Saturday, April 08, 2017

Mr. Peepers


Mr. Peepers.

While we were away at Disney, a pair of mockingbirds decided to make a nest in the Sweet Olive tree right next to my back porch.  The tree isn't very big and the nest wasn't far off the ground at all.

I guess no one was around and all was quiet, so the birds thought it was a good spot to set up shop.  I first noticed the nest a little over a week after we returned.  I saw a bird fly out of the tree and spied the nest.  I thought it was an odd place being so low as there are so many CATS around who could easily get to them.  I peeked in the nest when the birds weren't around and found four speckled eggs.

I read up on mockingbirds and estimated they'd hatch in about a week.  On Friday, March 24, I used my phone to snap a pic over the nest and saw babies!!  Little bitty baby birds.  Awwwww.

By Tuesday, we could see their heads popping over the nest and hear them peeping.  I went out back and the mamma (?) bird flew off the nest the second she saw me.  Later, Val and Roni wanted to see the babies, so we went next to the tree and looked at them reaching out of the nest once more.  Lots of peeping while the mamma perched on the roof and squawked at us.

I guess it was too much and we were just too close.  Wednesday I went out and didn't see any birds begging to be fed.  No peeping. I looked closer.  Sadly, they were all still.  And quiet.  With no sign of mamma or daddy bird.  I was so sad.  I don't know if something had happened or if mamma stopped feeding them and abandoned the nest.  She was there the day before, so had she quit feeding them long before?  A few hours later, I thought maybe I should go make sure.  This time I shook the branch the nest rested on, and up popped ONE tiny gaping beak.  Peep peep.

There's no way I could just leave him there knowing he'd die like the others.  I plucked him out of the nest, got a box and a towel and set him up in the garage, far away from the cats.  Honestly I didn't think he would make it through the first night.  I fed him some dry cat food soaked in water because that's what it said to do online.  He was so little and ate so very little.  The next morning I almost didn't go check because I just knew he hadn't made it through the night. I looked in, almost certain I wouldn't find him alive.  I moved his box a little, and to my surprise, up popped the gaping beak.  Feed me.  So I did.  Around the clock, all day.  Every 20-30 minutes, it's time to feed the bird.  (Did you know they make powdered baby bird food?  They do!)

11 days old
It's been well over a week now since I've taken this job.  I can't be away from home long because I have to feed the bird.  I'll be damned if this bird is going to die on my watch!!!  I've been keeping him warm and cozy with a heating pad.  I bought him some special baby bird food and meal worms.  I made him a 'cage' out of a tall laundry basket and some tulle to cover the top.  He's doing quite well and I hope he's independent enough to release with in the week.  He peeps at me when he sees me, hence the name Mr. Peepers.  Sometimes he just stares at me as if he is trying to figure out who I am.

Or maybe he's trying to think of a way to say "Thank you."

15 days old

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