Sorry, you knew I had to do that.
So how are things going? Well, birds are expert social distancers, so we have that going for us. But they did not get the memo about sheltering in place. They are bouncing all over, causing the usual number of mishaps. And it’s the beginning of baby season. So the current headcount is:
Six robins of varying ages, including these cuties.
These little guys have just fledged. They beg with great energy until their crops are bulging and then fall asleep from all the exertion. Of course, like human babies, they don’t sleep anywhere long enough so that the caretaker can actually get something done. Within minutes, they are DYING of starvation again.
If fledgling robins are like babies, these fledge woodpeckers are 7-year-olds who have been locked inside the house for, I dunno, a couple of months. Resonate with anyone? First, they must climb All the Things! The last one to the top of the cage is a rotten egg. They are so jazzed up, the only way I can get food in them is to wrap them in a towel and offer kibble. Sometimes they grab and swallow the food, but this is boring. Grabbing the food and not swallowing is more interesting. Doing a beak clamp and refusing to eat at all is also entertaining. They refuse to pick up food on their own or eat suet. Why peck at suet when you can whack a person with your beak to see if they squeal? It’s science: you need to repeat the experiment to replicate the result.
Of course, we are Diva Crows and thus must have corvids. Currently we have three non-flighted crows. One has a shoulder injury that is healing. The others have Mystery Neurological Disease. It looks like West Nile but it’s really too early for that. Also, I’ve had other birds in with the same symptoms: inability to fly and weak legs but no obvious injury. Another theory is that this is caused by pesticides that folks dump on their lawns in the spring. Don’t be that person. Let your grass grow with all sorts of other plants in it and call it a meadow. My mother was an expert gardener and she defined a weed as any plant you didn’t want. So if you want all the things growing in your garden, you have no weeds! There, I fixed it. You’re Welcome.
In times like these we need happy moments, so here is a video of this year’s first release of a crow who managed to recover from whatever it is that is messing crows up. It is a typical release: bird takes a split second to realize it can get away and then a lot of blur.