Friday, August 21, 2009
Meet Mrs. Pringles
I've raised many songbirds - often fledglings that well-meaning but misguided people have rescued, thinking they've fallen from the nest. In recent years, I've turned them over to the bird-lady, an older woman in Sedona who cares for injured or orphaned birds. (In Arizona - one may legally care for a songbird for up to 90 days).
A few days ago, my neighbor called. Would I come and get a bird what didn't seem quite right - perhaps it hit a window? The bird-lady is retiring, so I have agreed to take care of the bird.
I think Mrs. Pringles is a female summer tanager. She shows no sign of injury but is unable to keep her balance. Her condition declined dramatically during the first 24 hours...perhaps a slow cranial bleed? But she has not gotten any worse since then - so I'm hoping that in time she'll recover. She needs a bird-sized wheel-chair but in the meantime, Mrs. Pringles spends her days in a 6" Pringles container that I have cut in half lengthwise. This arrangement holds her more-or-less upright. However she sometimes wiggles out of this and I find her standing on her head in the corner of her cage.
I've decided that Mrs. Pringles is incapacitated because of injury rather than illness. If she were sick - she wouldn't have such a voracious appetite. Tanagers eat insects and fruit. She eats as many grasshoppers as I can catch and loves blueberries. Fortunately, my friends, Joe & Anne Garcia, are here - so Joe goes out on grasshopper hunts several times a day.
Mrs. Pringles knows I am the hand that feeds her - and opens her mouth in anticipation of a fat grasshopper when she sees me. I'll keep you posted on her progress.