Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Baby Bluebirds and Worm Soup

Indigo Blue Bird (on right) and his sister Baby.

Their tiny bodies were almost motionless in the nesting box. Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird had not been seen in two days. We had been rejoicing over the hatching of four glorious little eggs and the vigilance of Mr. and Mrs. B. Their schedule had no room for even “penciling in” anything but feed one, leave to find another worm, return to feed another. At night Mrs. B sat with the young’uns and Mr. B kept watch on a nearby cherry tree. Then, two were gone and no sightings of Mom and Dad. Reluctant to interfere, we waited. There were still two in the box, so we held out hope that Mom and Dad were busy with the older two and would return to help the remaining siblings. They didn’t.

The Elly May in me (refer to Beverly Hillbillies TV show) had to step in. I pulled down the box, called in Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome to remove the bottom panel so I could access the babes.  They were huddled together in a corner. I watched for signs of life. Waited. Then I saw a bit of movement on the ribs of one. At least one had survived. Mr. T D & H proclaimed the other dead, but as I removed his depleted little body, he still had a wiggle in him! They were alive! The mission had begun!

Growing up, I never expected I would own a box labeled “worms” at my house, yet I do. The good kind – meal worms, all dried up nice and crunchy and ready for bluebird snacks. I bought them earlier in the year (yep, I paid good money for a box of dried up worms) because the bluebirds took a liking to our yard, and I wanted to show them proper Southern Hospitality. I set out some right on their bedside table (flower box next to their house). They ignored them completely. So, still armed with a nearly-full box of worms, I have another opportunity, a gift actually. God knew I would need them, I just didn’t know when.
Worm soup, it's whats for supper - for them at least.

The babies appeared to be a day or two apart as far as development. The older I call Indigo Blue because he has some blue showing on his little feather stubs. The younger I named Baby Blue. He still had more bare skin than fuzz or feathers. He was almost gone, and got the first attention.

I gathered some other supplies; a rehabber (wildlife rehabilitator) always has a stash. Dropper, small bowls, worms, gloves and water were in order. I crushed some worms (my least favorite part) and put them in some water, swished and drew some up in the dropper. No one was interested. They were struggling to breathe and couldn’t even hold up their tiny little heads. It was all they could do to just breathe in and out. They seemed resigned to their fate – ready to just lie down and die. Living was just too hard when abandoned, and alone.

Rehabbers also have tenacity.  They might have given up, but I hadn’t.  I took Baby’s head and propped it up against the side of the nest and prodded it in the corner with the worm soup. Not interested. It took several stern pushes to pry open his mouth and release a drop of the juice. He swallowed, another good sign. Now, for Indigo. Same process, with me fighting to give him what he needed and him finally opening up. This process continued for about an hour, giving them a break after each swallow. About an hour later, Indigo opened one eye and voluntarily took his dropper. Baby still just hanging on.

Another hour of this and they were able to raise their heads on their own, and soon their digestive tract was back in working order (use your imagination). It was a glorious sight to me. I was thankful that God allowed them a few more hours of life, and life with food.

About another hour later I was rewarded with a tiny squeak from Indigo! He seemed to be getting stronger. Baby heard the noise and soon answered his little chirp. It was as if they were talking, one chirp was answered by the other for several seconds. Back and forth they discussed their plight and dilemma. It was charming and encouraging. They seemed to have regained their will to live. A little worm soup and attention revived their bodies and spirits.

Will they make it? I don’t know. I will keep you posted. Meanwhile, let us look around us for those who need life. They need spiritual nourishment. Most of us have some compassion for helpless baby birds, maybe even enough to take some action on their behalf. Should we not have compassion that takes action on a world so full of people dying from lack of the Savior? If you know Him, Jesus, then perhaps you could give a dropper full of Him to someone today, even if they don’t think they want Him.
Remember - 
  • Without Him, we die.
  • With Him, we have life.
  • Life requires continual feeding – on the Word of God.
  • With life, we can share our testimony and our God.
  • When we share – not all will be receptive. Try again.
  • Where there is life, there is hope.
  • The tiniest of chirps are the most blessed of noise to one who desires life for you. Share a chirp with a brother or sister today.

Father, I thank You for little Indigo and Baby, who have shown me again just how wonderful it is to have been created by You. Thank You for the opportunity to minister to them. I pray You will speak to many through these little ones, and prick their hearts to be tender and compassionate toward one another.
Help me to be ever mindful of Your love for the suffering, dying, and downcast and give me the words to say and the actions to take that would point them to You. Your lovingkindness is so generous to me, I pray I will in turn show that lovingkindness to all You place in my path.

If you don’t know Him, you may be starving spiritually and dying in a sincere belief that there is no such God. This short video might be of interest to you to answer some questions you have about God. I pray you will take a few minutes to watch it.  Video link

Little Indigo and Baby would have perished without our actions. Who do you know today that needs to hear? What are you going to do?

To read part 2 of their story click here.

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