THESE PHOTOS ARE NOT VERY CLEAR BUT YOU CAN SEE
This is not how my story of Twigs, the little abandoned bird, was supposed to end. My idea was to teach him to fend for himself and eat the things birds eat, and then make a big to-do about releasing him when he seemed ready to face the world. Now...I don't know that it's a sad ending, just very different from what I'd hoped for and expected. This afternoon I took Twigs outside for his "flying lessons" as I'd been doing every day for about a week. He had mastered the art and would fly to the big pine tree, sit and chirp awhile, then fly back to me and land in my hand so I could feed him. I assumed he would do that again, but today was different. This day, he flew higher and went from tree to tree, joining in the chirping of the other birds, which is a good thing, and when I called to him, he initially swooped down and landed in my hand. Before I could get him into his carrier, he was off again. I thought he was just enjoying his new-found talent and would eventually come back to me. He made quite a few fly-bys and swooped around me, but would not land on my hand again. I'm fairly sure he didn't want to go back into the carrier, and who could blame him? Throughout the afternoon and evening, I looked for him at the tree where I last saw him, and in fact, I probably made a huge spectacle of myself, calling to him and whistling for him, but tonight he was no longer there. Nor was he in any of the surrounding trees on our property. It's possible he flew into the loft of the barn, as many of the other birds do. If he did that, he'll be ok until he becomes hungry. I simply don't know if I did enough to teach him about seeking his own food. I'm doubting myself because I was still hand-feeding him part of the time. I'd intended to start him on worms and insects - not at all an appetizing thought, I know - but that's what one needs to do in order to help a baby bird learn how to secure his own food. I had introduced him to wild bird seed and he could peck at the food dish so I know he had that instinct. Still, I don't think he was quite ready to be on his own. I've been questioning if it was I who wasn't ready for his release, but I can honestly say I had no qualms about freeing him. He's a wild thing and is intended to be free. I truly wanted that for him but I also wanted a bit more time to ensure he could eat on his own, which would increase his chances of survival. Whether Twigs lives a long time or only survives a day, I'm sure he was happy when flying to and from the trees. He seemed to be communicating with the other birds and my hope is he will thoroughly enjoy his freedom. There's an adage that states: "One day of freedom is better than a lifetime in captivity". I wish you a full and happy life little Twigs, however short or long it may be, and I'm glad you came into mine.