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Many years ago, my parents woke up and went into the kitchen to get breakfast and morning coffee ready. While doing this they heard a faint "cheep cheep" and a scratching noise. They didn't think anything of it and carried on with their day. They came back to the kitchen but could still hear the cheeping and scratching. My dad pulled the wood panelling from the wall and found a baby Starling, cold, scared and very hungry. He pulled it out and both of them gave it some food and water, thinking it would probably die soon and to make it comfortable.

They kept it warm and safe, feeding it whenever it squawked and it didn't die, it grew stronger and stronger. It started growing feathers and started looking like a Starling.

I came home on leave and was presented with a hand-tame Starling called Oliver (because he always wanted more). I began to wonder about his future, could he survive, did he know how to fly or hunt ?. I decided to see if he could fly but first had to make sure his wings had developed properly, so I took him into the garden, put him on my finger and waved it up and down. To my relief his wings flapped evenly and well. He was ready for the next step. The next day I took him out in the garden again and this time threw him into the air. He didn't so much fly as glide and crash-land on the soft grass. I did this a few times, and he got better and better. After a few days we had him flying all around the garden.

The next step was how to teach him how to eat worms. I put him on the grass near a worm and formed my thumb and forefinger into a beak. I make a pecking motion and picked up the worm. His first try was laughable, but after a few goes he was able to eat small worms. He tried to eat a much larger worm but it crawled out of his mouth shortly after being swallowed. Lesson: If you are going to eat something, make sure it's dead first !

Many years later I still have to rescue birds but these days they get trapped in my stairwell, so I have to catch them by hand, walk them down the stairs and let them go free outside.

(C) 2015 ~ 2020~ Hits / Week 45 ~ 150 → 150