Thursday, July 10, 2008

Two little birdies chirping in my home... may they live long!

Today papa brought home 2 little birdies. Papa told me that the parents of these little sparrows got killed by the ceiling fans in the factory. Papa brought them home & told me and mummy to take care of them as much as we can, with the hope that they live.

For the first 15 minutes they didn't move at all. No motion whatsoever. It appeared as though they had either fainted, or were sleepy, or lacked energy. By mummy's suggestion, I sprinkled some bajra in from of them, but they just wouldn't eat it, or even acknowledge its presence. "Poor little innocent birds", I said to myself. "Perhaps they don't even know that this is food and that it's necessary to live". "Perhaps they still need their parents to feed them orally". "How are they going to live, if they don't eat or drink", I wondered.

Scores of ideas started flashing in mind as to how to make them eat & drink:-
  • Use a sort of thin stick and attach a grain to its top and take it near their beak hoping that they eat it. If they eat even 1 grain of bajra, they'll start eating more, hopefully by themselves, ensuring their survival.
  • Use an ear-bud and attach a small piece of damped makki-ki-roti in a fashion similar to a thin stick.
  • Ask the chowkidar (who's a Nepali, & supposedly more aware about handling these animals) for help.
  • Observe the little sparrows for some time & see if they themselves taste the makki-ki-roti or the bajra sprinkled in front of them.
About 15 minutes later, a ray of hope emerged. Both the little birds started looking around, started turning their heads, started chirping (and it grew louder with each passing minute), & they even (lightly) fluttered their little wings.

I really don't know how are they going to live if they don't drink & eat. I'm hoping that they eat the bajra. I don't want them to die. I want them to grow up & live their life, & fly high in the skies.

P.S. One of these little cute birds is already my friend. An interesting conversation between it & me can be heard by downloading & playing this file.

New! The sweet birds are on the Internet! I've created an album with some of their photos. Watch it here.

More! I recorded 3 videos showing how these lovely little birds recognize me and eagerly open their mouths wide open whenever I approach them (and more). They aren't scared of me anymore! Here are links to the 3 videos
Update (11 July 2008, 10 AM through noon):- Around 10 AM I heard mummy loudly calling papa and this broke my sleep and I went rushing down to the ground floor. Mummy was scared because while she was trying to make one of the birds eat some bread by sticking its piece on top of an ear-bud, the poor fellow grabbed the ear-bud itself and got it stuck in its throat :(
When I realized this, I quickly grabbed the other end of the bud and gently pulled it out of throat of the bird. Phew! Mummy tells me that when she saw the 2 birds in morning, they were motionless and she feared the worse. But it turned out that they were sound asleep. And now, near 10 AM they started chirping again, probably indicating that they need their breakfast. Mummy assigned this task to me. Initially I decided to feed both birds by sticking a small piece of bread (dipped in milk) to top of an ear-bud and bringing it near the beak of one of the birds. Soon however, I realized that these innocent birdies didn't even know that this is food. They were hungry, but they didn't know this is what they need! Things got more serious here, and so I attempted to repeatedly touch the bread piece to their beaks, hoping they would open their little mouths and eat some of it. Finally, one of the birds hungrily opened its mouth and grabbed a large piece of milk-dipped bread. The other followed soon. Thank god!

And with this began the really enjoyable activity of feeding both the birds. It's so much fun watching them eat. It's even more fun trying to get them open their mouths. Perhaps that's why kids bring joy to homes, and people yearn for children. But what about water? Now it can't be stuck to an ear-bud. Mummy suggested a nice idea. Dip a clean piece of cotton in water and use it as a dropper to drop water into the (open) beaks of these birds. Little extra tricky, but it worked.

It has been 2 hours, and both the birds are now sitting on a newspaper sheet, chirping away happily. Hope things go well. Let's see.

Update (11 July 2008, 4 PM through 7 PM):- I woke up around 4 PM after a horrific dream which had spoiled my mood badly. As soon as I woke up, I heard chirps of these little birds. Miraculously a smile instantly came to my face and my mood became very good. I rushed down and as I went near them, both the birds eagerly opened their mouths wide open, hoping that I had brought food (mummy tells me that my brother had made them eat lunch near 1 PM). I call these birds beta or mera bacha and I told them that don't worry beta your food is coming. Once again I took milk-dipped bread and fed them.

New! The sweet birds are on the Internet! I've created an album with some of their photos. Watch it here.

