Never has such a small thing had such a big impact on our lives.
This is Simon. We have been taking care of her for three days now (2012-05-23) and so far she's doing well. Jenny found her on our front porch. She must have fallen out of her nest somewhere on the roof above, probably pushed out by a sibling.
Simon is 9 days old and loves the heat of my hand, and quickly falls asleep. If and when she is ready to fledge, Jenny will release her into our yard in hopes that she will learn how to forage for food from the other Sparrows.
Simon is 13 days old, and is getting a lesson on how to drink from a shallow dish. She prefers being outside, and from her tree branch she watches the other sparrows, finches, doves and quail peck on the ground for seeds and bugs, so we hope that she will soon be doing this too.
Jenny writes: Simon is looking good! She knows the sound of our voices, and will chirp loudly when we say her name. She can fly pretty well. A few times Simon has landed on Jenny's head, or a shoulder. Her diet now includes fruit and small seeds, along with the insect soup she has been eating all week.
When Simon first learned how to fly, she went on a bit of an adventure to the neighbor's tree, and promptly got lost - and frightened. Several hours later Jenny found her. When Jenny called her, she flew down. She was hot and tired and wanted to come home. She brought the little bird back indoors. She hasn't left our yard since.
Simon is 4.5 weeks old, and lives outside. She tries to be wild but much prefers our hand-outs. Se we feed her several times a day. When hungry, she chirps loudly outside our back door. She spends most of the time in the trees in our back yard, but when we call for "Simon" she always comes.
2012-06-19 Update on Simon: This morning was the first time that She didn't come when called. All morning we were fearing the worst, that a hawk might have gotten her. Every now and then a hawk will nail some bird in our yard. So this morning we searched the area for feathers but didn't find any. Then mid-day she came to her usual spot, wanting to be fed. Her morning's absence was highly unusual, and it leads us to think that she is starting to integrate with the others of her kind, of which there are many. If she does, our rescue will have been a success.
This little sparrow reached out and touched our lives. And through it all, Simon has taught us much. We already knew how much we both love animals, including birds and so forth. But what we didn't realize was how important a wee little sparrow can be, to us and no doubt to the grand scheme of things.
For us, Simon also became a powerful metaphor - that no person is unimportant no matter how ordinary he or she might seem. And that a person should never give up, no matter how bleak the circumstances. When Jenny first found her, she was a hatchling that had fallen out of her nest. The baby bird was laying on the concrete walkway in our front yard, half-naked, cold and hungry. Left alone, she surely would have died. But Jenny brought her inside, made a nest inside a box, and began to feed her. Simon had a "never give up" attitude, and began her recovery.
2012-06-24 About to depart on my NFT, I will write a few more words about Simon. She is five weeks old and We're still feeding her a few times a day, although our food seems to be more supplemental as she spends a most of her time with the other sparrows. At first she was something of an outsider, but is now becoming more integrated with the flock. And she is becoming more shy towards us and more flinchy to our noises and sudden movements. in other words, more wild. And that is exactly what we were hoping for.
We feed Simon bits of egg with the tips of our finger.
Five weeks old and looking good!
2012-07-28: Simon has integrated into the rest of the group of sparrows and has become as wild as the others. We see her every day, but she will no longer come to us. However, she will occasionally give us a close swoop and then land somewhat nearby and give us a brief wing flutter. Then the next moment she will be gone.
So it seems that our wild rescue has been a success. And through it all, we have learned much - not only about raising a little bird, but about our ourselves. For example: Don't think little things are not important.