Cedar Waxwing

In 2004, I was walking with my neighbor.  We were on the returning stint of our trip when I spotted a small baby bird in the middle of the road.  I looked around and there was not a tree that this bird could have fallen out of.  There was no adult bird caring for it.  And we had just walked past this same spot about 30 minutes earlier and this bird was not there.  I bent down to look at the bird and its mouth was wide open, as if expecting a meal.  I reached down and scooped the little guy up so that a car would not hit it.  I began examining this tiny creature and noticed a puncture wound under one of the wings.  It seemed that an animal was packing it off and must have been scared by a car and dropped it.  I took it home and began caring for it.  We softened dog food and fed it with an eye dropper.  I would feed it ever 15-20 minutes during the day and every 2 hours at night.  We were not able to identify what kind of bird is was in the beginning as it was all spotted.  When we had it for about 4 weeks it started to develope a Zorro mask.  Once the little guy began to fly it was obvious to us that we were not going to be able to release it back into the wild, as it would fly and land right by the cat.  It never did develop fear of other animals and we knew that it would be a small meal if we released it.  We used a small bowl with the words “Turkey Broth” on it to prepare its softened food, so the kids soon named him Turkey Broth.  He would fly from shoulder to shoulder in my school room.  He did not tweet and was not a loud bird.  He had a sweet little trill sound.  Once we identified Turkey as a Cedar Waxwing, we learned that they are fruit and small bug eaters.  So, we started mashing up strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries and grapes to feed him.  We would place a stale piece of fruit next to his cage so that it would draw in the gnats and Turkey would eat them too.  He was colored a light deer brown with brilliant yellow on the tip of his tail and blood-red on the tips of his wings.  The blood-red coloring on his wings looked as if his wing tips had been dipped in wet candle wax.  Thus the name Cedar Wax Wing.  He could raise the crest on his head, like a cockatoo.  He would do this when he was showing us affection or when he was sleeping.  He loved to take baths and would get me and most of the kitchen soaking wet.  We never could determine if he was male or female, but since he never laid eggs, we assumed he was male.   He was a very playful bird and loved to throw everything off of my desk.  As he began to age he developed lots of graying in his face and wings and started looking more frail.   Early in 2010, I came into the school room to see Turkey at the bottom of the cage.  It was obvious that he was not doing well.  He let me hold him in my hand, but I could tell that he was struggling to focus.  By late afternoon he had passed away.  It is still hard for me to walk into the school room and not have him greet me.  He was by far one of my favorite pets.

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One Response to Cedar Waxwing

  1. tcgfamily says:

    Beautiful! I think I would raise a native bird like that. I love the sounds of some of the ones around our house.
    Hugs Hugs..
    I didn’t know that turkey died. 6 years…where does the time go?

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