More! I recorded 3 videos showing how these lovely little birds recognize me and eagerly open their mouths wide open whenever I approach them (and more). They aren't scared of me anymore! Here are links to the 3 videos
Update (12 July 2008, 9:30 AM through 11 PM):-
  • I wake up hearing chirping of one of them. The other is still asleep. I wait for half hour before getting worried about the other one. I gently shake it to make sure it's ok. It slowly wakes up like small kids. It looks around and blinks its eyes :)
  • After a while they start chirping a lot, indicating that they need breakfast. I make them eat a specially-prepared new dish for their breakfast (little wheat-dough balls with ghee applied on them).
  • I also make them drink water, and sprinkle some water on them to clean them up. They seem to enjoy it :)
  • They fly for one of the first times :). Although only about 2-3 feet long (and 1 foot high), it's a great first step!
  • Lunch follows. Then evening snacks. Followed by dinner.
  • The birds are awake eve at 11 PM. I caress them and switch off their light. Within 10-15 minutes the chirping slows down, and the birds go off to sleep!
Update (13 July 2008, 5 AM through 11 PM):-
  • Didi's sleep is broken by chirping of one of the birds. Didi gives it food to eat. I wake up and scold didi for scaring the cute bird. It sleeps after eating.
  • Around 9 AM I wake up and make the birds eat breakfast. They take a short nap after eating breakfast.
  • Today the birds are unusually aggressive. They are chirping more, flying more and all the time trying to jump and sit on our feet. They have scared mummy, didi and even papa. I have given strict instructions to everyone to exercise utmost caution when passing near them. Hitting them is unacceptable, even if they sit on your feet or touch you or scare you or bite you or poke you with their sharp beak. Do not lift your feet off the ground when passing near them- just slide them on ground so as to avoid any injury to them!
  • As expected, they obey me more than how they behave with others. Today only I gave them all their meals, since most others were scared of their new-found aggression.
  • Around 11:30 PM I turn off the light and the birds soon go off to sleep.
  • Around 1 AM (14 July 2008), I hear loud thunders and sound of heavy rainfall outside. I go down to have a look at the babies. The babies are sitting together and sleeping tight. Assured, I come back to my room.
Update (14 July 2008, 9:30 AM through 8:30 PM):-
  • I wake up and walk down to check the well-being of my babies. I don't find the birds at their place. Horrified, I ask mummy where the birds are. I'm told that because they were flying a lot this morning, mummy & didi chose to free them and thus left them in the open sky. Upon hearing this, I got as angry & hot as the boiling magma inside earth. I couldn't believe how they could let my babies fly away without telling me. Of course, I too want the birds to fly one day. But I want it to be in my presence. Mummy saw me getting angry, and she quickly informed me that it was a joke, and that the birds are happily playing in the duct (that is, they had been moved to a different- more peaceful & secure- place). I went rushing to the duct and saw the babies as happy as ever. Thank god!
  • Today the breakfast, lunch, evening snacks & dinner were all given by someone other than me.
  • Before leaving for my cousin's ladies sangeet ceremony, I carefully shifted the sparrows back to their original place (the duct isn't suitable for night). When we returned (1 AM, 15 July 2008), the babies had already slept.
Update (15 July 2008, 2:30 PM through 8:30 PM):-
  • I woke up around 2:15 PM. Mummy told me that the birds had already had their breakfast and lunch. Also, they had already been shifted to the duct. I went near the duct to have a look at them- they were happily playing there :)
  • Around 4 PM, I fed them milk-dipped bread. They hungrily ate it. Soon thereafter me and mummy had to go to my cousin's place for a marriage-related ceremony. While we were there, it started to rain. I immediately told mummy that I'm going back home immediately, lest the birds get wet in rain and fall ill. I drove very fast and within about 6-7 minutes, I reached home. I went to the birds and inspected them. It turned out that it hadn't rained in this part of Ludhiana, so the birds didn't get wet. Lucky me and lucky them! :)
  • Around 8 PM I again fed milk-dipped bread to the birds. They hungrily ate quite a lot of it. I also made them drink water. Shortly thereafter, however, the poor birds had loose motions. It made me quite worried. I called up mummy, and she told me that it's ok and asked me to not give them anything else to eat. I turned off their light and papa & me went to my cousin's place for a ceremony related to my cousin's marriage. By the time we returned, the birds were sleeping tight!
New! I posted a question on Yahoo! Answers seeking help from the community about my little birds. Read my question & the very helpful replies of some people here.

