Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Caring for a Baby Bird Day 2 Update

I wanted to post an update to the Weekend of Nature and Babies post I did earlier this week. If you read it then you know we are now caring for a stranded baby bird. He is starting to grow on me I think. I never was a bird person, I know friends who own birds as pets.  Their hands or arms are always covered in scratch or bite marks, some very deep and I often wondered what kind of person would put up with that? Why would you go through all that to keep birds? It must take a truly special personality to keep and care for a pet bird and love them as much as we love our cats and dogs.
This little bundle of fluff is very cute, and surprisingly trusting. He doesn't try to bite or peck at us at all. He is very calm around us and not afraid like I would have thought he would be. He is very gentle and, I'm starting to notice, smart. He knows what he wants and doesn't want, for instance today when offered the choice between bird seed or a dropper of baby food, he has been choosing the seed. Today is the first time I've introduced seeds to his diet, when he opens his mouth I would drop one in by hand, then offer the dropper of baby food or water to wash it down. He got the hang of it and then started refusing the dropper, but when I hovered by hand above his head he would open wide. Show him the dropper and he would close his mouth tight, show him my hand and again he opened wide. I'm completely amazed by this, I wouldn't have thought birds, especially baby ones, would be that intelligent.

Every day he eats a variety of baby food, apple & blueberry, pears & raspberries, apple & cherry, turkey & rice, a vegetable mix, oatmeal and more. We offer him a different flavor every feeding, which right now is every half hour to 45 min. I tell you it's like having a baby all over again. Round the clock feedings, little jars of baby food all throughout the fridge. We even have to heat the jars in a shallow pot of water on the stove to make it room temperature before feeding, reminds me of warming glass baby bottles when my kids were small. This experience has certainly been nostalgic if nothing else.

He is also hopping out of his nest and getting around the pen. Yesterday we took the lid off and had his pen sitting on the picnic table on the back porch so he could hear other birds and get some fresh air and sun. He sat up in his nest and started grooming himself and stretching his wings. It was so cute, I took a dozen photos, but posted some of the best. He was very active at that moment, and this morning was standing on the edge of his nest to make him self taller, so that the food would reach his mouth faster I guess. Hopefully he should be able to go it on his own soon. I'm waiting to see more signs of wing flapping and try to get him to take the seed from a small dish in his pen first.

I also have an update on the baby chipmunks found at the baby shower last weekend. They did go home with a family at the party. They have named them Alvin and Theodore and are feeding them milk formula by bottle. My husband works with the mom of the family that took them home so I will try to get more updates from time to time if I can.

Thank you all for stopping by.


Monday, August 30, 2010

A Weekend of Nature and Babies

My family was invited to a dear friends daughter's baby shower. We had such a good time, they held it at a local nature park in a private pavilion. I really enjoy parties of all kinds, but especially this sort, you get to come together with family, friends and co-workers over some really great food and laugh the day away.

When I was little I used to go to all kinds of family backyard Bar-B-Q's at my aunt's house on my dad's side of the family they sure know how to make you feel at home. Since growing up I have always missed the feel of those parties, but this weekend was a much needed blessing.

My husband ran the grill, he has had several cooking jobs in the past and so feels right at home in-front of open flames. My kids made lots of new friends with all the other children who attended. They all went exploring through out the park in two large groups. They brought back all kids of things, my eldest Korbin put together a nice collection of things he found exploring the park.

My younger son Tyler found a baby chipmunk, he was so tiny and blended in with the ground so well, that he almost stepped on him. We wrapped him in my husbands shirt for a while, but unfortunately there was really nothing we could do for him. Later we discovered that he must have been abandoned because 3 other babies were found, sadly one of them dead. The babies barely had their teeth so they wouldn't have been able to eat the things they could find around the Forrest they looked as though they had just gotten used to their walking legs. Some of the older kids in the party said they would take them home and feed them baby food, they had nursed a baby squirrel before and then let him go. I know you shouldn't remove wild life from where you found them, but I  was very sure that the squirrels would not make it if we left them alone.

Later Tyler found a vanilla colored fuzzy caterpillar and some of the other kids found a baby box turtle. Actually I'm not sure what kind of turtle it was, but it was grey and had a long tail. These two animals however stayed at the park.

After the party, we went across the lake to go swimming. I'm happy to report now little fish were found, other then my two splashing around in the water. Swimming in a natural lake is very relaxing and refreshing. We very lucky to have one not too far from our home. I've been coming to Pinchot park ever since I was a child. I'm so happy my kids have the opportunity this weekend to appreciate what nature has to offer, they don't often connect with it at home, but they certainly took advantage of the opportunity this weekend.

Our last little critter of the weekend was a baby bird, found under a neighbors porch, or so I'm told, by my eldest Korbin. The bird with nest had fallen on the ground and so the kids naturally scooped baby and nest up and brought them home. Normally I'm all for leaving birds were they area found, but with the nest on the ground and the baby not old enough to fly, I'm not sure how the mother bird would have fixed the situation.

Fortunately, the baby looks to be several weeks old with feathers, and the ability to hop out of the nest, which may have been what got him into trouble in the first place. We are currently feeding him baby food by dropper. He is taking to it very well, I read that it is important to feed them a large assortment to mimic the variety he would be receiving in the wild. He gets sweet potato, raspberries, pear, apple, banana, tomato, carrots, green beans, rice, oatmeal, and turkey (yep turkey). I was contemplating if this was like cannibalism or not, but he seems to like it and I know he needs a certain amount of meat and I currently do not have any worms to give him. Not to mention if I did, I would have to mash them up and maybe it's my girly side, but yuk!

When you home school you need to look for and take advantage of any opportunity to learn and think outside the box, what better example can I offer to learn about nature and responsibility all in one lesson then caring for a baby bird for a few weeks. I figure within one to two weeks our little birdie should be old enough to fly the coop. The kids are really enjoying taking turns feeding him, I of course get the task of cleaning up the baby food after it comes out the other end. Funny, it looks like baby food going in, and baby food coming out, again yuk!

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nature's Bounty Treasury

We have created our first treasury on Etsy this month, it is called Nature's Bounty. It is a collection of items from various other Etsy artists that remind me of fall.

I can't wait for the leaves to start to turn. Here in Pennsylvania we have a beautiful display of natures glory every fall and I get excited to see it every year. This treasury brings to mind some of my favorite things about the season like crisp smells in the air, cider and cinnamon, pumpkin pie, turkey with all the trimmings, leaves crunching beneath my feet, my kids jumping in big piles of them just like I used to when I was their age.

Every fall my family picks fresh apples and pumpkins at a local orchard. There's nothing that says fall has arrived quite like biting into a fresh delicious apple that you picked from the tree. It so out dose any apples you get from the grocery store. After strolling through the orchard we take a hay ride then get lost in the corn maze. Ah the memories... but I'm getting side tracked. As you can see this treasury was very inspiring to me and maybe it will inspire you too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Friday, August 27, 2010

FAE Hearth and Harvest Treasury

This month the Fantasy Artists of Etsy (FAE TEAM) have put together a beautiful exhibition for the Fall called Hearth and Harvest. The collection is much larger than shown here and features the works of other skilled FAE Team members. We are pleased to be able to show off this fantastic collection of items currently for sale on Etsy and get you into the spirit of autumn. Check the exhibition out live at: http://faeteam.com/exhibition.html

Thanks for stopping by,