The six baby birds I have continue to thrive. (I am raising these baby birds under the direction of the Ark Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation in St. Augustine, Florida.) I send video and pictures to the experts at the Ark and they guide me on the proper care for these birds and let me know when to release them. Based on their feedback, I will be able to release the oldest mockingbird tomorrow morning. I have the appropriate habitat and situation to release the bird in the backyard. I will be returning the grackle to the Ark and they will be releasing it in an appropriate location in the area. The Ark discussed the possibility of releasing it at one of the local colleges but said the bird might prefer McDonalds where there may be an abundance of French fries. As the birds adopted parents, we have decided to send the grackle to college.
I think the blue jay is very close to release. It is bathing and drinking and flies beautifully. Unfortunately, I have not seen it eat by itself. The oldest mockingbird is eating, drinking, and bathing and prefers me not to be near it most of the time but will accept a raisin or mealworm when I’m offering. The grackle will eat, drink, and bathe by itself but much prefers to have its food handed to it.
I’m going to miss the ones who will be leaving me tomorrow. The grackle and youngest mockingbird came with my first group of birds to raise, so I am especially going to miss the grackle. I suspect by the time the youngest mockingbird leaves, I will be in tears.
I find this difficult to do because you don’t know whether they have all the skills they need to survive when they are released. You have to hope you did right by them. I guess its a little like raising kids.