Saturday, September 02, 2006

Lock your doors; I have become a hardened criminal

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.

Fat Sparrow


Spouse Sparrow said...

Do you want bugs for your bird?, think carefully before answering.
I can arrange a three-way with Bruce Springsteen, thats ok right?.

Fat Sparrow said...

(cringe) Yes, Dear.

Foot Eater said...

If my spouse dared to comment on my blog, punishment would follow swiftly.

Me! said...

Let the bird die as nature intended. Otherwise if it dies whilst in your care you'll feel bad and have to explain it to the kids. And as we all know death is up there with sex as a hard thing to explain to anyone under 10.

Fat Sparrow said...

Foot -- He's already married to me; how much more punishment does the poor guy have to get? (Bah-dum-BUM! "Thank you, thank you, I'll be here until my free AOL trial runs out!") Don't worry, I know where he sleeps. I'll get him eventually.

Me! -- Actually, it's not hard to explain sex to kids, although it's a bitch trying to explain it when they walk in on you. I have found that it's more practical to give them "The Talk" after I've climbed off my husband. Kinda puts me off my stride, dammit.

Death, on the other hand, is pretty self-explanatory. You poke it with a stick, it doesn't move, soon it starts to smell.... Kids get the idea pretty early on. Also, we've had a lot of disposable pets, e.g. hamsters. The bird is in fine health, and likely to stay that way. Our problem now is deciding whether we do a "Catch and Release," or keep the little fucker. Usually after they're imprinted and hand-raised, they've got a fifty-fifty chance of making it in the wild. Less, unfortunately, with our outside cat around. We may end up keeping the bugger. I've raised owls and other birds-of-prey, and they do better when released than the songbirds do. They're more vicious, and meat-eaters, so nature takes over. I'm a softy for baby animals, and have been good with animals my whole life, so I'm the one all the family/friends/neighbors bring the critters to.

Me! said...

There's nothing worse then the guilt you feel that you've perhaps warped your little darlings after they've walked in on you having sex. We use the term "fixing something in our room" when we need "mummy and daddy" time.

As for the death thing...maybe I have kids from hell because when we spoke to them about death we got hours of "Do birds die? Do ants die? Do frogs die? Do humans with pacemakers die?" and so on...I'd take the monotonous Blues Clues over that any day!

Fat Sparrow said...

Guilt about sex? You'd think so, with me being a Catholic, but no, that one doesn't get me.

I suppose we should stop having sex on top of the kitchen table, and then we wouldn't have so much explaining to do.

With an almost-15-year-old, there is no sneaking off to anywhere for sex, as it is a very small house. If we fed her that line, she'd be laughing her ass off, and listening at the door while she was on the phone to her friends, telling them all about it. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Fucking teenagers!

As for the whole death thing, if your kids keep up that line of questioning, just glare at them, put on your best spooky voice, and ask them "Would you really like to find out about death. Trust me, it will stop the yapping.

I see you've put up a link to me, Me!. Thanks! Are you a foul-mouthed bukkake loving whore, too?

Foot Eater said...

Little boy sees two dogs humping. Asks Daddy what they're doing. 'They're making puppies,' says Dad.

That night little boy walks in on Mum and Dad making the beast with two backs. 'What are you doing?' he asks.

'Er... we're making a baby,' pants Dad.

'Well, turn Mummy over, I want a puppy.'

Uhthankyer... thankyervermuch.

Fat Sparrow said...

Making vegetable soup tonight, are you, Footie?

Foot Eater said...

Sparrow, I've spent today running your last comment by various professors of Surrealism at Oxbridge, Harvard, Yale and Princeton, even MIT, and their replies have been unanimous: WTF?

Fat Sparrow said...

Rememer that e-mail I sent you, with the remark about stand-up comedians? No?

With a joke that bad, you obviously want vegetables thrown at you. Hence, you must be making vegetable soup tonight.

Just as an aside, do you regularly smoke a lot of pot, or is this a recent thing?

Damn, maybe I'm just not as memorable as I think I am.

Nah, who am I kidding; it must be you.

As for your joke, the dad replies "I don't need to turn her over; your mother's a dog!"

Yep, I plan on making soup.

Me! said...

I think you and I are of the same ilk FS. Apart from your apparent ease with having sex in front of your kids, reading your blog is like looking in the mirror.

Dogs fucking: There's nothing worse than seeing two dogs having sex and then being unable to break apart. I have no idea why I said that?

Foot Eater said...

Ah, I get it now.

No, oddly enough the pot era came in my early thirties. I'd eschewed the bastard through my student years and my twenties, but partook of the weed at 32 to 33 in a big way. I was mature enough to handle it by then in my sojourns to Amsterdam. Or so I kidded myself.

It was my Charlie Watts period. (Charlie is of course the straight member of The Rolling Stones, who stayed sober through 1963 to 1982 but then went off the rails a bit.) I got trashed. I fell into canals. I bought Bob Marley albums because they reminded me of what I'd been listening to in the coffee shops. I experienced severe time distortion.

Now, as a 36-year-old, I hear my new 28-year-old wife asking if I'd like to go on holiday again to Amsterdam.

Fuck me, yes.

Me! said...

I read that as fell into 'anals'. Sorry!

I really don't understand some peoples love of pot/drugs in general. I tried pot once and it was enough for me never to try it again.

