Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Baby Bluebirds Time to Spread Your Wings!

Baby on bottom, Indigo above. "No I will NOT take one step to get the worm!"

They have come a long way in the few days since they were left alone to die. You may remember from previous blogs about the baby bluebirds that I came to call Indigo and Baby, that they were unconscious and near death when I took over ‘mommy-duty”.  

That first day they were too weak to take or even desire nourishment, so I stayed with them and poured just a drop (of worm soup) at a time until they gained strength.  Then, when they realized I was helping them, they began to accept what they were hungry for after all – yummy delicious mealworms! Mealworm shakes, mealworm soup, mealworm delight, mealworm deluxe, mealworm casserole was the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. At first they were only able to take them softened, but gradually they advanced to crunch them up on their own.

I was delighted to call them to the table with our own secret little dinner-bell chirp that they taught me. I doubt I ever perfected it, but they acknowledged my efforts with raised heads and open mouths – thus I knew it was the “dinner’s ready” song.

Because I knew they were terribly weak, I took each little morsel to an upraised beak. I guess humans aren’t the only ones who can be spoiled. Indigo and Baby learned that is all they had to do, so that is all they did; sit, sleep, wake at the dinner bell/tweet and raise their little heads for delivery.

I knew they had gained strength because I purposely placed them different places in their container for cleaning and inspection purposes and minutes later they were in different places. Sneaky aren’t they? They also were beginning to spread their pretty little wings a bit in kind of a sweet little bird-yawn with a yoga stretch.

Baby's (bottom) indignant face tells all.
Indigo above - closed his eyes
in defiance.
Baby’s naked spots are now covered with fuzz and baby feathers and Indigo is quite the handsome bird with dark blue markings on his newly sprouted wing feathers. Even though it was apparent they are outgrowing being hand fed, they still like it and pretend they don’t see the worms I toss beside them. Sometimes they even turn around and poop on them. No lack of communication there. They are hungry, but want ME to feed them what they were perfectly capable of getting themselves. So, we had a talk. Well, I talked, they closed their little bird eyes.

So, I put them in a flower pot (snack shack) thinking a different location might inspire them to look around a bit more and sneak an ant or cricket snack. They hid under the plants. I tried to get them to just hop over to me and get their dinner from my hand. They stood firm. I tried holding the worm just out of reach so they would only have to take one little step. They stood firm.  I tried holding the worm so they would have to lean to one side, the little birds only squawked louder at my poor aim.

Bluebirds are notoriously stubborn. I have watched Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird trying to tempt their little ones out of nests before with a nice green worm, then take it away saying “if you are hungry then come and get it”. It was cute when they were donig it, but is is not so cute now that it is my turn. That may be why this Mr. and Mrs. B left these last two in the nest. They may have had their hands uhm, feet full with the other two. Even after they can fly, Mom and Dad still have to teach them where to find food and what proper food is – for weeks! Yes, I was beginning to see my job get a lot harder. Time to call in reinforcements.

Baby and Indigo refusing to lean
to get the worm from my hand.
Rehabbers (wildlife rehabilitators) always know other rehabbers, so I got in touch with some, and found a perfect place for these young ones to learn and grow and be released. As much as I enjoyed helping them be established, it was time for them to grow up and get out into the world.

It is the same with Christians - growing up that is. We each were introduced to the gospel before we knew we needed it. Each believer was taught and nourished by the Word, likely by someone hand feeding us. Many of us stay there however, and never really search the Word of Truth ourselves, just rely on someone to hand feed us.

I encourage you today to read the Bible for yourself. You can do it! Don’t stand around waiting for someone to give you a morsel here and there, dig in and find the truth for yourself.  There may be someone lifting their head to watch you and hope for a bite from you. We each need to be nourished by the gospel, but we also are expected to grow up in it, and become givers of life to the next generation. The time for being a baby passes and changes into feeding the next set of babies.

We have been given the mandate to go and teach others – SO keep in mind that
  • We all start as babies, but are expected to grow up.
  • We need small portions at first but should advance to more substantial food.
  • We need to stretch our wings and learn more.
  • We need to be able to gather our food.
  • We need to give some young ones life, take them under our wings and teach them.
  • We need to realize it is also part of our job to encourage them to spread their own wings.
  • Birds are made to fly.

Dearest Father in heaven,
I am so thankful for those You put into my life who fed and nourished me in Your Word. I am so very thankful that You have given us so much information to help us live according to Your will.

Be with Indigo and Baby as they continue their journey, and thank You for bringing them into my life. Help us to remember what You taught us about how You care for the birds, but much more for us.

Help us to realize our need to grow up. Help us to go to the next mark on our growth chart. Nudge us to take another step toward You and toward our mission. Show us someone today that You want us to take under our wings for a while, and help us realize when it is time to help them spread their own wings. Thank You for giving us strength and courage and nourishment and provision for the jobs You have created and called us to do.