NOTE: As an important note, do not try to raise wildlife of any sort unless you’re trained to. Find a local wildlife rehabber or veterinarian asap!
It’s not every day when one gets to see a daily photo chronicle of a baby animal growing up. But thanks to one Imgur user, you’ll see photos from the day a baby songbird hatches, all the way up until it grows full feathers and chills on a little perch for the first time, then eventually flies into its wild, natural habitat.
Here is the little chick, named Dumpling, on its first day in this world.
Imgur user, DachsUndDachshund found Dumpling still attached to parts of its shell, and were unable to locate the nest. (Important note: if you find a bird this young, it is best to try to locate the nest and put it back in.)
They took the bird home and kept it in a temperature and humidity-controlled incubator. They fed the chick crickets, mealworms, wax worms and insects every 30 minutes for 14 hours each day, stimulating what it would get in the wild.
Dumpling started growing a bit of fuzz in his first few days.
By day five, Dumpling starting to look more like a bird, with more fuzz.
Look at the development of those wing feathers!
By day seven, Dumpling didn’t need the incubator anymore and had grown more feathers.
By day nine, she was eating 3 large crickets +/- waxworms at every feeding.
On day 10, Dumpling was moved to a conventional cage.
She was able to perch for the first time the next day.
“We put in freshly cut branches so she can have a variety of perching options, and can explore the leaves and twigs like she would in the wild,” the user wrote. “By this point, she is hopping and flying around the cage like a professional.”
“Any of you with pet birds, it is very important to have a variety of perches. The best ones are branches you cut yourself from non-toxic trees. It’s great, healthy enrichment for your pets!”
On day 22, they began placing her cage out on the deck to get her exposed to the wind, the sun and other birds.
By day 23, they had decided that Dumpling was likely a White Crowned Sparrow or Chipping Sparrow. “Both are a migratory species, traveling south for the winter. We were hoping to get her fit for release in plenty of time to make that trip,” he wrote.
Her feather patterning provides for great camouflage as they fly among the trees.
On day 27, Dumpling showed no interest in eating crickets and graduated to eating more worms and seeds.
They put leafy branches in her nest and Dumpling loved munching on those!
On day 33, she was ready for release but they kept her a bit longer due to some upcoming storms expected in the area. Look how beautiful she is!
By day 36, Dumpling was ready for release.
Dumpling finds her new home in a nearby tree.
DachUndDachshund writes, “We drove to a nearby nature preserve about a mile from where she was initially found and where we knew there to be others of her kind. We opened the cage door and stepped back. After a few minutes, she hopped out and flitted immediately up into a tree. She didn’t hesitate at all. She immediately started exploring the branches, biting at tree buds and hopping from branch-to-branch like a wild bird. Pretty soon, we lost sight of her.”
Bye, Dumpling! Enjoy your new life.
Images’ source: DachsUndDachshund/ Imgur