The Yellow Starlings

The Yellow Starlings
Location
Oregon, USA
Bio
We are Zooey and Franny, sibling starlings who have been living with our mama and daddy since we were fledglings. This blog is Mama’s record of our adventures with us, beginning in May 2006.

MY RECENT POSTS

AUGUST 22, 2009 6:03PM

Taking Flight

Rate: 26 Flag

 First Flight 

 

 

Something is wrong. I’ve flipped through my first bird journal three times now, but to no avail. How could that be? How could I possibly have been so negligent? Did I really fail to record what in hindsight seems perhaps the most significant milestone at this age: their first flight?

 

The only documentation I can find is the closing paragraph of a speech I wrote a week after Franny and Zooey joined our family. In this speech delivered by a colleague on my behalf, I explained why I couldn’t be present to join in honoring a friend who had done so much to help the vulnerable in our community—we were too busy caring for our own vulnerable creatures:

 

“Just one week later, the starlings’ adult feathers have come in, and they have begun to flap their wings. Already, they are able to stand without wobbling, run without tripping, and fly a short span across the room where we’ve set up a sanctuary. Not long from now, they will be even more independent and will be able to feed themselves, unassisted. Like the countless orphaned starlings Rosemary has nurtured over the years, they will soon be able to spread their wings, and take flight.”

 

What I do remember is how quickly the fledglings were growing up. Every day, more of their feathers were coming in, and they were beginning to exercise their new wings. At first, they didn’t have enough feathers or strength to become airborne. It was obvious this stage wouldn’t last long, however, and we realized they were on the verge of flying the coop—which at first was just a giant cardboard box with the top cut off.

 

We began researching cages for starlings. The Starling Talk website outlined the following criteria: “Store bought cages should have bar spacing of no wider than 1/2” or 5/8”. Very large cages are best for starlings, as they need room to fly!” We read elsewhere that the bars should be vertical to avoid damaging their wings, which could get caught in the criss-cross pattern of some styles of cages. On May 25, we ordered a black double flight cage, which we hoped would arrive before they actually started to fly.

 

 

Fledgling Hopping to Hand

 

 

During the weeklong interval before the cage’s arrival, the fledglings’ abbreviated hops graduated to long jumps. They would stand on the edge of the mattress that was propped against the wall and practice jumping onto Michael’s hand. Soon, their wing-flapping grew stronger and more graceful, and one day while I was at work, Franny and Zooey each made their first flight.

 

Such is the heartbreak of the working mother, and I now realize that is why this crucial moment is missing from my journal. When I got home that evening, I watched the birds stand on the window ledge, revving themselves up for flight. They would get a fierce look in their eyes as they concentrated on the target, summoning the strength to vault through the air to Michael’s waiting hand.

 

There was something so extraordinarily inspiring about that faithful leap. I wonder, how is it they knew how to do this? How is it they knew their wings were made for flapping, their feathers for flight? And what a humbling experience to watch these wild creatures fling themselves boldly into the air, expecting to be caught. Trusting their Daddy’s hand not to move. Alighting at their destination, they found it exactly as they had believed it would be.

 

 

Safe Landing  

 

 

As delighted as we were by this achievement and their growing confidence, we were dismayed to realize how much more trouble they could get into by flying about the room at will. We decided it might be safest to get a small, intermediary cage at a local pet store as we waited for the flight cages to arrive. On May 27, I recorded this cryptic note in my journal:

 

     excursion downstairs

     in the C

 

The “C” was the small cage, and I will never forget the terror they exhibited when we placed them in the cage and carried them downstairs. We draped a blanket over the cage to calm their frenzied flapping, but we could still hear their panicked breathing as they clung to the bars of the darkened cage. At the time, we felt it was necessary to remove them from the room—protected from Boland by the cage—so Michael could contend with the ant brigade that had recently marched into their room through the upstairs bathroom heater vent.

