Educate – children and adults about the personal benefits of taking care of wildlife entrusted to our care.
Inspire – the public to engage in our rehabilitation and education efforts.

Jean and I had previously visited the centre and been impressed with their dedication to saving wildlife.

Over the phone we were told that the best thing to do was try and find the old nest and replace the baby bird within the nest.  If all else failed then bring the bird across to Wildlife Images.

Frankly, we struggled to find the nest but at least got a ladder up against the likely tree from where the bird had fallen.

It was as we were getting the ladder in place that we discovered another tiny bird on the ground in amongst the dead leaves and ground cover.  Now we had two birds and knew we were struggling to do the right thing for these vulnerable creatures.

We drove across to Wildlife Images and they advised us to build an artificial nest and hang that up in the tree.  The call of the baby birds would attract the mother and, with a bit of luck, the mother would return to feeding the chicks again.  We were also told to speak quietly around the baby birds so that they wouldn’t imprint on our voice.  Apparently that was the greater risk of them being rejected rather than the smell of humans on their little bodies.

So back home we went and soon had a makeshift ‘nest’ in place.

Would it work?
Would it work?

Once the ‘nest box’ was in place, it was time to place the youngsters in their new home.

Good luck, my little things.
Good luck, my little things.

We left the birds in peace and went inside for a while.  Our fear was that they might try leaping out.

Then curiosity got the better of us and we needed to see if they were still alright.  So a couple of hours later, I took the following photograph.

Against all odds!
Against all odds!

The evening approached and we feared for their fate.

Then miracle of miracles we saw the mother come to them and start feeding her offspring.

We retired for the day content that we had done all we could.

Then on Sunday morning, bright and early, we went outside again.  Had they survived the night?  Had the mother returned to feed them this second day?

We heard nothing: saw nothing. Feared the worst.

It was no good, I had to climb the ladder and take a peek.

Still alive!
Still alive!

They were still in the land of the living!

Yet, there was still no sign of the mother.

Jean and I sat under our nearby gazebo and tried hard not to fear the worst.  My camera was on my lap.

Then Jean saw a flash of feathers.  It was the mother arriving to feed her young.

I was able to take the following picture.

Not the best quality picture but so what!  It's proof the birds are being cared for by their mother.
Not the best quality picture but so what! It’s proof the birds are being cared for by their mother.

In the scheme of things, rescuing a couple of small birds doesn’t add up to much.  But I’ll tell you! When Jean and I saw the mother feeding her young both of us were a little wet around the eyes!

8 thoughts on “Helping a pair of young birds.

  1. These are the moments Paul and Jean that make differences in the World. And you can be both sure you make a huge difference in many ways as you are both living in balance with nature and her creatures. Big smiles your way. X0X X0X
    Sent from my BlackBerry smartphone from Virgin Media


    1. Sue, please stop bringing tears to an old man’s face at 5:40 am! 🙂

      You credit Jean and me a little generously as I am certain that, despite our endeavours, we are far from living in balance.

      Bless you for your reply, Sue.


  2. This is wonderful. I have goose bumps reading this. I have done this before and it is the most wonderful feeling. Your photos are perfect. xx


  3. UPDATE: As of 30 minutes ago, I climbed up and checked the ‘nest’. It was empty and there is no sign of the young bird under the tree on the ground. Jean and I have assumed the young chap has flown to his freedom! 🙂


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