Agent Phil Coulson

Discussion in 'Caged Birds - Finches, Canaries, Cockatiels, Parro' started by Abronsyth, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Abronsyth

    Abronsyth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2013
    Upstate NY
    Phil and I posing for the camera. She's poofy as she just ate.

    First of all, it is technically illegal to raise wild birds that have fallen from theirs nests (too young) yourself. However, our nearest wild life center is about 2 hours away, so we've never wanted to go there (except once when we had an ill chicken because they're the only bird savvy vets around). Secondly my mom, sister, and I have raised so many wild babies (injured snakes, turtles, rabbits) successfully that when we found a baby cedar waxwing out of its nest, much too young too fly, we decided to risk it.

    The waxwing was named Phil Coulson, by my sister, and was one of the most incredible experiences we've had this year. The little bird was just starting to grow her feathers in, and was probably practicing branching when she fell. However, we waited about four hours and her mother nor father did not appear, and our chickens had just noticed her. So we gave in and scooped her up, and brought her inside. We set up an unused rabbit cage with towels, a heated blanket, and two smooth branches for her. It took us a while to ID her, but once we did it was no wonder why she disliked the wet dog food! So we purchased a bunch of different fruits and took turns cutting them into tiny pieces and feeding her until she was full. It got to the point where she would start chirping loudly whenever she heard us, and was delighted to hop about my sister's room. When she was stronger and able to make very short flights (from the cage to our hands, or even to my sister's shoulder) we started cutting up mealworms for her, which she loved.

    After about a week and a half Phil was strong enough to fly around my sister's room in circles, and had almost mastered landing. Every other day we took her outside in hopes that her mother would hear her peeping and come find her (as waxwings have been known to do) but it did not happen. One day, about two weeks, Phil was nearly fully feathered and was now the master of flight as well as begging (how can one resist a baby bird when it flies onto your laptop and scampers over your key board for attention?). We took her outside and she suddenly took off flying at full speed across the street. We were terrified, and for six hours stayed outside calling to her, afraid that she wasn't ready to be on her own. Lucky for us, she was not on her own!

    What had caused her to fly off was a small flock of adult cedar waxwings flying over head. She chirped at them desperately, unable to keep up with the skilled fliers. They heard her though, and we think they must have been her parent's flock, because they circled back and this time she managed to follow behind them. Later that day (evening) we were sitting on the back porch watching Phil and three other fledglings fly and play in the pine trees while the adults flew back and forth between them, feeding them.

    So over all it ended very well. Our plan was to keep her over the winter, until spring came and the waxwings returned. We were then going to release her in hopes that a flock would adopt her (they are social birds) and teach her what she would need to know to survive. This was a better ending, we gave her the chance she needed to keep up with her family, and now we don't have to worry about her figuring things out. Not to mention we'll be more prepared for the bombardment of falling robins come spring. I'm not kidding, a lot of tiny robins with their eyes still closed always end up on the ground around here...

    I just wanted to share this story with you guys, since it never fails to make me smile thinking about our little Agent :)
    Me feeding Phil black berries.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2013
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

    Sep 26, 2013
    madison Indiana

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by