 

Under normal circumstances, Michael and I avoid killing all life forms, however small, and we have often adopted unconventional, nonviolent measures to rid our kitchen of invading ants or fruit flies. In this case, however, we felt an urgency to release the birds from their cage as soon as possible, and the only way we could see to remove the ants quickly was the dreaded vacuum cleaner. The only reason we didn’t let the ants alone in the first place is we worried they could bite and possibly harm the birds (we later learned the acid from ant bites can actually stunt pin feather growth). So we deluded ourselves into thinking that, perhaps, they could survive getting sucked into the vacuum’s chamber. Our delusions were soon proven as such. We still feel guilty about the legendary ant massacre of May 2006.

 

Ten, maybe fifteen minutes later, we gently carried the blanket-covered cage back up to the birds’ room. We removed the blanket and opened the cage door. They anxiously fled to freedom. That was the first and last time the birds ever spent time behind bars.

 

On June 6, 2006, I wrote a longer-than-usual entry about the arrival of the double flight cage, which was really two cages joined as one:

 

“The flight-c’s arrived yesterday. That’s what we’re calling them, so as not to alarm Franny & Zooey. I worry, though, that nearly three weeks of free reign in the back bedroom will make the C-A-G-E-S—however capacious—all the more agonizing. Franny, perhaps, will appreciate the sanctuary away from her bully brother (Zooey! I thought we taught you mutual respect, equality, and love! You’re supposed to support your sister—not step all over her and attempt to peck out her left eye!).”

 

By now, however, Franny and Zooey were already accustomed to their independence. Having witnessed the trauma they experienced when confined to a cage, we could never bring ourselves to subject them to that horror again. So instead, we set up their room as a giant aviary. We removed all potential hazards from the space, leaving a card table with their food and water and covering the floor with newspaper, blankets, towels, and tarps. Michael strung rope perches across the room and bird-proofed everything in sight. The flight cage remained unassembled in the hallway, while the birds flew freely about the room. Their domestic habitat was growing wilder by the day.

 

 

Liftoff

 

 

It wasn’t long before the birds’ territory expanded even further. They didn’t seem too happy with the idea of being locked into their room, so Michael turned one of his old 4x4’ paintings into a hinged door for the hallway. It served to keep Boland safely on the other side, while also giving Franny and Zooey a waystation for perching on their way to the bathroom, where we had installed full-spectrum UV lights and set up a splashing station for them. By the time we turned the second bedroom/storage room into a mealworm farm, the entire upstairs of our small apartment had gone to the birds. Yes, Franny and Zooey are spoiled. Blissfully so.

 

As I write this three years later, it’s hard to remember a time when flight was new to Franny and Zooey. They take flying jumps between the bedroom and bathroom so often—from shower rod to rope perch, hallway gate to food bowl—it’s strange to think of them incapable of scaling the tall sides of their first cardboard crib. They went from tucked in, partially feathered lumps to magnificently plumed birds fully capable of tucking their own selves in, thank-you-very-much. No more singsong lullabies for the fledglings, who are just as happy singing themselves to sleep. They still go through spells where they act like Mama’s and Daddy’s babies, flying after us if we head for the stairs before they’re done playing. Like this morning, when Zooey flew whirligigs over my head twice when I tried to leave the bathroom. So I returned, and we sang together, sunned, and even splashed a bit later with Franny. Although the birds are full-fledged adults now, they still enjoy spending time with their parents. It’s joyful to watch them become more independent with each passing day, still expressing love for us while freely, exuberantly, taking flight.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Note: This is Chapter 3 in an ongoing series. If you missed any of the previous chapters and would like to read more about our family of orphans, you can click on the appropriate links in the left-hand column.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
Am I first? Can´t believe it! Oh these two feathered beauties still live with you, how fantastic! Very well written as usual, and a beautiful story from chapter one.
Kisses,
Marcela
I like this post and the whole series on the birds.
I don't think I would want starlings flapping around, however cute though.
Just great and so enjoyable to read, it brings back so many memories of the orphans we found every spring!
Rated
This series is too good (at least so far, and I can't imagine it not being just as good down the road) for the confines of OS. You really should look into getting an agent and think of submitting to a publisher.

