Two weeks ago, the Spouse Sparrow found a baby mockingbird that had fallen from its nest. Knowing that I am soft as shite when it comes to baby birds, he brought it in for me to take care of. It had just reached the stage where its eyes were open, but the feathers hadn't lost their quill sheaths yet. It was about 7 days old then.
Now, all this is well and good; I have raised many baby birds before, so feeding it was not a problem. I have nothing but time on my hands, other than flogging my blog, torturing my children, and various household chores. The problem is that it is an illegal bird (to handle or keep, that is), as per the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It's a Northern Mockingbird, and they are common as muck here, so I cannot see why they need to be protected. There's about a billion of them in our trees right now. Plus, and this is the part that really gets me -- they do not fucking migrate! Why on earth are they protected by an act for migratory birds?! They live here year-round! This is the kind of thing that leads me to take Prozac in massive doses, not that it helps.
If I just let the bird die, that's all well and good, but if I handle it, or cause it to die, I will be seriously prosecuted under Federal law, and not in a pleasant, Martha Stewart "Club Fed" type prison, either. I really have a hard time supporting my government (not that I do, anyway) when they come up with arse-backwards laws like these. Raising a baby bird is not exactly brain surgery, but according to the Federal government, it is more serious than brain surgery. If I attempt to perform neurosurgery on some unsuspecting person (I have a little list....) I will only be prosecuted in a state court, for something along the lines of "Grievous bodily harm," "Practicing medicine without a license," etc. You know, your standard run-of-the-mill types of crimes. Nothing Federal, for Christ's sake.
I have been feeding it your standard baby bird formula, augmented with bits of mushy dog food and mealworms, but I cannot find out what type of seeds I should be weaning it to. I sent off e-mails to various companies that produce wild-bird seed mixes requesting information on this, but they will not give me an answer, for fear of being in violation of the Federal MBTA law. No wildlife rehabber can be arsed coming to get a species as common as a Northern Mockingbird, as I do not have a car, and cannot drive it 30 miles to them, so I am stuck with it.
I just know the little bugger is going to cost me a fortune in mealworms, and my local Wal-Fuck just stopped carrying them, to top it all off. I sent the Fledgling Sparrow out today to Wal-Fuck to get some more, and they told her to go to another Wal-Fuck to get them, as they do not carry them anymore. Thank fuck you can order mealworms on the Internet, or I would seriously be screwed.
The Spouse Sparrow has been chasing down crickets, grubs, and various other critters for the little birdie, as he is a saint (the Spouse Sparrow, that is; the bird is a yappy wee shite). It took me days to work up the courage to even open the tub of mealworms, as I have a serious bug phobia. Then I had to hold them down with plastic tweezers, and cut their heads off. Did you know that they will still keep moving, until they dry out, even with their heads cut off? Neither did I, until now. And I have to keep them in my fridge! The crickets and the grubs, too. This is seriously doing my head in. I thought I was going to be okay with this, but I have nightmares, every night, about mealworms, and the mealworms are the least gruesome of the lot! The Spouse Sparrow cuts off the heads of the big grubs and the crickets, bless him, and feeds them to Baby Bird.
At least the mealworms and other critters tide the wee bugger over for a bit; the baby bird mush you feed him with a dropper only lasts him about 10 minutes, and then he needs fed again. He really seems to need that extra bit of protein; even with the Puppy Chow mixed in, he is still hungry. I couldn't afford express shipping for the mealworms, and they still haven't arrived yet, so I'm counting on the Spouse Sparrow's hunting-and-gathering skills for bugs.
I'm sure the Spouse Sparrow will do all right, as he would definitely be one of the survivors when the world ends. Me, I'd rather cark it than eat a bug, but he'd pull out a bottle of HP Sauce and never be able to tell that the cricket he was munching on wasn't tinned meat (which says a lot about the state of British food, doesn't it?). He eats something called "Branston Pickle," and I'm not sure that it doesn't have bugs in it. It smells god-awful, and I can't see any pickles, so why do they call it Branston Pickle? There's another thing he eats, called "Chow Chow," and it smells as if it was made from actual dead, decayed Chow Chow dogs. It also looks like baby diarrhea. Then he has the balls to complain about American food.
Of course I have to agree with him right now that American food is shite, otherwise I will not have any bugs, let alone get my hole. It's kind of like that statement those captured newsguys were forced to make, saying that they had converted to Islam. I'm sure you were all happy to see them released -- that was due to me and my blogging, of course. Those fuckers at Fox News didn't give me any credit, the arseholes, even though the Holy Jihad Brigade has taken up tap-dancing.