Kiskadee Rules Roost & Breaks Hearts When It’s Time to Fly Free
Written by James & Gloria Rego of Hamilton, Bermuda
My wife and I were driving to a friend’s home for dinner when out of the corner of my eye I saw what appeared to be a Kiskadee standing on the roadside against the curb. I thought this odd because at this time of day, most birds have roosted. I didn’t know if this little fellow was alive or dead but made a mental note to have a closer look on the way back home.
On our return trip, which was quite late, my wife couldn’t understand why we were slowing along this particular stretch of road because she hadn’t seen what I saw earlier. Sure enough, he was still in the same spot. How he didn’t get drawn out into the road by passing vehicles is a miracle. This is a very busy road and,how he was passed over by the many cats in this area…well, I still wonder!
When we got him home, we checked him over and found nothing wrong. We estimated that he had newly left the nest and probably had not had time to hone his instincts towards danger. He readily took to living in a little cage (at night) and would happily eat prepared dog food, grubs, seed and a little sand. We tried to think of what he would naturally find in the wild based on our observations of this species.
The little fellow thrived! We knew that it was only a matter of time before this little guy would want to go, as this is a wild bird. During the month we had him he would fly around the house and was forgiven his indiscretions, would fly to the door when he knew one of us was about to enter, would pester us to feed him, would learn from us how to catch live grubs and sleep next to us in his little cage.
When the dreaded day did come to release Sparky/Chirpy (we could never decide what to call him), there were many mixed emotions. We were happy that we were privileged to have been able to get to know this little fellow in such an intimate way, happy that he was able to finally join with his own species but saddened that we had to say goodbye to a dear little friend. Photos of Kiskadee eating & saying goodbye.