Friday, April 20, 2012

Crazy Bird Lady

If any of you needed confirmation that I am it is.

Last week we went to a local pizzaria for dinner. 

Right away my daughter noticed all the sparrows flying in and out of the awning of the roof.  "Look Mama!  They have nests!"

As we stepped up onto the sidewalk, she stopped.  "What's that?" she asked, pointing to a small, pink, squirming thing on the sidewalk.

It was a baby sparrow, probably just hatched, that had fallen out of the nest.  We all stood over it, feeling helpless.  The awning was too high to reach.  My daughter had a very pained expression on her face, but said nothing.  

Reluctantly I followed the rest of the family into the restaurant.  Half way to our table I turned around, grabbed a napkin of another table and went outside. There was no way I could sit there and eat while thinking of that little thing struggling just to survive out there.  And there was no way I could let my daughter see me stand by and do nothing.  What kind of message would that be?

So I gently wrapped that little pink thing in a napkin and brought it back into the restaurant, much to the delight of my husband (read with sarcasm)  and kids.  The kids...they were delighted.

During dinner that little bird started peeping for food.  To keep him quiet I soaked bread in a little water and fed him on the sly.  The folks at the table next to us were in on the 'secret' and were offering up advice, mostly to the tune of "It's just going to die.  The mama bird will kick it out if it smells a human.  Don't waste your time." 

I've learned to ignore that kind of advice a long time ago.

Fast forward: We made it home.  We placed the bird in my son's knit cap, placed in a shoe box, placed on a heating pad.  We soaked bread and bird seed and water and fed it.

I fully expected to find it dead in the morning. 

Surprise!  The next morning that little guy was peeping for food.  Oh crap.  Now what?

I suddenly remembered the cardinal nest in the camillia bush in the back yard.  It had eggs in it two days ago.  If one has hatched, I could slip the baby in there and maybe...MAYBE mama cardinal wouldn't notice. 

Luck would have it, one had just hatched. 
I slipped the baby into the nest and waited. 

Mama cardinal didn't bat an eye.  She has 'adopted' the smaller, uglier baby as her own.  I have seen her and the daddy cardinal taking turns feeding it.  At night, mama snuggles in the nest with them.

This whole experience has taught me two things:

1)  Mama birds can't smell humans.

2)  Don't ever listen to people if they tell you to just give up...that it will never work.  That it is 'impossible'.  Who knows?  If you stick to what you know is right and just might.

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