The Next Day...
In the morning, not only was I amazed, but Kathy was amazed as well. The small black ball of fluff had survived the night!
There he lay on a terrycloth towel under a 75 watt bulb, making a raspy coo like noise. Kathy said that it would be a real miracle if we could get him to eat anything. She mixed a concoction of milk, honey and cooked oatmeal which she heated to slightly above room temperature. Using what looked like a small turkey baster, she forced a bit of it into his beak. He spit it out. She tried again. This time, he made a bit of a clucking noise and swallowed.
Kathy looked at me and said that she had never seen a wounded, wild bird do that before. She then smiled and said that he might be all right. We just had to give him some time.
The Next Week...
The crow was now standing on his own, running back and forth in the animal carrier and eating whatever chopped up food scraps Kathy would give him. She called for me to come over.
At this time, she showed me his foot and his slightly malformed wing. It was her opinion that this was a bird that could not get along on his own in the wild. The problem was, she couldn't keep him any longer. She had a young son and several cats who were way too interested in this new toy/luncheon meat. It was up to me to take him. I said that I would try to find him a good home...somewhere.
The carrier was not suitable for keeping him outdoors as it was too light in weight and could be knocked over by the smallest neighborhood animal. Kathy said that I could use anything that I could find in her collection of "animal homes".
What I found was quite interesting. A collection of varied and sundry cages, tanks and carriers that could hold any type of creatures...from a cricket to a large dog! What to use? Most of the cages that were large enough to hold him had spots of rust that would have taken much too long to repair. I settled on a large fish tank with a steel-framed wire lid.
I took the tank over to our yard where I carefully washed and disinfected it (birds are notoriously susceptible to the bacteria from rodents). Since it looked like the last resident of the tank was probably a gerbil or hamster, I thought this was a necessary step. When the tank was cleaned and dry, I put some cedar chips, leaves and a branch which was placed diagonally in the tank.
I then brought the carrier over next to the tank. Now the problem surfaced that I had to move this cawing creature into his new temporary home. I decided to not handle him as he had experienced enough stress for the past couple of days. I slid the cover halfway off the tank, placed the face of the carrier into the opening and unclasped the door, allowing it to swing open into the tank. The crow jumped toward the back of the carrier rather than into the tank! I had to put my face at the back of the carrier and say "BOO!" to make him move out of the thing!
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