It's been very exciting for the kids to watch everyday as the mama and daddy have been so attentive and protective of their young through out the day. Apparently, the parents have grown to trust us as they frequently will land just several feet from us as we are in the backyard playing or working in the garden.
I began to notice the day after Independence Day that the parents didn't seem to be around. By the 6th, I became increasingly worried that something had happened to the parents as we had been outside for several hours and they were nowhere to be seen despite the babies calling for them. This was unlike them as usually at least one of them was around the entire day and the babies are not large enough to be by themselves for such a long stretch of time.
As you figured by now, I just couldn't sit by and let something happen to them, so I called out local wildlife rescuer, Brenda, and asked for her advice. I knew time was of the essence when it came to baby birds. They can't live for long without food or fluids.
Brenda agreed that we probably needed to check on the featherlings (I sound so official, don't I?) and make sure they were thriving. So at 9:30 p.m. armed with a flashlight and my much braver than me Hubby, we headed to the nest and found these two little guys, weak and lethargic in their nest.
One of the babies was much smaller, but seemed to be a little stronger than the other. The larger of the two barely moved and was in obvious distress. Now, let me stop and say that I am not in the habit of just removing birds from their nest just because their cute and cuddly.
The absolute best thing for a baby bird is to be taken care of by their parents. Brenda assured me that removing the babies if they were ill or dehydrated so they could be rehabilitated and returned to the wild was priority number one.
She also assured me that parent birds will not reject babies if they have been touched by humans, so if the babies were strong enough, we could easily place them back in the nest without fear of the parents deserting them.
Her instructions were to first supply fluids them to prepare their bodies to be fed again. They were exhibiting signs of dehydration, so she recommended clear Pedialyte a couple of drops every 5-10 minutes for a couple of hours, then every hour or so after that. We also had to put them on a rolled up towel in a box placed on a heating pad kept on low to maintain a their body temp.
The smaller of the two began to take the fluids immediately and began to show immediate signs of improvement. As the night progressed, the larger bird finally became interested in taking some of the fluid and by morning was chirping and acting like new baby birds should - Loud and Hungry! Uh!! They're just so inseay-weensy!
Because they tend to stress easily, I pretty much left them in a quiet room by themselves and tried to feed them as quietly and quickly as possible. That nurturing side of me was trying to take over! I so wanted hold them and love them and call them George (or Squishy) - they were so cute! I had to restrain myself! Ack!
In the morning, I was feeling good about their health and began to wonder what happened with the parents. I parked myself in a window that faced the birdhouse and waited to see if they might show up today. (I know - I am such a Kook!)
30 minutes later here is what I saw.
Daddy was back! I bolted out my back door to get him away from the nest before he realized his babies weren't in there anymore. I flew upstairs, grabbed the bowl I was keeping them in, and ran out the backdoor. After gently returning the nest and the twins back in their house, I ran back inside just in time to see the daddy return to check on his babies. I was so excited that I nearly cried! They are such beautiful birds!
I went and sat in my backyard to watch and make sure everyone was happy and that's when Mama came home, too. I could hear the babies chirp excitedly as she crawled in the house and nestled down on top of them to keep them warm. OK, I know I am a dork, but I was sobbing at this point!
I have no idea what happened to them yesterday, but all I can say is I am so glad they are back on parental duty and the babies have been fed several times this morning already so I know they are happy!
Here is the male bringing breakfast for the wife and kids...
Thanks so much to Brenda who helped me get these guys back up to health for their parents! Don't you just love a happy ending?!?!?!
Side note - If you find a baby bird, please contact a professional rescuer for instructions on how to take care of it BEFORE giving it anything. Different birds require different things. Google for a rescuer near you!