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The Court Bard - Juby the English Sparrow

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     "Yeah, verily, yeah!" Juby, our English Sparrow (Passer domesticus), arrived here in May 2004, the same day he was born. Eyes still sealed shut and absolutely naked, he was brought to Patricia and Gloria's door by a passel of little children and their mothers. Patricia took one look at them, one look at the featherless little dinosaur one of the mothers had in her cupped hand, and said, "Gloria! It's for you!" 

Age: approximately one week. You can see how small he was -- compared to the size of Gloria's hands!

     Juby had apparently had the misfortune of being blown out of his nest by a thunderstorm. His nest was visible, but it was far too high for human intervention to return him to his home. So, he took up residence in a cardboard box in the bathroom (where he could be warm and safe from roving bands of domestic predators), and the hourly feedings began.

     We discovered Starling Talk, a wonderful website that talks about both starlings and English sparrows. We learned that unless this bird was either a starling or an English sparrow -- both non-native species -- it would not be legal for us to keep him.
     Then we contacted the good people at Wild Heart Ranch, a wonderful rehab center in Claremore, Oklahoma, run by Annette King-Tucker. Annette was so patient with our many panicky phone calls about care, feeding, caging.... Thanks to her help, Juby grew and thrived.
     At first, we thought Juby was a starling, but as he began to get feathers, we realized he was a sparrow. A boy to boot, judging from the intensity of his beautiful brown, black and grey feathers.

Aren't I handsome?

It takes practice to figure out how to sit on a branch!

     In late May, Gloria went out of town on a family trip, leaving Patti in charge of the critters. By this time, Juby was 3-4 weeks old. During her absence, Patti had the pleasure of watching Juby "grow up" -- she happily tells of the time she took the nighttime cover off his cage and found Juby sitting on his swing for the first time! (He's since become a world class athletic swinger.) He also began hopping from branch to branch with great confidence, taking baths, and voluntarily sitting on her hand. Oh yes -- he became a world-class flyer too, as the day she chased him around the living room for ten minutes proved.

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen." 
- John Steinbeck 

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