About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Baby Birds: Mysteries Solved

I told you earlier this week about the nest of four baby birds we have been taking care of. Their new home is in my son's tree fort.

We had a couple of mysteries surrounding the birds. What kind are they? What do they eat? How do we take care of them since their mother has not reappeared?

I'm happy to report all these questions have been answered. We found a nice lady who does wildlife rehabilitation on the side. And by "on the side" I mean every single day for 26 years. When she answered my call, she was picking up a possum who had been hit by a car. She came over within 10 minutes.

She confirmed we had been feeding them the right thing - worms and larvae. Yea!! Did you know you can tell by a bird's beak if they eat insects and worms or seed? Skinny, pointed beaks=insects. Flatter beaks=seeds.

These babies had been eating worms from my son's hand for four days. But suddenly on the day our wildlife rehabber showed up, they didn't want to eat anymore. She examined them and said they looked wonderful and was suspicious that mama bird had finally found them.

Later that day, I was spending time looking out the window toward the nest and mama and daddy bird came in and out. Feeding time! Woo-hoo! We are officially relieved of worm duty every 15 minutes.

They are thriving and after looking closer at the feathers coming in, they appear to be Carolina Wrens, our state bird. So we are feeling a little bit patriotic. Kinda like we did our part for the state!

This experience taught my son more about baby birds and bird habits than any zoology book we could have studied in science (me, too). This lesson we'll never forget.

Have a happy day!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Taking Care of Baby Birds

We had a big project going on at our house over the weekend. We replaced the roof over the entire chicken pen, which includes the coop and grazing area (or should I say pecking area?). It was time to open the pen up a bit to let in a little more sunlight. Did you know laying hens need calcium and vitamin D (from sunlight) to make good, strong eggs?

When we removed the old, tarped roof from the pen, my son cleaned off all the debris on top - old leaves and such. Once some of the debris hit the ground, he realized there was a bird's nest with four baby birds inside. They appeared to be only a few days old.

Aren't they cute? If anyone knows what kind they are, let me know. As you  can see, their beaks are bright yellow - a stripe on the outside and all yellow on the inside. They don't have many feathers yet.

Unfortunately, we accidentally destroyed their habitat on the roof, so there was no way to replace them in the same spot. And once we enclosed the top of the chicken pen with wire, there was no way a mama bird could have gotten back in.

So we moved them close by to a protected area in my son's tree fort.

And hand-fed them worms - for two days so far while we are waiting for a wildlife rehabilitation organization to call us back.

I was naively thinking one worm would keep a birdie that small happy and full all day.

Boy, was I wrong! See them gobbling up the delicious red worms? From what we have read, baby birds' mamas feed them a worm every 20 minutes!

We are doing the best we can and hope to get a call soon so we can deliver these babies to someone who knows all about taking care of them.

I'm teaching my son math! Isn't that enough? I don't want to teach four baby birds to fly, too :)

Ahhh.....life in the country. There's something to learn everywhere you turn.

Have a happy day.