LOVE IT!
Well, those little birds are doing so well...good thing you are documenting their lives so that Boland will be able to enjoy the videos once they are gone!
If you are interested in political birds, here is a great book for you: Dr. Jack's Illustrated South African Byrd Book or The Mutant Guide to South African Byrds.
worms in the house? ew! we made mother fish with rice balls - no wiggly, darkly, stringy, slithery worms...you guys are part birds am sure with wings in your minds to be able to do all this, for I realize the onerous job of nurturing birds in the family.
whts the full spectrum UV light for? whts splashing station? wish to see pictures of them there :) and hear about how you cleaned the tarped, blanketted, towelled floor of your bedroom turned apiary. is a starling the Indian Mynah? it looks like that in the picture only smaller it seems.
the picture of you getting bk in the bathroom to play made me smile. my mother understood animal language, I could never muster it - you seem to know :)
This is so neat! I went back and read the first 2 chapters--I don't know how I missed them! :o( But it's certainly worth the read! I can't tell you how much I appreciate just knowing there are still people in the world who care enough about orphaned animals to put themselves out to care for them! Makes this old heart feel good! Thank you for these stories, and for actually doing the rescuing. The world is a better place because of people like you and Michael. Rated, of course. D
I must have missed the part about why these birds are in a house and not outdoors.
those who like this, you can up vote it on Reddit here http://www.reddit.com/r/offbeat/comments/9d8by/the_yellow_starlingsthe_tale_of_our_first_flight/
What a great tale. You do have a way with words and I look forward to hearing more about the birds and their adventures.
I try to imagine starlings in flight in-house. I admire the parental pride and loving nurturing you and Michael exhibit. Yet knowing how nature calls, I sense a growing dread at knowing the outside world calls. But I'll continue reading knowing surprise is always welcomed. rAted!
How delightful to have loving parents, doing everything they can to ensure a safe landing. Lovely post, and terrific photos!
We've never been able to keep birds, in part because we always have cats who think that birds are lunch - I'm amazed at the little haven you folks have created for Franny and Zooey. And your writing, as always, brings the little jewels to life for us. Simply wonderful!
Lovely series. I will keep coming back for more but, like Chuck, have that sense that at some point they will have to be on their own. Like Arnie, who did come back and went in and out as I recall, at that is what I WANT to recall.

Monte
I love this series. I am amazed that you have kept Boland at bay for so long. I want to read more.
Thank you all for your enthusiastic and inspiring comments! I wish I felt up to responding to you individually, but alas, I have a migraine so will be turning in soon. Just wanted to let you know how grateful I am for your kind words and I’m looking forward to responding in detail later.

—Melissa
I forgot to write down a few things in my kids baby books, too...but I still have the memories etched into my brain like you do! I love the pictures you paint of your life with birds - and the illustrations that you create to go with them. I could see this all as a tiny bird book someday, something you could hold in one hand, like the starlings.
I just love your big heart and these wonderful words and pictures chronicling Franny and Zooey. (Fave picture this time - "First Flight" - which moves and inspires me.)
I look forward to appreciating your posts with full attention - and you've never dissappointed. I've always liked birds and related to them as a child; flight was what amazed me most about them then. As an adult - it still is :) but with the added understanding that it is their freedom that calls to me most.

"They still go through spells where they act like Mama’s and Daddy’s babies, flying after us if we head for the stairs before they’re done playing. Like this morning, when Zooey flew whirligigs over my head twice when I tried to leave the bathroom. "

This was my favorite :)

I love this story and can't wait to read about their current whereabouts.

peece,
dj
That was really inspiring. Somehow, we find all kinds of metaphors for ourselves and our lives as we would wish them to be in birds. I'm sorry about the ants, and was tickled by the painting being repurposed as a door ;-)
Thanks for adding me as a favorite--it led me to you and this lovely chapter. I really enjoyed the pictures. Cheers!
I love reading your journals. I always run to study what's outside.
I’m finally getting a chance to respond to your lovely comments. Apologies to all for the uncustomary tardiness :-) And without further adieu . . .


