As diligent as the girls were, the newborn bird Anders rescued from the clutches of a dog lived with us for a week, and sadly Toveli buried yesterday.
The fuzzy little creature was hard to photograph, and as a baby it never stayed still for long unless it was tucked up into a ball sleeping. And honestly, it was ugly, but he/she grew on you. As it was starting to develop real feathers it was starting to fill out and look more normal. The beak was a definite feature in identifying it.
Maret and Toveli became the main caregivers of the bird they identified as a mourning dove only about 5 days old when it was rescued. Supposedly, mourning doves build notoriously weak nests so chicks falling out is common.
Utilizing YouTube the girls filled their in-between feedings time with research and more research. Learning to date it’s age, how to feed it, discovering what a crop is, etc were all apart of this past week’s Life is Educational (our homeschooling/unschooling philosophy).
They set alarms and took night shifts to boil water and put it into a bottle they had for providing some warmth for the little guy. They created a ‘cage’ made from a produce basket we selvaged. They lined it with cardboard on the bottom and sides, then put some dirt covered in leaves.
At first they fed Tao baby food (chicken with carrots and potatoes) and then changed to dog food as suggested. They would warm the food up with hot filtered water which also diluted it as the parents (both of them) feed their young offspring crop milk, a liquid in their beaks. The girls put the food into a small bag with a corner cut off large enough for the bird to put its beak inside the bag to slurp up the wet food. A big mess. So then they had to wash and dry the chick after each feeding. Great practice for parenting a toddler experimenting with feeding themselves!!
I guess the death of this little bird helped us deal with one problem it had been creating. What we were going to do with it when we left Chapala in a month. Now I don’t need to figure that out. Doesn’t make sad hearts any lighter, though. The girls feel responsible, that although they did all they knew to do, they feel they should have done more.
I think they did phenomenal, showing great commitment and diligence.
Sometimes, no matter how hard to try, things just don’t work out. That’s just another lesson in life.