I recently wrote about creating a monster in my backyard. It started with one amusing little titmouse that came to my hand to feed. That’s all, just feed. Soon, others joined him. I’ve fed a total of 3 different titmice since he started.
Within the last week, his behavior changed. No longer was he looking for me and coming down to grab a bite and return to his perch. Now, he was coming down, grabbing something and taking it onto different places on my patio. I didn’t think anything at first but now I see he’s not well.
Their Little Feet Aren’t Built For This
Every day he comes down to get food and hang around. It’s not that he’s incapable of flying to a perch. He’s just more concerned with getting his walnut and peanut piece handouts than anything else. He still is preening and bathing whenever possible but he spends a LOT of time hopping around on my blazing aggregate patio in the late afternoon. I know from my research that perching and a little hopping are what their feet are designed for. Not this. I’ve also caught him “napping” after he expends a good bit of energy which is another sign he’s stressed. I emailed Julie Zickefoose and she concurs that he must be ill. Unfortunately, so am I. I had a run in with a flu bug this weekend which has still not let go.
What I Am Going To Do For Him
I need to get my little dog into the vet for her rabies shot. I’m going to ask the vet if she can get me some antibiotic drops that I can put on his food since I’m hand feeding him. I’ll see how that goes. Our vet is really cool and I think if I explain that I will be dispensing the drug to only one bird by hand that she may be able to act more as a rescuer. We’ll see how that goes.
In the mean time, I’ll continue feeding him easily swallowed and digested pieces of nuts and suet to keep his strength up. I really hate that I feel poorly while this is going on. I’ll also make sure to provide him with water and make sure he drinks some regularly.
What About Rehab?
In case you’re wondering, our nearest wildlife rehab place is an hour away and I’m not even sure I could make that trip right now. I also don’t think he would react well to being transported. I’ll at least email them to see what they think.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. He’s a tough guy and I really think he’ll make it with a little more help. I’ve got some pics of him I need to edit and post to this article this week if possible.