@Marcela:

“Am I first? Can´t believe it! Oh these two feathered beauties still live with you, how fantastic! Very well written as usual, and a beautiful story from chapter one.”

Congratulations on being first, Marcela! Yes, Franny and Zooey still live with us :-) Stay tuned for many more adventures ahead!

—Melissa


@Mission:

“I like this post and the whole series on the birds.”

Thank you, Mission, and wonderful to see you here!

“I don't think I would want starlings flapping around, however cute though.”

Hehe :-) It does require a certain tolerance for mess, but they do bring a wonderful cheer to a home.

—Melissa


@Julie:

“Just great and so enjoyable to read, it brings back so many memories of the orphans we found every spring!”

Thanks, Julie! I’d love to read more about your orphans someday :-)

—Melissa
@wind in my wings:

“This series is too good (at least so far, and I can't imagine it not being just as good down the road) for the confines of OS. You really should look into getting an agent and think of submitting to a publisher.”

Awww, that is so sweet of you, Wind! Thanks for the enthusiastic encouragement. I’ve really been pondering publication carefully. It would have to be a very special publisher whose titles I respect and one that understands I am unable to commit to travel or publicity demands. I just want to write :-) But publication is the ultimate goal, so we’ll see where this ends up . . .

“LOVE IT!”

I’m so glad!

—Melissa


@Hazel:

“Well, those little birds are doing so well...”

:-)

“If you are interested in political birds, here is a great book for you: Dr. Jack's Illustrated South African Byrd Book or The Mutant Guide to South African Byrds.”

That sounds fascinating! Too expensive to buy, so I’ll have to see if I can check it out through our library. Thanks for the recommendation, Hazel!

—Melissa


@Nabina:

“worms in the house? ew!”

Haha—I know! I never would’ve thought I’d be willing to do that, but as it turns out, mealworms aren’t actually worms per se, but beetle larvae (I know, that actually sounds worse ;-) They’re not slimy at all but dry, and for some reason, they’re not nearly as off-putting as normal worms. You’ll get to learn all about them in my next chapter :-)

“we made mother fish with rice balls - no wiggly, darkly, stringy, slithery worms...”

Intriguing!

“you guys are part birds am sure with wings in your minds to be able to do all this, for I realize the onerous job of nurturing birds in the family.”

What a beautiful thought and so eloquently expressed. Thank you, Nabina.

“whts the full spectrum UV light for?”

Just like reptiles, birds require a certain amount of ultraviolet rays to help them absorb vitamins. If they’re indoors, it’s best to provide that through full-spectrum UV bulbs. I’ll be writing about this in more detail in a later chapter.

“whts splashing station?”

I love your curiosity, Nabina :-) One of the starlings’ favorite activities is splashing, and we’ve had quite a few different setups over the years. Currently, they’re using a ridged yellow plastic pan originally designed for developing photographs. It’s just about the perfect depth (about three inches) to allow them to get nice and wet while also keeping their heads and necks above water.

“wish to see pictures of them there :)”

I’ll try to do so when I address these subjects in the future chapters :-) It’s been impossible for me to get a decent picture of them splashing because the lens gets covered in water if I try to get too close, and I don’t have a decent zoom lens, so I’ve just about given up trying. But I’ll figure out some way to capture that activity for you :-)

“and hear about how you cleaned the tarped, blanketted, towelled floor of your bedroom turned apiary.”

That is an ongoing challenge, I confess :-)

“is a starling the Indian Mynah? it looks like that in the picture only smaller it seems.”

Yes, they are related! Both mynahs and starlings have the ability to learn to talk, as well as sharing other attributes.

