My Current Event: Meet Victor~ edit: New photos
Last week my kids were outside playing with the neighbor kids and my oldest came running home with a baby bird. Yellow lips: Starling. A good 1/2 of our town kills them on a regular basis, so I usually take them in to "the bird lady" to raise and release in the larger town where that sort of thing isn't as common. Ironically.
Alas: I couldn't get ahold of the bird lady.
He was found in a hole full of mud. We'd just had a terrible storm the night before, and he'd probably been blown out of the nest. Not having sufficient feathering, he was very cold- and they don't thermoregulate for quite awhile anyway. I first found him a shoe box that I had padded down with paper towel- but then I thought about it, and I wrapped him up in paper towels and put the bundle in an old tea cup-
I watered down some canned cat food and pushed a bit into the corner of his mouth, and after about 3 forced feedings- lo and behold, he started gaping for his food. In the meantime, I had looked up a suitable starling baby formula to make for him to eat, and that's what he's been on since.
So- in one week he has grown all his feathers. He's gone from mostly naked little baby to rather sleek teenager. Crazy. Also, he had sustained a big bruise on his left wing- and that seems to have fixed itself.
Now- here's the thing: Starlings imprint on their human caregivers and they are extremely difficult to release successfully. It's easier when there are several at once, almost impossible with one at a time. Starlings are one of only a handful of birds that are legal to own/kill/poison because they are not native and are therefore an invasive species to North America (and that has to do with Shakespeare, of all people- seriously- look it up).
Anyway, my oldest son has been AMAZING with helping out. He's extremely gentle with him- and he loves walking around with Victor on his shoulder. We're hoping to teach him how to talk (yes- starlings can learn to mimic human speech- lots of youtube videos). Today, Victor has started to come to my shoulder when I call him. I lifted the door to his little cage (we're going to need a bigger one) and patted my shoulder and leaned down- he came to the door and jump/fluttered right up. Smart!
Here are a few more pictures, and they are in order I need to take one today still- they change noticeably every single day. The last picture is not Victor, but an adult starling during the winter months (they have the speckles called 'starring' in the winter and are sleek and iridescent in the summer)- I just wanted you guys to see how pretty they really can be-