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.
I knew as soon as I saw the bird that, just as it would soon think we were its parents, we would think the bird was our baby by Saturday night. I was so right. That little guy had us wrapped around his tiny talons.
He also had a thin blue thread wrapped around his talon about a million times. Joe had put an old washcloth in the butter tub nest, and a loose thread had become hopelessly mottered-up with the birdie’s toes. Princess Wei was most amazed at my vet-like daring as I picked up the potentially lice-infested little creature in one hand and held his claw immobile with another so that she could carefully snip the threads away with tiny scissors.
We fed him his Puppy Chow and water sludge every time we walked by his box, because whenever he saw any movement at all, he’d suddenly extend his head out like a Jack-in-the-box at the end of that long springlike naked neck, and seemingly become one huge hideous open mouth going “eegh eegh eegh!” He would gulp down two droppers full of sludge and no more, crap profusely, and then he would try to climb up a little branch we’d put in his box for perching on. He obviously wanted to perch and flap and stretch his little wings as much as possible, but whenever he tried to do that on the butter-tub, it’d flop over.
We named him Jay 2Pay-Z (pronounced “tooPAYzee”). We were guessing his sex. Joe had assumed he was a girl and called him “Ingrid.” We looked up Blue Jays in various encyclopedias and learned that the males and females look pretty much alike anyway. We learned many things about Blue Jays. They are the least endangered species since rats, and will eat damned near anything.
He appeared to be growing before our eyes, but we figured that must be an optical illusion. We covered his box with a cloth for the night and he quickly conked out.
The next morning we Googled “rescue baby birds” and found that according to the rules, we and Joe had done everything wrong. My immediate instinct in cases like baby birds fitfully spazzing on the ground is to let nature take its brutal and unforgiving course, which is what the various websites advised anyway. They said if a bird is injured, you should not try to care for it yourself, because you are a stupid ignorant civilian who knows nothing; you should take it to a Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility. Or let it just die, which it’ll likely do anyway. Wei already knew about the far-distant nearest Wildlife Rehab place because she’d taken a seagull with a broken wing there once. She’s like that.
Part three tomorrow