Update (16 July 2008, 8 AM through 11:15 PM):-
  • I had not slept the whole night. I was busy doing some works. The birds woke up around 7:30 AM, and by 8 AM they were chirping loud enough to make me feel that it's time for their breakfast. I fed them flour-balls and then I went off to sleep. The birds slept too, again.
  • When I woke up (around 1:15 PM), mummy told me that the birds had already had 2 more meals (1st around 10 AM, and 2nd around 1 PM).
  • Before going to the market for some purchases (around 3:30 PM), I fed the birds milk-dipped bread.
  • When I returned (around 7:30 PM), I saw that the birds had had severe loose motions. I and mummy both got quite worried, and we decided to not only stop milk-dipped bread (in favor of flour-balls), but also consult our family-friend uncle, who is a Ph.D.
  • Around 8:30 PM, I fed 4-4 balls each to both the birds.
  • Brother informed me a very worrying thing. He told me that he saw a cat looking at the birds from a window. Cats may be cute, but they are one of the deadliest enemies of birdies. I'm worried because as long as I am here, the birds are safe. But I've to go to Noida, for my job, on 19th. What after that? Agreed that mummy & brother too love the birds a lot, but when it comes to ensuring safety, I trust only myself. I'm not doubting their love for the birds, but just because someone loves the birds doesn't mean that one is sufficiently capable of ensuring their safety, even if one's intention is exactly that. This is the cause of my worry.
  • Around 11:15 PM, I again fed 6-6 balls to the birds, and turned off their light.
  • Around 1:15 AM, I went down to observe the babies. Felt assured to see them sleeping tight.
Update (17 July 2008, 11 AM through 8 PM):-
  • The birds were fed 4 times today. For the first time, both of them (I've named them Cheeku & Peechu) started eating (albeit just a little) from the ground. In the evening, around 8 PM, I fed them (very hurriedly) and then we went to Jalandhar for my cousin's marriage.
Update (18 July 2008, 6:30 AM through 11 PM):-
  • We returned at 6:30 AM. As I opened the door, the birds woke up. I tiptoed in, so as to not disturb them. They slept again soon. Around 8 AM, I shifted them to the duct. Everybody else had slept by then. Everyone had slept on the way back, except me, and I had worked real hard in last night's marriage, so soon I too went off to sleep.
  • Around 11:20 AM, mummy rushed to me, woke me up and told me that one of the birds died. In a state of shock I rushed to the duct and saw peechu lying weak on the ground. Tears immediately started rolling down my eyes. I touched it and it couldn't stay on its feet. It just slid sideways. Unable to control myself, I felt like I'll get mad. It looked so frail, so weak. Its legs were moving a little, its throat was moving a little. It was moving very little. Mummy told me that she had fed them at 10 AM, and they were perfect at that time. We all were in a state of shock, despair and helplessness. I just cried and cried. My baby, my peechu, whom I loved and fed and cared for the last 9 days- that peechu was fighting for life in front of me. I tried to make it drink water, and then water mixed with milk. I fanned it with a newspaper for an hour. I scared away the ants from it. But peechu was slowing down. We were losing hope. We cried a lot. I kept caressing dying peechu and kept telling him "So ja mere panchhi, aram se so ja". Peechu died in front of my eyes. My dear peechu. I love you. I've always loved you. I'll never forget you. I'll always celebrate July the 10th as your birthday, the day you little angel came to me. I buried peechu with my own hands in our garden. I'll never forget those weak chirps you let out in your last few minutes. Peechu dear I miss you a lot. Even as I write this, tears are rolling down my cheeks. I love you peechu. Why did you leave me? Was there something missing in my love and my care? I buried peechu around 1:30 PM. Peechu a plant will be planted at the place where you have been buried. Love you peechu. When I saw your video around 3 PM, I couldn't watch it more than 15 seconds. I cried bitterly and stopped it. Mummy cried a lot with me. Why peechu died is still not known to us.
  • Cheeku was feeling very alone. He had already been shifted to the other place around 11:45 AM. I saw his searching for someone, as if he was looking for peechu. I couldn't watch him sitting alone. Looking at him reminded me of peechu. We called up a doctor and he told us about a bird-sanctuary called People for Animals. We feared death of cheeku. We thought it would be best to give him in safe hands- the hands of bird-experts. We called them up and told them the situation. The generous people sent an albulance to our home and 3 very nice people inspected cheeku and gently took him, assuring us that they shall take care of him. We requested them to set cheeku free when he grows up- for I've always wanted my birds to grow up and soar high in skies. At the time of writing this, I'm missing cheeku. I know he's missing me too. I know he's missing my touch. He must be looking for me. Maybe he's in a cage. Maybe he's sad. I'm missing you a lot my babies. Don't know why this happened to me. Love you my kids. Missing you a lot. Don't know what to say. Whenever I think of you, tears roll down my eyes. I remember how your sight, your chirps would make my bad mood good in an instant. Cheeku I miss you a lot. And peechu, I love you.
Here are the last photos of cheeku. How sad it feels to see him alone. Love you my birds.