“the picture of you getting bk in the bathroom to play made me smile.”

I’m always delighted to make you smile :-)

“my mother understood animal language, I could never muster it - you seem to know :)”

I’m honored you think so! Sounds like Michael and I are in good company with your mother :-)

“those who like this, you can up vote it on Reddit here”

I can’t believe you did this! I am so touched to have my first Redditted piece. Thank you, dear Nabina.

—Melissa
@Yarn Over:

“This is so neat! I went back and read the first 2 chapters--I don't know how I missed them! :o( But it's certainly worth the read!”

Thank you, D! So happy you went back and read the earlier chapters. I appreciate your enthusiasm!

“I can't tell you how much I appreciate just knowing there are still people in the world who care enough about orphaned animals to put themselves out to care for them! Makes this old heart feel good! Thank you for these stories, and for actually doing the rescuing. The world is a better place because of people like you and Michael. Rated, of course.”

Awww, you’re going to make me start tearing up! It makes Michael and me feel good knowing there are people like you in the world, too! That’s been one of the joys about joining the OS community—finding so many kindred spirits who do truly care about all forms of life, no matter how fragile or small.

—Melissa


@coffeegyrl:

“I must have missed the part about why these birds are in a house and not outdoors.”

:-) Yes, here are the first two chapters if you want to find out how they ended up inside:

“When They Were Orphans”

“A Room of Their Own”

Thanks for your interest, and welcome, coffeegyrl!

—Melissa


@Elena:

“Wow. Each chapter just gets better and better.”

That’s such a relief to hear, Elena, because I was worried the opposite was happening!

“You and Michael are every bit as beautiful as these birds are. I am so grateful to be in a world with people like you and birds like Zooey and Franny. Lovely, absolutely lovely.”

Oh, Elena, you know we feel exactly the same about you. You are such a blessing in our lives.

—Melissa
@Ger:

“What a great tale. You do have a way with words and I look forward to hearing more about the birds and their adventures.”

Thanks, Ger! So nice to see you here. You have a way with words, too :-)

—Melissa


@Chuck:

“I try to imagine starlings in flight in-house.”

Yes, they love those long swooping flights from the shower rod all the way to their rope perch in the furthermost corner of the bedroom. They seem to get plenty of exercise flying about the upstairs :-)

“I admire the parental pride and loving nurturing you and Michael exhibit.”

We, too, admire your tender parental nurturing, Chuck. We’re so glad your son has a father as compassionate and sensitive as you.

“Yet knowing how nature calls, I sense a growing dread at knowing the outside world calls. But I'll continue reading knowing surprise is always welcomed. rAted!”

Not to ruin the surprise, but they’re still indoors and rather blissfully so. Just wanted to put your mind at ease so you don’t have the dread hanging over you :-)

Happy bird-watching,

Melissa


@AtHomePilgrim:

“How delightful to have loving parents, doing everything they can to ensure a safe landing. Lovely post, and terrific photos!”

Thank you, Pilgrim. And how delightful to have kind readers such as you following their journey!

—Melissa
@Owl:

“We've never been able to keep birds, in part because we always have cats who think that birds are lunch”

Hehe :-) There are some extraordinary cats in the world, and Boland holds the honored position of being the rarest among all the cats we’ve ever been blessed to know. Margarete’s three kitties in Arnie the Darling Starling seem to be quite special, too.

“I'm amazed at the little haven you folks have created for Franny and Zooey. And your writing, as always, brings the little jewels to life for us. Simply wonderful!”

Thanks, Owl! Your heartfelt comments are like little jewels—beautifully adorning the pages you grace with your kind presence.

—Melissa


@Monte:

“Lovely series. I will keep coming back for more but, like Chuck, have that sense that at some point they will have to be on their own.”

