People who work a lot with window-stricken birds and have veterinarians they can work with give injectible drugs that help minimize brain swelling. These are best given in the first few minutes and hours after a strike, and they can definitely save lives and improve prognosis. I've got no veterinarian closer than two hours away who will see wild birds, and nothing like that at my disposal. All I've got is sympathy, some basic housing, good food, and the ability to get that food down the throat of whatever needs to be fed.
By that first night, I'd decided the bird had feminine energy, and it's easier for me to empathize with it as a he or a she, so she it was. Doesn't matter anyway; I could see that this cuckoo's brain was doing some mighty swelling. Her pupils weren't responding well to light. She was slow and dopey and had no interest in being active or eating. I was quite heartened that she managed to attain a low perch for her first night with me, but she was still quite a ways from being viable in the wild.
By now in her rehab, though, she should have shown interest in picking up food. Nothing I offered: live mealworms, including freshly molted pupae; chopped raspberries, blueberries, cherries, even a couple of corn borers from dinner's local sweet corn--appealed to her at all. C'mon. Corn borers? Soft green caterpillars hung enticingly over your perch: you're just going to cock your eye briefly and then ignore them? That's what you'd be eating in the wild, Cuckoo.
All right then. You don't like captivity. I don't blame you. But I'll be damned if you're going to starve yourself. You're going to be force-fed every two hours until you either start eating or get strong enough to be released. My staple was Mazuri Nestling Formula. , augmented with increasing numbers of mealworms as she got stronger.
Liam made this video of me, the classic Jewish mother to a cuckoo. I love this video, because the cuckoo doesn't look at all upset about being force-fed. She's like, "Yum. Thank you. Waitress, more water please?"
The next installment is the best. I know, I'm giving away the outcome in this video. But you just wait to see what this sweet cuckoo does in the next video!!
Thanks and props to Liam Thompson for expertly handling the iPhone to make this video. The kid has skills.