Sunday, May 27, 2012

Punk Rock

Yesterday when I got to the zoo, a man was dropping off a baby blue jay. The man had witnessed another bird picking up the little blue jay and throwing it out of the nest.

The little bird was in shock when we peeked into the box. He wasn't moving and we weren't sure if he was going to make it.

The man tried to make the box nice by
putting some leaves in the bottom.
So we left him in there in a dark room to give him some time to calm down with the plan that I would take him home to release him if he seemed ok.

A few hours later, I was getting ready to leave so I went to grab his box, but he wasn't in it! We started searching around on the floor for him, when someone discovered him perched on a picture.

I love that it's a picture of a tiger
 crouching, ready to pounce!
As we tried to catch him, we realized that he had no trouble flying. This was a good sign. He also cawed at us. Another good sign.

Once back in the box, I was sent home with the bird, some pellets and instructions to feed him and release him.

Unfortunately, the ride home must of shook him up a bit. (I do live in New Orleans, known for bad roads with many large, unavoidable potholes) He was again acting as though he was in shock.

Punk Rock with his food.
My husband was so excited to have the blue jay in the house. He named it "Punk Rock" and whistled his "signature bird call" to Punk in hopes that the bird would recognize him once released.

We left him in the box, with the pellets soaked in water, overnight to give him a chance to eat and calm down.

This morning we awoke to Punk Rock's calls. He was feeling better and ready to get out.

Punk Rock is getting ready to take off!
My husband took Punk Rock out of the box and walked a few steps with him before he took off. We were happy to see him fly away and call, but at the same time a little sad. Having that bird here for less than 24 hours was a great teaching experience for us. We aren't parents (yet) but allowed us to see how that might work. It was also a great lesson in compassion.
Punk Rock is released into the world.
If you are interested in learning more about blue jays, Cornell Ornithology is a fabulous resource with information, pictures, videos and audio recordings.

**Note** If you see a young bird on the ground, it's best to leave it there so the family can take care of it. Most birds do not have a sense of smell so you can also put it back in the nest if you can reach it. But it's not advisable to try and raise a wild animal on your own.


  1. When I was in my late teens we raised a cedar waxwing. When we found it, it was blind and featherless, much too young to be out of the nest and the parents would not come down to it. We expected it to die, but it turned out to be the most amazing pet we ever had. It lived in my parents' sunporch for 14 years.

    Like you, I don't recommend bothering baby birds. People usually think they shouldn't be out of the nest when in fact that is part of the natural process. If a bird is hurt or unable to look after itself, wild bird clinics are better equipped to look after them and return them to the wild.

    However, I agree that parenting a bird is one of the most remarkable experiences you can have.

    1. Sounds like an awesome experience!


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