Our neighbors had a baby bird fall into their lawn last week. He was totally naked and unprotected. They scooped him up, but him is a shoe box and brought him over to our house. We researched orphaned birds on the internet and learned that they must be fed every 20 minutes with a canned dogfood or catfood mixed with a little water. (So it looks and feels like vomit. Yea, yummy! Good thing I'm a nurse and not squeamish...cuz I got lots of bird poop on me too.)
The poor little thing cowered in the corner of the box and shivered. I remembered reading about the monkey experiement in a sociology class. In the experiment, orphaned monkeys had two platforms to choose from: 1 with a bottle of warm milk, 1 with a cozy fuzzy stuffed animal. (It may even have been justa cat scratcher now that I think of it.) Every monkey, without fail, chose the 'mommy' plateform. They were willing to starve but not be without the comfort of something to cling to. I had the boys find a little stuffed animal. (Ironic that it turned out to be a monkey.) They put it in the small shoe box and the baby bird crawled over to it, settled between its feet and promptly fell asleep. Dante and Jonah named the bird Lucky.
We fed Lucky every 20 minutes for two days-dawn to dusk. The 3rd day he cried for food every 45 min to an hour. His feather grew more every day and he was able to balance on his long skinny sticks of legs. Day 4 he was less active and eating less. We had no idea what we were doing wrong as we were following all the directions to a tee.
So the evening of day 4 we took Lucky to our vet where we signed a Good Samaratian form and relinquished him and his monkey momma to the front clerk. Project Wildlife, a local wildlife volunteer organiziation picked him up. Maybe we should have called them from the beginning, but I hope we did some good, and go him to the vet before it was too late. It was such a great experience for the boys, and for me. I've always known I've loved dogs more than most people;now I'm thinking it may extend to all animals, not just dogs.
I think I draw the line at spiders.