Mockingbirds, mealworms, growling pigeons…and squirrels are friggin’ cute


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Wild Thursdays are so fresh Thursday night that I should really remember to blog that night. But spending the evening at wildlife rescue is like going to a great concert. You get home, you can’t sleep, and all you can think about is how much fun you had.

It’s squirrel season, and squirrels are CUTE. Friggin’ cute. I’ll say it again. They are cute. Why the hangup about cute squirrels you ask? Read on.

The animal care coordinators at the wildlife rescue I volunteer at are young. Smart, but young. Given that they deal with young, inexperienced volunteers and also women in their 30s with a hankerin’ for baby animals, they decided to put out a rules sheet and have us sign it.

I’m cool with most everything on the sheet. Don’t walk around with an animal, don’t talk too much (stresses the animal), close the door when you’re running the blender, call if you’re going to be late, out, etc. However, there’s one rule I don’t get.

Because these animals are wild, we are not supposed to refer to them as cute. Kinda silly. As one of the other volunteers, Juliann, said, we wouldn’t be here if the animals weren’t cute, and she doubts any squirrels or baby great egrets will be knocking on our doors anytime soon because we boosted their ego with a little sweet talk. ;-p Now, if it was mealworm rescue I could understand. But if you are ever asked to feed a baby squirrel and your knees become weak from watching it grip the little milk bottle you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Speaking of mealworms. Mockingbirds that are a little bigger than babies (teenagers maybe?) that come in to the rescue are fed the Basic Nestling Diet and mealworms. What I love about feeding these birds is that they are such awesome gapers, and it’s so wonderful to me that a wild bird would go, “wow, cool, food…worms” and take it right from the medical tweezers from whence it came. I’m honored that a wild animal would trust me enough to feed it and accept the food willingly.

Sigh. I’m not too inspired tonight, but I would like to say that I held my first big bird by myself (the crow being the only other exception), to give it meds. It was a pigeon, and when I went to go and retrieve it from its cage, it GROWLED at me. I was so shocked that I laughed a little and asked Jeanie what I should do. She said, well, he might bat you with his wings and bite you, but it won’t be that bad. That said, I sequestered pigeon-dog in a towel and all he did was look honestly up at me. All bark and no beak.

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