I didn’t imagine taking care of a young wild bird. First, I think I will be reprimanded by the government or by my club. Two, I’m not equipped and it might end up dead in my custody. And three, I don’t want to be hassled.
But last March 23, when we were about to eat dinner, Mom called me from our front door. She saw something inside a pail. I hurried to the door and tried to see what it is. We initially thought that it was a frog but I concluded that it’s a young pied fantail. Good thing that the pail is empty because normally it is filled with water.
Mom told me that there’s a spider on the side of the pail. I readily felt something crawling on my fingers so I dropped the pale. Yes? You’re right. The bird is still inside in the pail. The bird managed to survive the drop. I didn’t want to hold the bird for fear that its parents won’t return to it. But I had no choice. I wanted the bird to survive.
I took a rug and placed the bird on it because it’s sopping wet. I suspected that the bird was attacked by big red ants and it fell because there were ants still biting it. I thought of making an improvised nest so I used a sombrero. I put some dried leaves and placed the bird on it.
It is already skittish. It flew from the sombrero several times so I placed another sombrero (salakot) on top of it to keep inside. I was happy that it’s lively for I thought that it will have more chances to survive. I also consulted my books if there some information about young pied fantails and I also texted my birdwatcher friend Jops.
I have it placed beside my bed for fear that rodents will attack it.
March 24, I planned to stay long on my bed but I have an “adopted baby” to take care for. Talk about the hassle! I placed the sombrero outside Mom’s garden. The young bird flew. It went to a small papaya tree. I was glad that its parents went to feed it. What a relief! I really feared that its parents will not return to it because I held it several times.
I have to intervene again because the papaya tree is located in a shaded area. I wanted the young bird to receive the energy from the sun. Yeah, I’m thinking about Superman. I also transferred the young bird because the papaya tree is near where the cats hang around. The parents have been busy warding the cats away and they can’t concentrate on feeding their young.
I placed the young pied fantail back to the sombrero and placed the sombrero on top of Mom’s orchids, which is much nearer the original nest. However, the young bird is really restless. It flew again. It went to the star apple tree and then it flew to our wall about 10 feet high. Its claws managed to hold on to the rough wall but it fell! To my dismay! How can I leave this young bird if this is its behaviour?
It fell at the bottom of Mom’s plants. I have to hold the bird again to catch it. I put it back inside the sombrero and placed the sombrero on top of the orchids. Thankfully it stayed there for several hours. The parents were able to feed it and I was able to document the activity.
I thought I could now let go of the young bird. But it rained so hard in the afternoon! I took the improvised nest and placed it on top of Mom’s plants by our front door. The parents still fed and protected the young bird.
I was already confident that nothing bad will happen with the young bird. I was already busy doing my own thing. It was almost evening when I checked the young bird and to my horror I saw the bird drowned in a pail of water. I quickly scooped the bird with my hand. It reacted to my touch so I was hopeful to revive it. My brother Paul and I hurried to dry the feathers with a blower. It became active again after its feathers dried up. To my relief! I placed the bird beside the exhaust of my CPU because it is warm. But it flew to the floor. I almost stepped on it! Grrrr!
This time, Mom suggested placing the bird inside a bird cage. I complied with a heavy heart. I hope my wild bird watching club and photography group will extend their forgiveness to me for caging a wild bird. I just wanted the bird to survive. I was thinking that I could at least extend the bird’s life by keeping it from falling and drowning.
March 25, I wasn’t able to go to church. I had a terrible slipped disk pain attack again. Before having the bird placed outside to be fed by its parents, I have its right eye gently wiped with a damped cotton swab because it closed due to some irritation due to the drowning incident.
With the help of my Mom and my brother Paul, the cage was hung on the atis tree’s branch. We left the cage’s door open. The pied fantail parents still fed and defended their young. They even attacked us several times. Talk about gratitude!
I just stayed inside our house. The slipped disk pain is quite unbearable. But I managed to take some shots to document my unusual experience. But something happened to my photography gear this day. Something heartbreaking! That’s another story perhaps.
The young bird fell again! Maybe I should let it die for its restless adventurism. I deemed that there’s already so much human intervention for it to survive. Taking care of the bird may cost me another thing or two. But I secured the safety of the bird by caging it again. I can’t help it. I was quite certain that its parents will provide it with food even if it’s caged.
Why am I hassling myself for fairly common bird? It’s not even an endangered species. I could let the young pied fantail be and whatever happens to it would seem negligible. I would wake up the next morning and able to see another of its kind. I’ve been wondering too how can taking care of a young wild bird be a God-glorifying activity (1 Corinthians 10:31)?
In Genesis 1:28-30, God commanded man to have dominion over His creation. Dominion means God has allowed man to be a servant or steward of His creation so that it will be replenished. Birds were particularly mentioned, by the way. In this day and age, people are dominating God’s creation in a way that leads to its destruction and not its replenishment. Perhaps even with one bird I could make a difference. Perhaps my simple act would encourage my relatives and my neighbours to be mindful of God’s creation.