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The Skinny Orphan Part 3

Sunday, May 30, 2021

It's disarming when a tiny blobby baby bird whose eyes aren't even open becomes so conditioned to your attentions that it begs when it hears your voice. I didn't even whistle--just spoke to these birds. We're at the Hendershot box with its cushy deer hair nest, and in it are four original babies plus two fosters--Ritchie and Eddy (named for the boxes from which they came). 

Here, Eddy, the smallest of the bunch of six I took in, hollers for food when I come to feed them on April 25. He's the lone survivor of a brood of six abandoned the day they hatched, April 21. I fed these two orphans at home for three days, then installed them in this box, where the foster parents are taking good care of them.


He's alive, but he's not catching up fast enough to his siblings. I know I need to make another plan. I happen to have one box (Warren 2) where a female has been steadfastly sitting on a clutch of five eggs for 20 days. The normal bluebird incubation period is 14 days. Those eggs aren't going to hatch. 

Just to make sure, I candle them with a flashlight. 

This is a fertile bluebird egg after 11 days of incubation. There's a big gas space, and red blood vessels, and a big dark mass that is the developing chick.

This is one of the five eggs from the Warren 2 clutch after 20 days of incubation. Yellow yolk, clear albumen: Nothing going on. 

I feel bad for the Warren 2 female, but her life is about to get more interesting. I decide to replace those infertile eggs with one skinny Miracle Baby, the one survivor of the ill-fated brood of six abandoned on their first day of life. He's going to go from #6 to NUMBA ONE!!


Curtis rides along for my otherwise lonely bluebird rounds. It's so nice to have a sentient creature along who understands what all this means to me. 
He's got a tremendously strong prey drive. Look how his understanding of the situation totally overrides his instinct to snap up that helpless little thing. 


On the afternoon of April 25, I installed this skinny little chick into the box with its valiant but fruitlessly sitting mother. She was in for a surprise when she returned to sit on her eggs. I removed a couple of the infertile eggs to make room for him. That chick's life was about to get a whole lot better.

 Look at him just 24 hours later, the afternoon of April 26!!! One day of loving care as Only Baby in Warren 2, and he's plump and warm and presumably very grateful.


Hahaha. It's like the Zick Open Adoption Agency!


Wonderful! If only all the childless not be choice women, including me, could be as blessed as the Momma Bluebird.

He is a miracle baby. I hope he lives long and prospers and fathers or mothers many offspring.

Yay! Such a great story and ray of hope for today! Thank you :-)



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