Saturday, June 24, 2017

One for the birds

Peepers went on his happy way, or at least that is what I'd like to think.  The last time I saw him, he was pecking around at seeds I had scattered in my yard.  He would still come to me, but with great reluctance.  He'd flee if I moved to fast.  He'd still answer from the trees when I called for him, then one day he wasn't there anymore.  I actually didn't see any mockingbirds for a while.  Now there's quite a few around, so perhaps one of them is my Peepers.

When one of our cats would die, my Dad's theory was not to worry because soon another would take it's place.  He was usually right.

The same apparently holds true for birds...

Along came Flappy Bird.

One afternoon a guy I know messaged me on Facebook asking if I'd take another bird.  His mom had found a baby bird in her yard after some stormy weather and didn't know what to do with it.  I had his Mom bring it to me and right away I knew it was a dove.  Just by chance, days before, I had peeked in a dove's nest at the house we just bought (another story for another day) and saw what the babies looked like.  This one was even about the same age - approximately two weeks old.

I once again started the bird routine as I did for Peepers.  I set him up in a tall laundry basket bird cage.  I fed him the same baby bird food.  Mourning doves like to root around for their food, so I used a syringe with the end cut off.  He'd shove his little beak in there and get so excited!!  Boy could he eat. And eat.  Flapping his wings and wiggling about, he was just so happy. And Flappy.  I quickly learned mourning doves do not eat as often as mockingbirds, so this one was easier.  He grew really fast and also transitioned to seeds fairly quickly, but still loved his baby bird food treat.

Same as before, I started introducing Flappy to the outside world.  Once he was feathered, I suspected he could fly and one day he surprised me by taking off across the yard!  Gradually I left him outside longer and longer transitioning to all day.  I'd put him back in his cage at dark, but he spent his days hanging out on the back porch.  He started leaving for short periods and even visited my neighbors across the street!  Flappy was so sweet and tame as could be and would let anyone pick him up.  I even taught him a trick.  I'd hold out my arm and wiggle my fingers and he'd come to me.

Then, one night after being outside all day, Flappy didn't come home at dark.  I looked and looked.  I called for him.  I kept checking....  and he never returned.  I hate to think that something happened to him.  It made me sad that he just vanished.  At least Peepers gradually went on his way, but there has been no sign of Flappy Bird.

Sigh.  I guess I did all I could do for him.

I can only hope Peepers and Flappy Bird have met up with their kind and are out there living the bird life.
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