The Blue Jay
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It is now Spring . The birds are busy building their nests . Everything around me is in full bloom. I have big plans for my newly made flower beds . I am looking forward to the time outside,but my plans are soon interrupted.....
While I am in my kitchen washing the dishes. I hear the dogs barking like they have something cornered. I rush to the front door to see what was going on outside. I could see the dogs circled around something that looked like a tiny,fuzzy, still object sitting in the midst of them. Quickly I make a run towards them to rescue this thing. I know in the back of my mind that this has to be some poor creature. To my surprise it is a baby Blue Jay.
It is sitting their blinking it's eyes. Innocently waiting to be rescued. I pick it up and the baby bird makes no attempt to escape. I examine the little bird to look for injuries, but find none. Then I notice that one of it's legs is slightly deformed . The parents are swooping down on top of my head in protest. The baby can not grasp a tree branch. I can tell that it will take some intervening on my part to help this creature recover.
I am not ready for this. I don't have a cage to put it in, so I use my pet carrier. It is the best accommodation that I can think of on such short notice.
Next, I have the task of feeding it. I know it has to be soft food . I go into the kitchen and pour some Kibbles And Bits in a cup and soak it with warm water.
I approach the animal carrier in hopes that this bird eats for me. The minute I open the door it's mouth flies wide open. The Kibbles And Bits will be it's main diet for the next few months.
The whole thing is amusing . I don't mind being a surrogate mother for a baby Blue Jay. This job has become even more demanding because he has grown. I attempt to add crickets to his diet.I hunt them myself in the tall grass and gather as many as I can. The bird eats them like raisins.My husband buys cricket boxes at the local bate shop to help out. The Blue Jay eats these quickly too.
Finally, it's time to teach the bird how to get it's own food. I moved the bird to a real bird cage with a perch in it.
I place the food in the bottom of the cage so he can jump from the perch and retrieve his food. This works as long as I am not in the room. Soon as the Blue Jay sees me, He drops the food and begs me to feed him instead. This is a sight to see;flapping wings,mouth wide open,and screeching . The awful screeching is more than I can stand. I give in and feed him once more.
The Blue Jay is now mature enough to set free. I am a little sad to see him go , but at the same time relieved. We go to the front yard and I cast him to the air. He has sat there all day on the lowest branches calling for me. Flapping his wings and screeching in protest. There are times when he flies by and attempts to land on me. I give in of course and take him back in. Finally, I have made my mind up that I will indeed cut the apron strings today. The bird and I try a new dirt road away from the house. I let him go. This time he did not follow. I hear him cry for me. My heart wants to go get him, but I know I have to let go. I believe he will be just fine.After all ,I raised him.
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