House Sparrows in My House
As described on the Our Story page, Baby Bird came to me at the age of about 4 days old. She was pink with a few pin feathers coming in on her wings. She had a severely infected right eye and mangled crooked legs. Realizing immediately that she was here to stay, my hand became her favorite napping nest, and once she started eating on her own, Special K cereal, bagels, and cream cheese became her favorite foods. She took baths in her little yellow bowl, she took naps in my hand and tucked in my fleece jacket, and she skillfully flew around our living room and kitchen area despite losing her right eye. Like most birds, she was set in her ways and did not adapt well to changes like a new chair in the living room, a change in the type of cereal, or the location of her favorite perch.
Three and a half years ago, after a long illness, it seemed that it was time to let her go peacefully. She was in constant pain and her quality of life was fading. But when it came time for the final decision, her desire to have breakfast with me was so strong that we changed course, changed her medications, and added road trips to her list of favorite activities.
Baby Bird has come on countless trips with me to other states over the past 3 1/2 years. She travels in a tiny carrier which has become her regular sleeping spot as well. When in the car, she chirps to old Beatles music. She demands that I sit with her late in the evening for her bowl of organic multigrain cereal with almond milk. And then she goes to sleep in her little carrier snuggled in for the night. She stays up late and likes to sleep in in the morning. She's as connected to me as any dog I've ever had and she is one of the most pleasant, precious, and special little creatures I could ever wish to spend so much time with.
Sunny was brought to a nearby wildlife rehab center as a nestling along with a few other baby sparrows in July, 2010. She was raised for release but she was lame on her right leg due to a previously broken toe. She was also extremely focused on being fed by a human (imprinted as could be) so she was not released. I took her home when she was 5 weeks old. From the day I met her, she was food driven, independent but affectionate, and extremely bossy. My sweet Stevie was seriously ill and Sunny was supposed to be her "replacement". As it turned out, thankfully, Stevie survived, and when I tried to add Sunny to the outdoor bird house with Stevie and Betty, Sunny insisted on attacking the two older birds.
Needless to say, Sunny moved back into the house, into her own small room (my office) with a hamster who she loved sharing sunflower seeds with. Since she was sunflower seed obsessed, I named her Sunny. She has enjoyed having me to herself for most of her "in my house" years. She loves to sit on the window sill at night, on her very old tie die shirt kit box, and on her ceramic mug next to her picture frame and Charles Darwin book. She pecked the bird's picture off the cover of the book. She is completely obsessed with meal worms so she has her very own meal worm farm in a box in her room.
She is a great office bird. She loves the computer and sits in my hand or under my chin when I sit at my desk. She has had to share her room with a long term visitor, Benny, a few years ago, and then with Betty and Stevie over last winter. She has mellowed some since she was a baby so things worked out fine. She is always happy when the visitors leave.
Now she shares her room with precious blind boy bird Willie.
Willie is a little male, totally blind house sparrow who was presumably hand raised by a rehabber a couple of years ago. Sadly, she passed away and left him to another rehabber, who then passed him on to yet another rehabber. He came to live with me in May 2014.
Since he came with no history or records, it's been an interesting road trying to figure out what works best for Willie. There's no question that he had been handled in a kind compassionate way. He is sweet, affectionate, and engaging. He loves to be petted, massaged, and hand-hugged as long as his feet are on a perch or the floor of his cage. Slowly he's trusting enough to hop on my finger where he sits and gets petted. Now he'll even come out of the cage sitting on my finger when he's very relaxed. He enjoys the buffet he is served numerous times a day. He uses his beak to tap around in front and to his sides when he moves around the cage. It's a tiny cage but I've added different perches, small bowls, and a pecking type of stone. Of course, he knows where his food and water dishes are and he alternates between eating and sitting in his seeds. I have only heard Willie chirp a couple of times. There's no question he is interested in interacting and engaging with me when I come in to feed him and work in the bird's room. He is a beautiful sweet soul. When I got the call asking me to take him in, I reluctantly said ok. But when I met my precious little Willie, I immediately realized that he belonged here in my sparrow house.