22 July 2008

Bringing Up Baby

A few weeks ago Destin rescued two baby Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura), which fell out of a tree along with their nest. Using gloves she placed the babies in a basket with the broken nest hoping the mother bird would return, but alas she did not. Destin’s mother took the birds in a few days later, but neglected to keep them warm and feed them properly so one baby died. She eventually brought the remaining bird over to the building and told Destin and myself that we need to try.

I did some research and created a food mixture of dry cat food and birdseed, which I grind up in a coffee grinder. The bird, which is now named Leslie, loves it. We named it Leslie because we don’t know if it is a boy or girl. Anyway, I have placed it on a tight feeding schedule and exercise regiment and she/he has now passed the danger point and will survive.

It has grown considerably and its feathers have grown in very full. The gruel I created is slowly being thickened to the point where we think we may be able to switch to seed. Leslie gets excited when he/she see’s me and loves to perch on my fingers during and after feedings. I also like to take Leslie for walks outside and it is my hope Leslie will learn to fly soon. I have been making it exercise its wings when it is perched on my finger. I simply move my hand back and forth and Leslie has to flap its wings in order to keep balance.

My only concern is she won’t want to leave when the time comes. We really can’t keep her because I have two cats and Destin has a cat, which pretty much has free reign of the entire building.

We shall see.

Leslie loves her gruel.

Its feathers have developed wonderfully.

Mr. Shankly is very interested in Leslie.


jimbo said...

It looks like Leslie the Squab doesn't have long before she's a juvenile/adult, so she should be pretty hardy to new foods.

Robert said...

Oh funny thing K-A. Just today we heard a little 'meowing' in our backyard... we found a very tiny kitten who looks a bit like Mr. Shankly. The eyes are even opened yet.. Poor thing. We tried to feed it some milk but it refused to eat... :-( I think we'll be taking him to the animal shelter tomorrow.

I'll send you a picture. I don't want to part with it but Alec is allergic! :-(

Oh anyway, that looks like a pretty big dove to me!!! You feed him/her well!! Dry cat food/birdseed in your coffee grinder, too funny!

martin said...

Just like Burt Lancaster in 'The Birdman of Alcatraz'.

ilduce said...

LOVE the pic of Mr. Shankly!

CJ said...

That's just too much. How kind. But as you said it has to go or...