Today I worked with the little birds in the incubators. On the front of each incubator are post-it notes with the amount of food each species gets to eat. The problem is the baby birds all look alike. I have no idea how to tell a sparrow from a finch from a starling so I had a crash course in baby identification. The most important part was distinguishing the finches from everything else because they get a different food. Luckily, a few aren’t old enough to walk yet so they are in little strawberry basket nests making them easy to tell apart from the rest. The slightly older birds were able to walk around and even fly a little so they tended to be a pain in the ass. They would jump on my hand or arm and fight to get the food that was meant for another bird. It was cute and aggravating at the same time. I truly hope each one got feed properly because I’m not 100% sure that some didn’t get fed twice while others may have received nothing.
There were 2 birds in the incubator that were quieter than the rest. They are Black Phoebe’s and had apparently had a rough time of it. Today they were quite lethargic compared to the other birds and I even had to force them to open their beaks to eat while the other birds would practically rip the syringe out of my hand to get the food. They are beautiful birds and it was sad to see them so out of it. I’m hoping by Friday they will be better and opening up for feedings voluntarily.
Did I mention that these birds have to be fed every 15 minutes? Seriously, it was like a never-ending ritual. I would finish the first incubator, set the timer, and start on the second. If I was lucky I would get everyone fed and have a few minutes to clean some of the mess they made or give one of the messier birds a bath before I would have to start all over again. Who knew caring for tiny birds could be so exhausting? Yes, I’d do it again in a second!