Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rescue Mission

This morning I was sitting in the driveway with Jasper, reading papers and eating watermelon. At one point we heard a sudden commotion in the ixora bushes lining the driveway. Jasper got up and ran in the direction of the squealing ... and so did I ... just in time to see Mr. J about to pounce on a baby bluebird that had fallen from its nest high in the palm tree above.

The parents were hovering around and swooping down on me as I tried to grab the determined Jasper (who is now locked in my room, sulking under the bed).
At the advice of Detta, I made a nest in an old basket, put the baby bird in it and placed it on a bush where the parents could see it.The parents looked frantic and worried, flying around and swooping at me as I moved their squawking baby. Obviously. Their child was no longer at home in the nest. She was lost and in the hands of a strange being. Perhaps because it's fresh in the news, looking at these frantic bird parents made me think of all the parents in Trinidad and Tobago whose children are missing ... or who were missing and have been found murdered ... or not found at all. A report in one of the daily papers stated recently that now Tecia has been found dead, "only 76 children are missing in Trinidad and Tobago."

Only???

I stepped away and allowed the parents to flutter around their baby's new nest. I saw them coming with mango in their beaks, to feed her.

However, she was on top of the ixora hedge in the open sun, which would surely fry her eventually. I put a cardboard box in the pine tree (more shaded) and tied it with blue string so it would be secure. Placed the basket nest with the bird in it, making sure that she cried out so the parents could hear and see me moving her. I even found an open, bird-picked mango, took off a little piece and the baby bird actually opened her mouth and accepted it from my fingers.

Once I put her in her new location, she seemed adventurous enough to hop out and went onto a branch. I'm sure she can fend for herself ... but I'll have to try as much as possible to keep Jasper inside.

And of course, as usual these animals bring a message ... Bluebird as Power Animal (modesty, happiness, enjoyment, etc.)

Update: According to Detta (who just saw the photos), it's a Blue Tanager (Thraupis episcopus)


3 comments:

Mammabois said...

Great job Elspeth.
This is a Blue Tanager flegeling and is probably the youngest of other siblings who were ready to go.
These little fellows are at a disadvantage as they are not fully feathered and their muscle mass is not suficiently developed to fly and they become prey to everything from owls to Corn Birds and the domestic cat and dog. The parents try desparetly to keep everyone together for the next few days while still feeding them all.
They will continue to feed the youngsters for another 8 -10 days, increasingly taking them to the prey and showing them how to catch, or how to use fruit.
This is an aspect of bird behaviour that people underestimate; everything the bird needs to know about the world it lives in, what to eat, when it is good, what is dangerous, what/who is a predator, which other birds are safe to associate with, etc. it learns after it leaves the nest. A kindly rescuer or a rehabber can not replicate this teaching.

Melanie said...

Wow, you have quite the adventures with plants and animals down there!

Walter Neiger said...

and you send a message for us all ... save our great nature !