Thursday, April 30, 2009

Saving Them, One Critter at a Time

Ok, I can't help myself. I seem to want to save them all.

I'm one of those people that will attempt to capture bugs in my house and set them free outside, rather than kill them. Even though I freak out at spiders and snakes, I'd much rather see them alive out in THEIR OWN environment (please, not mine) than try to destroy them. Well, truth be told... I'd rather not see them at all...

Here is my latest "me to the rescue" endeavor (cue the superhero music).

I get home from work today, put Bailey on her leash and take her out for a walk around the backyard (yes, we're still doing our post-surgery exercises)... all of a sudden I hear frantic chirping, but I was puzzled because it seemed like it was coming from the ground instead of the trees around me.

I start scanning around the yard and suddenly see a slight movement in the grass about 20 feet away. I walk over and realize it's a baby bird that looks like it fell out of a nest. Problem is, it wasn't really near a tree, so I had no idea where it came from. Plus, I couldn't see any parents around, screeching at me to keep away (although I was hoping they were nearby, watching every move I made).

I know you're supposed to leave them alone, but there are neighborhood cats around (mine being one of them) that would be more than happy to have him for a snack. Not only that, there was a storm rolling in and this little guy was out in the open without shelter.

I took Bailey inside, found Riley (my outdoor cat) and put him in my sunroom, and then moved the baby bird back near the woods in hopes that his mom and dad would come rescue him. I backed off and watched from a distance for awhile. Nope, no sign of mom and dad. Sigh.

He was begging for food, so I decided to hunt for some small worms to see if he would eat them. Yep, he wolfed down 4 small ones. Guess he was hungry. Ok, now what? Shelter, somewhere nearby, that would hopefully keep him safe for the night and yet still be where his parents could find him.

Here is the result:

Yes, it's a small plastic plant container with a bungie cord holding it in the tree. It has holes in the bottom for drainage and I filled it with leaves, tiny sticks and various scraps from the yard in a pseudo-nest shape. I put the little guy in there and he immediately quieted down and started dozing off (poor thing was probably exhausted). Here he is - you can see his little head peeking out:

I hope his parents find him. I did see a nest higher up in this tree that he may have come from, so my fingers are crossed. Yes, I realize his chances of survival aren't good, but at least I feel better knowing I tried to at least put him in a safer place to give him a better shot at making it.

I can't save them all, but that doesn't mean I shouldn't try. :-)

Update 24 hours later... he didn't make it. I buried him in the back yard near the woods.