21 May, 2012

Meet Huevo

Picture it: you're leaving a wedding reception in downtown Orlando, dressed in fancy clothes and full of lunch and sweets.  You see a tiny baby bird on the sidewalk, flapping its wing stumps, mouth open wide with no sound coming out. 

Welcome to the moment where my life temporarily turned on its ear.

I looked around for a frantic bird momma, and when I didn't see her I scooped up the baby.  Scott and I eventually found the nest, about 10-15 feet up a tree.  I left the chick with Scott and went back into the restaurant we had just left to see if they had access to a ladder.  Apparently they did, but couldn't let me use it because of liability issues.  I called Animal Control, but they were closed.  We sat on a bench, Scott still holding the tiny (now sleeping) chick, and tried to come up with a game plan.  We figured our only options were to put the bird back in the grass at the base of the tree and pretend the mother would realize it was there and take care of it, or take it with us and try to come up with a better plan.  You know, one where the bird lived through the night.

It was a long car ride home, especially since every time I talked the little dude would start begging again!  I texted my mom and got the recipe for baby bird food that we used when I was little and we raised wild baby birds.  Recipe in hand, we stopped at the store and I sat in the car while Scott went in for the most random shopping list ever: hard-boiled egg, wheat germ, canned dog food, and liquid baby vitamins.  We got him home, built him a nest (which he promptly pooped in), fed him, and then tried to figure out the next step.
It's been two days, and we're still sort of dealing with him one day at a time.  I named him Huevo, and since he's a blackbird (or some other type of black bird), Scott decided Huevo Negro was better.  Mostly, he just answers to "PEEP!"

Huevo's left leg is either broken or dislocated (you can see the bump in the bottom picture), and judging by his lack of feathers and closed eyes, I'm pretty sure he's less than a week old.  For this reason, I decided not to immediately try to research wildlife rehab centers.  I have a pretty strong feeling that he would be too much work for a non-profit.  If he survives to the point where his wings feather up and he gets a little mobility, then I'll find him a new foster family. 

Realistically, I don't think he's going to make it.  And I've been crying about that multiple times a day since we found him.  But I'm certainly not going to give up on him.  He eats enthusiastically, peeps when he's hungry, poops when he's not, and flaps his little wings when the food is too slow getting from the bowl to his mouth.  It's pretty normal.  So for now, I'll just be in love with this tiny, fuzzy, bug-eyed baby and worry about him 18 times a day.

he fell asleep sitting up after Scott fed him

his wing feathers are sprouting


mamajoy said...

he is so tiny!
and "cute!"

Denise Brink Nielsen, Salt Lake City said...

Hi Jamie!

Thanks for your post. It made me smile to read your story and gave me some solace after going on a similar roller coaster ride.

Unfortunately I lost my little rescuee last week. I think he had a respiratory problem. Was so sad I cried for two days!!

What happened with Huevo? Did he make it? His pictures were so adorable. Gotta luv the little guys!