Sunday, August 14, 2011

More Success Stories on Feeding Baby Mockingbirds!

I just received this lovely note from Cindy P in South Carolina. She and her husband recued a baby Mockingbird, and have successfully raised it.
I'll let Miss Cindy tell the story:

Apparently this is the year for abandoned mockingbirds! My husband and I live in the Midlands of South Carolina and we have a LOT of mockingbirds around our yard that stay all year. On July 24th we rescued a baby mockingbird that had fallen from a "destroyed" nest (I suspect a red tailed hawk that lives in the area) and have been raising him since.

We named him Boo and kept him initially in a berry basket with a handle for the first week and then a medium sized bird cage for the second week. We kept both hung on the tree during the day and would bring him into the garage at night in case of a storm, as is wont to happen in SC during the summer. My husband works at home most of the time and would feed him every couple of hours and take him for a "walk" (Let him out of the basket/cage on the ground to hop around and "learn" to scratch and peck at bugs) a couple of times a day. I even took him to the office with me (thankfully a small one!) for a couple of days when my husband was away from home teaching for a few days.

Last week we left the cage propped open but hung in the small tree where the nest was and Boo was soon out of it and on his own. We left the cage for a few days (and found an adult mockingbird in it one morning!!) but Boo didn't seem inclined to use it anymore so we took it down. We are continuing to feed him twice a day with the egg/cat food mixture and mealworms and I also make sure he has water from my fingertip at the end of each "meal" although there is no shortage of sources in the yard.

He "beeps" at us insistently whenever we go outside and even follows my husband when he walks the dog in the morning until he (Boo, not my husband) gets fed! He flies down to us whenever we sit in the yard or on the deck and the other night he sat on my head for some time. He has even followed us into the garage (it seems he knows from whence we come and go!) but we are careful to remove him from there and only feed him outside, as we don't want him to get trapped in the garage accidentally.

It has been and continues to be an amazing experience for us, and we are extremely grateful for your blog and the assistance it has provided. Our only concern is that Boo will continue to be dependent on us, but from reading other accounts it seems as though they do eventually become more and more independent and don't rely on the human-provided food. Can you give me some idea as to how long we should continue to feed him or will we know by his actions when he doesn't need it anymore?

Thanks for your advice and experience about mockingbirds and if you are still in Afghanistan, thank you most especially for your service; may you remain safe while there and on your return home as well.

Cindy P.

Best Regards,
Albert A Rasch
"Skull Mountain" Sperwan Ghar, Panjwai District, Afghanistan
Standing Ready when the Wolves Growl at the Door...

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Range Reviews: Tactical

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