Last Friday afternoon, our next-door neighbor Joe found two baby birds in his driveway — one dead and drawing flies in the sun, one in the shade of his Jeep, still alive, but barely. Joe looked straight up, and sure enough, in the tree next to his garage, there was a nest. Flying all around and squawking at him were two Blue Jays.
Joe put the dead flyblown brother in the trash, and put the living one into an empty margarine container lined with rags. This little fellow was maybe a week old, still a chick, with pinfeathers and a mostly naked scrawny neck. He could hop a little and flutter and eat, but that’s all. His eyes were open, as was his mouth, on the assumption that Joe was another food-bringing Mommy Blue Jay.
Joe later learned, as we did, from various sources, that what he did was all wrong. If you find a baby bird on the ground, unless it’s obviously injured, you don’t do anything. You leave it there. Chances are its parents will continue to feed it on the ground until it can fly, or gets eaten by a cat. 90 to 95% of all baby birds die whether in the wild or in captivity. And what you really aren’t supposed to do is put one in a little manmade nest in a butter tub in a box, take him into your home, and feed him water and chopped-up worms through an eyedropper. The water can drown the chick, and the worms need some pre-digestion by Mama.
Joe called our mutual friend Linda, Mastress (so to speak) of the Cult of the Living Bull, who has raised several orphaned wild birds into healthy jabbering pets. She said to feed the little feller ground-up Puppy Chow mixed with water, from the medicine dropper, EVERY HALF HOUR.
But Joe had to go to bed early Friday night and work all day Saturday! We are old friends, so we took on the bird-feeding job until he could get back to it on Saturday night.
Raw Story is a progressive news site that focuses on stories often ignored in the mainstream media. While giving coverage to the big stories of the day, we also bring our readers' attention to policy, politics, legal and human rights stories that get ignored in an infotainment culture driven solely by pageviews.
Founded in 2004, Raw Story reaches 5 million unique readers per month and serves more than 19 million pageviews.