Wonderful to see you, Monte! No need to fret. So far, anyway, they seem quite delighted with their indoors domain and don’t seem to have a longing for the outdoors at all. Letting them outside would, in fact, put their lives at great risk, as they haven’t developed proper foraging skills or acclimated to harsher weather conditions. So here they stay, as long as we have anything to do with it :-)

“Like Arnie, who did come back and went in and out as I recall, at that is what I WANT to recall.”

Yes, Arnie did have a rather tumultuous adventure outside before landing safely and eagerly back home. We won’t go into the epilogue, as I, too, do not want to recall anything beyond those last beautiful pages.

—Melissa


@Emma:

“I love this series. I am amazed that you have kept Boland at bay for so long. I want to read more.”

Thank you, Emma, and welcome! Delighted to know you’re enjoying it. I’ll try not to keep you waiting too long for the next installment :-)

—Melissa
@Melissa:

“I forgot to write down a few things in my kids baby books, too...but I still have the memories etched into my brain like you do!”

Isn’t it amazing?! Seems all I need is a few random jots to jog my memory, if even that. But I know there are so many moments still locked away—although writing about them through this process is certainly helping me resurrect them!

“I love the pictures you paint of your life with birds - and the illustrations that you create to go with them. I could see this all as a tiny bird book someday, something you could hold in one hand, like the starlings.”

The idea of this being a miniature book is adorable! I’m pretty verbose, so it would have to be quite thick, but what a fun idea :-)

—Melissa


@Annette:

“I just love your big heart and these wonderful words and pictures chronicling Franny and Zooey.”

Aww, thanks, Annette :-)

“(Fave picture this time - "First Flight" - which moves and inspires me.)”

I’m delighted! These pictures were an unexpected blessing of doing this blog. The writing was obvious, but bringing this into blog format has given me an excuse to indulge in my equally compelling passion for design and typography.

—Melissa


@Mary:

“In a way you remind me of Harry Potter and Hegrid, I hope I remember the owl's name correctly. She is Harry's best friend. When the Harry Potter series came out, children and adults wanted owls for pets, but they were warned that owls cannot be domesticated, at least for indoor life. But I think starlings would make a good substitute.”

I confess I haven’t read a lick of Harry Potter! But that’s fascinating to know about the owls and how kids started wanting them as pets. I agree that starlings would make a wonderful substitute. Since they are so unwelcome in some communities, I would love to start seeing more of them adopted as pets.

—Melissa
@David:

“I look forward to appreciating your posts with full attention - and you've never dissappointed.”

We feel the same about yours!

“I've always liked birds and related to them as a child; flight was what amazed me most about them then.”

That makes me think of the first poem Michael and I ever read by you: “When You Look at Me.” Yes, I fly.

“As an adult - it still is :) but with the added understanding that it is their freedom that calls to me most.”

Beautiful thought. I only hope Franny and Zooey do truly feel a sense of freedom even within the artitificial bounds of their territory. Perhaps every territory is bound, ultimately, with nature just containing wider, more organic fringes.

“‘They still go through spells where they act like Mama’s and Daddy’s babies, flying after us if we head for the stairs before they’re done playing. Like this morning, when Zooey flew whirligigs over my head twice when I tried to leave the bathroom.’ This was my favorite :)”

:-) I love knowing about people’s favorites. It reveals something of the reader’s soul.

“I love this story and can't wait to read about their current whereabouts.”

Their whereabouts are still right here (or rather, the story above my head :-)

—Melissa


@Kathy:

“i love all the pics!”

Thanks, Kathy! I love making them! :-)

—Melissa
@Sirenita:

“That was really inspiring. Somehow, we find all kinds of metaphors for ourselves and our lives as we would wish them to be in birds.”

Welcome Sirenita, and thank you for the kind words! Yes, the lives and behaviors of birds do hold tremendous metaphoric potential.

