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"Chirpy" the bluebird

posted May 23, 2010, 6:32 PM by Dennis Kurc   [ updated May 23, 2010, 6:36 PM ]
We raised a baby bluebird a while back. The nestbox he was in got infested with blowflies. The mother bluebird had to abandon it. There were 5 chicks a couple of days old. When I checked on them 3 were already dead.  The 2 still alive were real cold. I managed to warm them up and one became active. They were really really small ....almost bare skinned naked.  I think I fed them a little warm milk with an eye dropper with some Rotenone (natural blowfly insecticide). One of the two made it overnight.
 
We put the lone survivor in a shoe box with a hole in it. Similar to a bluebird bird box. The kids caught bugs and worms and fed it around the clock through the hole in the box. Miraculously it prospered. The kids named him "Chirpy".
 
Normally baby bluebirds leave their nest after only two weeks....able to fly. Chirpy had it so good he didn't want to leave or so it seemed.  After two weeks he was fully feathered but wanted to stay in the shoebox.
 
We decided to force him out of his comfort zone.  So we took him outside and tried to coax him to fly away.  He flexed his wings and all but when he tried to launch he just fluttered to the ground.
 
We soon realized that Chirpy became too fat to fly.  In his natural environment with 4 other siblings he would've had to compete for food.  But since he was all alone he basically got at least 4 times more than he should and he didn't have to fight for it.
 
So we started tossing him from one pillow to another (inside the house) to get him in flying condition.  He caught on and after about a week he really got to be confident and strong.
 
We took him outside and he flew off onto a nearby tree. He stuck around for awhile and after a few days he flew off never to be seen again. Hopefully he made it.
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