Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Rescuing Baby Animals

In many parts of the country this is about the time when little baby birds start hatching from their eggs and peeping in their nests. When I was growing up I remember that we would occasionally find baby birds who had fallen from their nests or whose nests had been destroyed by a predator.

One time when we found a robin we decided to try in earnest to save him. We kept him warm in a box that had an old nest we had found previously and fed him with little strips of deli ham and water from a medicine dropper. I'm not sure why we fed him ham (maybe we thought it looked liked worms?!) but it worked, and he thrived!

"Caesar" grew up strong and friendly. He even liked our dog! We didn't intend to keep him forever, though, and when July 4th rolled around we thought it would be very poetic to give him his freedom (Independence Day).

With some urging, he flew away, but still came back to visit every once in awhile. It was a very fun experience and made for a fond childhood memory.

Has your family had any interesting experiences raising wild or orphanned animals? One spring we bottle-fed an orphanned lamb for a local farmer. Friends of ours in Florida regularly care for orphanned squirrels as a part of a program at their local wildlife center. I'm sure there are other opportunities around for this sort of thing. It would be neat to hear about them!


MaryAnne said...

my sister's kids are fostering some tiny kittens right now for their local animal shelter - they'll keep them until they are 6 weeks old and then they will be adopted out to permanent homes. Not quite like raising a baby robin or an orphaned lamb, but fun for kids who can't have a long-term pet.

Christy said...

Our pastor's kids -- the oldest 2 girls, specifically -- found and raised a baby squirrel. For the first few weeks, the oldest girl (Kate, 13 yrs old) got up every 3 hours all night to feed him (named Aidan). At the end of last summer they introduced Aidan to the outside world, and for the first several days he seemed to have a fear of heights and would only go a few feet up any tree, then come back and scramble to Kate's shoulder. He has since conquered his fears, but will occasionally show up at their back door!

sarah in the woods said...

I had a lamb too. A little white one named Buckwheat. He followed me everywhere. I would love to have another bottle lamb. I had a baby squirrel once too. A snake tried to grab it out of the nest but the baby squirrel fell to the ground. I took it home and fed it with a dropper. It did great. I ended up having to go away to college and couldn't take him. He went to a wildlife rehab person and was eventually let go.

Jessica Monte said...

thank you for sharing this story. just a few days ago, our neighbor gave my husband a newly born baby bird, which had been left on her porch. my husband thought the bird was dying but I asked him if we might build a nest in one of my gardening pots and take care of him. my husband didn't agree but said that he would make a nest for the bird in a safe place in the woods. i still am not sure what happened to this bird and i have been praying for it. next time an animal orphan crosses my path, i'll know what to do. thank you again.