“I'm sorry about the ants, and was tickled by the painting being repurposed as a door ;-)”

Thanks for your empathy :-) As for the painting-door, Michael holds no object sacred when he’s on a bricolaging mission. Fortunately, only two of his paintings have been sacrificed to the birds: the gate piece (early work from what Michael would consider his student era) and a painting that used be called “Void,” but which is now titled—thanks to Franny and Zooey’s collaborative efforts—“No Longer Void.”

—Melissa


@mypsyche:

“Thanks for adding me as a favorite--it led me to you and this lovely chapter. I really enjoyed the pictures. Cheers!”

Thank you, mypsyche, and so lovely to welcome you!

Cheers to you, as well,

Melissa


@scupper:

“I love reading your journals. I always run to study what's outside.”

What a wonderful reaction to have—and thank you for sharing it, scupper! I’m proud to be associated with anything that has the power to tear OSers away from their keyboards, especially if it’s pointing them toward nature :-)

—Melissa
I can't wait to have a copy of this book. This is such a great story! Love the photos too. Hugs to Michael & family.
@Mary:

“Sometimes we need cages for our own protection. Maybe you did not record their flight because it is normal for birds to fly.”

So sweet of you to return, Mary, with this reassuring thought!

“Abnormalties is what always attract our eye.”

You’re so right about abnormalities. Temple Grandin writes about how autistics, like animals, immediately pick up on the variations in their environments—deviations from the pattern can be quite alarming to them.

—Melissa


@Robin:

“I can't wait to have a copy of this book. This is such a great story! Love the photos too.”

Oh Robin, it’s so lovely to see you here! Thank you for the inspiring words. I can’t wait till I’ve written enough to make a book out of this!

“Hugs to Michael & family.”

Michael has been under the weather lately and will definitely appreciate your hugs.

OXOX to you and your beloved, as well,

Melissa
This, as always, is brilliantly written and beautifully captured. It's amazing what writing a journal with a time gap between it and the event can produce.
@Kirsty:

“This, as always, is brilliantly written and beautifully captured.”

Thanks, Kirsty!

“It's amazing what writing a journal with a time gap between it and the event can produce.”

Yes, this has been an exciting experiment. I can’t wait till I meet up with the chapters that are already written for the last year and a half. I hope one style flows into the other naturally enough—I may need to add some contextual framing to make that transition work. We’ll see . . .

—Melissa
sorry to hear about your migraine, but I am loving reading about your babies
This is so sweet! You hear of folks bringing in stray cats, dogs, etc, but beautiful little birds!!!

Wonderful!!!! This is fantastic!!!!
@Julie:

“sorry to hear about your migraine”

Thanks for the sympathy, Julie. I’m feeling better now :-)

“but I am loving reading about your babies”

I’m so glad! I am loving writing about them—on the rare occasions when I can find the time!

—Melissa


@Carol:

“This is so sweet! You hear of folks bringing in stray cats, dogs, etc, but beautiful little birds!!! Wonderful!!!! This is fantastic!!!!”

Thank you, Carol, and welcome! I still adore your picture of the little fledgling starling. You are so gifted!

—Melissa
what lovely descriptions you have of your days with the birds. so kind, so careful, thank you!
They give us such joy and wonder...in their quiet little ways..
This is very sweet, and what good and loving parents you are. Just a lovely story.
@Debbs:

“what lovely descriptions you have of your days with the birds. so kind, so careful, thank you!”

And thank you, Debbs, for being here! It’s a delight to welcome you.

—Melissa


@Gary:

“They give us such joy and wonder...in their quiet little ways..”

So beautifully stated, Gary, and I’m thrilled to see you here. Thank you for your kind and poetic words.

—Melissa


@latethink:

“This is very sweet, and what good and loving parents you are. Just a lovely story.”

Aww, thanks, latethink. I appreciate your sweet and lovely comments.

—Melissa
Absolutely amazing that you two put this much work into these beautiful creatures. I can't wait to show this whole series to my daughter who is also a savior of the animal kingdom. I have also spent most of my life taking care of the real liviing creatures of this planet. Just a wonderful experience to read this.
rated.