Thursday, June 26, 2008

Jasper the exasperator

Jasper in the little nest I made for him yesterday
Here are two pictures of Jasper taken about 24 hours apart, it's kind of hard to see in the picture but he/she is growing really fast. 48 hours ago I couldn't even tell what kind of bird he was, now he's about halfway feathered out into a little white-winged dove (insert Stevie Nicks song here). I have to feed Jasper every 2-3 hours during the day and he is not the least bit grateful for it. I feed him a formula for hand-feeding baby birds (You can buy it at the pet store) and I mix it up with warm water and try to dip his beak in it. Sometimes he then takes the hint and starts eating the formula, but most of the time he just attacks me, the cup or anything else. Feeding is very trying for both of us, but is way better than the tube down the throat method which is dangerous for novices like myself. (It's very likely that you'll put the food into their lungs instead of in the crop where it belongs, and they will drown.) Poor little bird, he must be terrified.
Jasper on my shirt today just after eating

I'm getting very excited for the new (chicken) chicks to get here. Only about 3 more months to go, let the countdown begin!!


brenda said...

oh wow jasper is beautiful. Rachel, I have been reading your blog since February when I was searching online for native seeds and I find what you write soo interesting. i really keep meaning to try to make my own yogurt and a solar dehydrator after reading about it here. i also keep meaning to order seeds and never seem to get around to that either.

anyways, i just wanted to say, when you say a tube, i'm not sure what you mean, but have you tried an eye-dropper?

my mom has rescued lots of birds and we always fed them with an eyedropper. i guess this worked best on birds who were trying to eat, doesn't necessarily sound like Jasper is trying in the way that I remember all our rescued sparrows & black birds would.

while we were able to eventually let all our sparrows go, we did keep one we named Cindy Sue Sparrow. I had her from age 6 to 14, that's got to be pretty old for a sparrow.

anyways, good luck with Jasper!:-)

rachelbess said...

Thanks Brenda!
Yes, by tube, I mean an eyedropper or needle-less syringe. I have had baby birds before that would open their mouths and try to be fed whenever you touched the side of their beaks, Jasper is just not that kind of bird. :) I hope he/she lives despite his being a bit difficult, I'm really rooting for the little guy.