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2004-05-16 @ 6:29 p.m.
how alfredo wormed his way into my heart

Not much happened today, so I was looking through my old, offline diary (before I discovered diaryland, I actually used to just write a daily diary in my computer. Scandelous!). This was from last summer, around this time. I thought it was somewhat entertaining and season appropriate. Presenting:

ALFREDO

Blame it on Alfredo. Alfredo, you say? Who is Alfredo? Some dreamy Italian. The man of Wittykitty's dreams? Will Married Guy be jealous? Will his wife be cheering? Will Wittykitty finally have someone to call her own???

Okay... he’s a Grackle. Yup, a baby bird. Ugly as hell. He fell out of a tree, and I rescued him. I had taken a walk last night and on a sidewalk, between a busy street and a fenced yard with a large dog, was this little dark thing. At first I thought it was a pile of dog poop. Then I realized it was a baby bird. Unfortunately it was not moving or making any noise and there was no mommy bird swooping down to feed it. And as I got closer, it didn’t even react until I gently touched it, and it’s mouth sprang open to be fed.

Bwwwwaccck!

OK. So, at least we established it was alive. What next? I know its not good to pick up fledglings, but it appeared dazed and not very warm to the touch, so I was worried about it. The people who owned the dog pulled up, an elderly British couple and I asked if they knew of any bird nests in their yard, and they were perplexed. No. I think they went in their house, probably wondering why this weird girl was hanging out on their corner.

I finally picked up the bird and was going to put it across the street in some grass and hope that the mother bird would find it, but it looked so pitiful and forlorn, that I finally just held it up to my chest for warmth and carried it home.

I have a somewhat shady side yard, so as soon as I got there I set Jr. down and started flipping over rocks and pulling out worms, and suddenly we really had something in common. I’m not REAL fond of worms (don’t have to worry about finding me on “Fear Factor” anytime soon), but I was holding them over his mouth. He was a little slow on the uptake, and I’m like “chew, honey, chew”. These damn worms were wrapping themselves around his head and his neck, but finally a couple got down his mullet.

Then brought him in the house and put him in a large paper grocery bag and locked him in the bathroom (I have a cat, who would love some birdie sushi). Called some places, but since it was after 7 p.m., nothing was open. Called a friend, who’s into nature, but she didn’t know much about baby birds, but did suggest gathering up some “overnight” worms and chopping them up for little Alfredo.

Chopping them up?? Yeesh. I can barely touch them. So it was right then and there I decided my birdie might possibly be a vegetarian, so I fed him some bird seed and some pseudo-worms (angel hair pasta I had had for dinner). He seemed to pretty much like everything I stuck in his mouth and he was also getting a little stronger, a little noisier, and was finally able to stand up on his legs (I had thought his legs were broken when I found him since they were curled and bent underneath him on the sidewalk).

I had also left 2 worms in my deck planter, so I wouldn’t have to go fetch additional wormies for his midnight feeding. See what a smart mommy I am?

In the meantime, I had also gone on the net to see what to do with baby birds.

  • 1. Don’t touch them...well, too late on that one. Since I didn’t have a heating pad, I filled up an old large yogurt container with hot water and he laid up against that for warmth. Was not really sure if he would make it til morning, but the little bugger pulled through with flying colors.

    Got up at 6, went out worm huntin’ in my nightie, fed him again, went back to sleep and then about 9 I started making calls to some local nature places, who gave me a name of a person, who then gave me another name of a local wildlife rehabilatator. Called her to ask her what to do and she said to bring the bird to her, which I did. Grabbed one more worm for the road, and drove Alfredo to a little town about 35 miles from here.

    When the wildlife rehabilitator saw the bird, she identified him as a Grackle and said that he was way too young to be out of the nest and that he probably would have died without my assistance. That made me feel really good. So I just filled out some state paperwork and unfortunately I had an appointment back in town, so I had to leave almost immediately, but at least the little guy made it....the cat didn’t eat it...and next Mother’s Day, I think I will be expecting a card.

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