I'm twisted enough with my own reality without having it chemically altered.

Fat Sparrow said...

Me! -- It's not like I invited the little buggers in. Once they learn to walk and talk, well, it's all downhill from there.

Did you see the link I put up to you?

Dog penises. Hmmm, thank you. I think I feel a post coming on.

And you probably read that right. I wouldn't be surprised if Footie fell into some anals before. Especially in Amsterdam.

Foot -- Bob Marley. If that fucker wasn't already dead, I'd kill him myself. Dragged off to the Reggae Sunsplash concerts by my stoner friends, totally high just from being cooped up in a van with them. Christ. I put my foot down for following the Dead.

Good on ya if you can stomach the stuff, but I can't. It does my head in. I do not like to be out of control. Plus, the music stoners listen to is shite. I'll take good ol' amphetamines any day of the week.

I've never been to Amsterdam, but if the spouse wants to go wild there, you should definitely go along with it. Make sure to take pictures, for blackmail purposes. Yes, it sounds cold-hearted, but trust me on this one, I've been married longer than you.

Me! said...

Amsterdam as loads of anals, same with New Zealand, they're just woolier over there.

I did see the link and have returned that favour!

Dog penises could leap frog you into another blogsphere altogether!

Personally I think you should blog about how many female creatures out there kill their mate after sex (no not talking about that woman who did it in America). Animal/insect kingdom is full of examples of this. Nature at it's best!

Fat Sparrow said...

Me! -- Hmmm, I'll see what I can pull out of my ass for you. Don't expect my usual Pulitzer-winning quality; "House" is on tomorrow night, and I have to get busy Googling for naked pics of Hugh Laurie.

Anonymous said...

"The mockingbird is omnivorous. About half its diet consists of arthropods, including beetles, ants, bees, wasps, and grasshoppers, but it will also eat earthworms and small lizards. These aggressive feeders can often be observed chasing down a grasshopper on a lawn, running, hopping and lunging at the prey, or flying just above the ground maneuvering behind a large wasp. They are also fond of zebra butterflies (Heliconius charitonius), which are commonly available in southern Florida. In the fall or whenever available at a feeder, the mockingbird enjoys eating fruits, both wild and cultivated."

That said, an omnivore is an omnivore. Cook yourself a hamburger and break a little piece off. Mush the burger in your fingers and then give it to the bird. Hell, give it pizza or blood soaked bread. I bet it won't care. I have 6 different parrots and they'll eat every damn thing from lettuce to chicken to hamburger. They would eat me given half the chance.

I brought a pizza home one day and one of the birds asked, "pizza?" with awe. Worst case, get yourself any of the pellets at crush them up and mix them in a little milk or water. Feed the bird the paste.

Never feed a bird seed unless it's something like a cockatiel. Seeds to a bird are like feeding a baby potato chips.

More importantly, NEVER post about an ongoing felony. Especially don't write to every damn business you can find about the felony. Do you have a meth lab that you would like to tell everyone about?

Fat Sparrow said...

Wow, Google research! I wish I had been smart enough to think of that! I mean, here's me, with a computer, and everything, and it never dawned on me! You're a fucking genius!

Yeah, yeah, I know all about it. I'm feeding it the proper stuff. I've done this before, you know (sparrows, owls, kestrels, various hawks, finches, etc.). LaFeber's Instant Nutri-Start, ground-up Puppy Chow, hardboiled eggs, yada yada yada.

That being said, mockingbirds still eat some seed in their diet. Plus, they need variety. Not being in Florida, the zebra butterflies can fuck off. But it did shit out 2 massive wasp's wings the first day we found it, so I kinda got the idea that it ate wasps, right from the first. Being allergic to wasps, myself, I'll let you chase them down for me, 'kay? I can get those fuckers at 20 feet with a can of Raid, but they're not much use to the bird, after.

The little bugger wants the mealworms that haven't been delivered yet. He loves mealworms.

Parrots are seriously disturbed. Kill them before they get you. They're worse than those sneaky raptor fuckers in "Jurassic Park."

Meth lab? Why, yes, I do. Were you looking to buy? Have you been reading my other blog? You can find it at It has the real names, addresses, and cell phone numbers of all the best fiberglass bathtub cookers here in the Inland Empire.

Anonymous said...

I am sending this email with no intent other than to inform

I just spent the scariest week of my life with breathing shortness ( I could barely walk to the next room without
running out of breath)

Turns out I had a severe and COMMON allergic reaction to my sons mealworm farm.
We have kept mealworms for about a month to not only feed my sons lizards, but to compliment
the sunflower seeds, thistle, suet and other seeds we feed wild birds in our yard.

After 3 hospital visits,
I was properly diagnosed and treated with steroids, I am still a bit short of breath
but improving.

I should note, I do not have asthma, and have never smoked.

Tonight I am doing research on this and find it very common

I also found your website stating mealworms are a good food item for birds.

I am not sure I am ready to set out on a campaign to educate the world.

But, I felt when I saw you website I owed it to people to at least share this info. with someone.

You may want to read
or search Google for mealworm allergy or mealworm asthma

Its up to you if you pass this info. along to anyone.
I feel better knowing I have shared it.

No need to reply back


Jon Van Buren
Fax 651-638-2221