Lance

I wanted to blog about this tomorrow but i am too excited. Yesterday i took the dog for a walk when i saw three large magpies circling the base of a tree. I thought something had died and was just going to pass them by. The three magpies took off to higher ground and i saw that whatever they were harassing was clearly not dead. It was a bright blue budgie. I think back about the three massive magpies about to tear this poor defenseless bird apart and i can’t feel but give a horrified shudder. My dog and i were obviously top of the food chain, and now it is our turn to have our pick. I brought the small budgie home. It could not fly and i wondered about a broken wing. Today i brought the budgie to the vet, the same veterinary practice i just visited the day before to give my dog her annual vaccinations and health check-up.

The prognosis of the bird was grim. It did not have broken wings like i suspected. Rather it was a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest. It can’t fly because it hasn’t even learnt how! If he could not fly and could not eat, there was no point in keeping him alive. The vet recommended putting the bird to sleep. I subscribe to a very paternalistic model of healthcare; i always think the expert in whatever field i am requesting help in is the best person to make the decision (though i do not treat my patients the same way). I could only agree. I felt devoid of emotion, empty. This is the third bird i have rescued off the street, and they always suffer the same fate. I wonder whether it would have been better to just let Nature take its course, and have its predators consume them.

The vet went off to retrieve the box (ironically, the food box i used to store my dog’s kibble) and i reached out to the bird. It had waddled under the table. To my surprise, it came walking out instead of remaining hidden. I tried picking it up and it naturally evaded me…by flying a very small and low lopsided circle around me. I gazed at it in surprise. I stared at my friend who was in disbelief too. Clearly the baby bird just attempted to fly. In view of such a burning life force and activity, i decided for once to disagree with the expert. This bird may have a poor prognosis, but i do not believe in ignoring things that cross my path and need my help. If this bird is fighting for survival, the least i can do is to help it. If it perishes, at least we tried. I prefer to err on the side of safety. And so we made the trip to the pet store, and i bought a bird cage (i’m still giddy with my impromptu decision) and bird seeds.

Right now the bird has been surprising me. He has been flying up to the lower perches and climbing up to the highest one to roost. He has also been chirping and had eaten all the food i laid out for him. I reckoned that is a very good sign. Another friend made a bet with me. If this bird, which i have christened Lance, survives to Friday, my friend is going to get Lance a female budgie. I want the female budgie for a very different reason other than company. I don’t know how birds work, but i am hoping the female budgie will teach Lance the skills of the bird world since he is still a baby after all.

Live Strong.

Lance taking a rest after a huge meal of birdseeds.

Surprising me by climbing up his cage.

Sleeping on the highest perch of his cage, and making me optimistic about his outcome.

An artistic shot (and no, Lance is not dead).

P/S: Any bird-rearing tips will be appreciated. I have never own a pet bird in my entire life.

PPS: Keeping my fingers crossed for Lance’s survival.

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