Last week we had another mouth to feed at the barn. A fledgling fell out of his next and took up residence in the corner of Curly’s stall.
Like most barns, we have a lot of birds. There are a ton of nests and the cacophony of chirping is quite deafening in the spring when the nests are full of babies. This youngster was the most mature of them; rather than just falling out of the nest, he (or she) was old enough that its predicament was most likely a failed attempt at flight.
Living with a 1300 pound horse might seem like living on the edge but this little bird was smart (he/she stayed safely in the corner) and had some attitude. Get too close to him/her and you got the deadly evil eye.
When our visitor first landed, it was tempting to try to help. Luckily, our resident vet set us straight: leave him alone and don’t touch him! It seems that when fledglings fall out of the nest they are not abandoned by their parents — they bring them food on the ground. And it proved true. Although our feathered friend seemed week when he first appeared (I had to check to see if he was breathing the first time I saw him), over the week he gained strength and became feistier. Apparently there are lots of “helpful” folks who bring fallen birds to the veterinary clinic not realizing that is safest (and preferable) to leave them where their parents can find them.
On Sunday morning I saw him trying to fly. By Sunday afternoon, he was gone. But probably not far. I imagine he/she is now one more of the dozens of birds living in our barn and hopefully eating their fill of mosquitoes.