This, these birds, this is what my day was all about yesterday. It wasn’t about the demolition. It was all about the babies.
I made phone calls – lots of phone calls, first. I called two places who said they remove and rescue birds. They offered no help and little advice. “Move them to a tree, hope for the best.” No referring phone numbers – except to the DNR, and that guy said “sorry, I deal with fish, try the DoC.” The lady at the DoC about hung up on me, she couldn’t have cared less. No referrals to anyone else who might take them, incubate them, raise & release. Nothing.
So, when I took two nests down from under the carport, I had my fingers crossed for eggs. Brand new eggs, even. I would have carried less guilt that way if the parents never went back to their nests.
The first nest was well built, so when I took it down I started peeking around for eggs. It was built with a false bottom – I swear – eggs started falling out and splattering all over the ground. It broke my heart to throw such a well built nest into the dumpster.
Poor Lisa, she did her best to console me. I was such a mess – especially after I took the second nest down. Babies. Brand new babies. Oh no.
I moved them to a tree our sprarrows frequent. High up into the side of the tree. No luck. Mom & dad just sat there, fretting about where their nest once was.
I made a makeshift ledge out of a wire shelf and put it on the fenceline where they are always perched. They noticed it was there, but apparently didn’t recognize their babies chirping inside.
We waited, and we watched. Both mom & dad kept going to the spot their nest used to be. Mom went down directly below it a couple of times, looking around on the ground – so I put the nest down there. Again, she stood right next to it, but didn’t go in.
I put the nest back on the shelf and left them alone for a few hours. When we returned from dinner, it was getting dark – and no sign of mom & dad. My daughter and I were really upset over the impending death of these babies, so I started googling local wildlife rehabilitators. I found a name – called the gal, and she couldn’t take them. She gave me the number of another woman who handles birds and I called her. I was so relieved when she said “bring ’em over!” – I grabbed the nest, put them in a box, and my daughter and I headed over to her house.
I touched one of the babies on the way over – and he was cold. They weren’t moving, either. I asked my daughter to breathe onto them and it didn’t take long before they warmed up and started peeping. We giggled and listened to them peep and watched them open their beaks wide for food. I could tell this was going to be Cait’s thing – she took to them and wanted to care for them, and on the way home she said she wanted to do that all the time. (She’ll probably soon realize that it’s not all fun and peeping, there’s a lot of death involved, and she’ll change her mind like I did.)
The gal that is caring for them is really sweet, and she was so excited to see them all active. She had a heating pad ready and told us we were welcome to call in a few days to see how they’re doing. She seemed confident that they’d be just fine.
Phew. I didn’t realize the level of guilt I felt all day until I got back into the car and breathed a big sigh of relief. They’re going to be fine. We saved the babies!!
(Good job, my little Rescue Catybug!)