We were taking our daughter to her Kung Fu lesson this week, when what should we find but a juvenile robin with a busted leg. It was hopping and flapping around frantically on the gravel and rocks beside the studio. Now, Dr. Jason is not an avian vet - that means he doesn't "do birds." But his wife Arnica (author of this post!) is an animal rescuer. Different people have different opinions on what to do with injured wildlife, but in our family we help where we can. We didn't think dying of thirst in a gravel driveway was a go way for anyone to go. So after many calls to rescue societies and zoos, we decided to take the fledgling home and see if we could help it. As we told our daughters, likely the most humane thing would be to put "Bobby," as we named him, down. Yet we wanted to find out for sure. So the first night we woke every few hours to feed him (baby robins need to be fed every 30 minutes during the day) a diet of blueberries, tomatoes, mealworms and earthworms, dug from the garden by our daughters.
NOTE: please don't bring us your birds... we don't have the expertise or enough sleep to care for any more!!!
After some convincing, Dr. Jason started doing some research on veterinary forums. He decided that he would try to amputate Bobby's leg. Again, he is not an avian vet, but the specialists online gave very clear instructions... so we borrowed a surgical suite (thank you Fairfield Animal Hospital!!!) and he performed the surgery tonight. Birds are very sensitive, especially wild ones. But Bobby seems to have a will of steel. He ate some blueberries laced with painkillers as soon as he got home, and after a few additional mealworms, went to sleep for the night.
The plan is to get Bobby eating on his own (which hopefully should only take a week or so) and then release him in the bird sanctuary near our home. He may have a shortened life, but it will be much easier to navigate without his deformed leg getting in the way. We'll keep you posted on his progress!