My Vertical Learning Curve

We are struggling here.

Poor Bardy is completely off his legs and I feel totally responsible (The Ghastly Fall).  I am running blind here.  I feel I am letting Bardy down due to my total ignorance and am 100% responsible.  Not really a fit parent.

So, I remembered a friend telling me about Manx Wild Bird Aid and I phoned them, desperate for some help for Bardy.  They have been nothing but brilliant – all day, giving me advice.

Firstly, to prop Bardy up.

Bardy’s diet is all wrong too.  Beef mince plus vitamin drops have little, if any, calcium.  Bardy needs calcium to grow properly.  How could I have missed this?  I have a brain and I feel rotten thinking Bardy has not had all he needs to develop.

(there were also maggots/larvae and more woodlice in this pot – he wolfed them down)

Based on film sent via t’net, a diagnosis was tentatively made that Bardy may have salmonella (white diarrhoea) and/or spinal damage due to The Fall.

Bardy is now on daily 0.2ml Baytril. His weight has also fallen hugely.  Again, something I didn’t notice until it was pointed out to me – I hang my head in shame.

After Baytril, Bardy perked.  His diet has been changed to contain calcium and he is in his little bag shouting at YouTube videos now.

Meanwhile, apparently I have some ponies!

I have neglected them.

This afternoon, I did manage to ride Haakon to find his tölt.  It was nice to go outside and to also find some perspective.

Yes, Bardy is only a starling, but he is my starling and I have done bad by him.  All wrong. Please send healing vibes. He needs use of his legs, even one leg, otherwise he has no future and it is all my fault.

11 thoughts on “My Vertical Learning Curve

  1. Margaret Robinson

    You both are in our thoughts and prayers.

    There is nothing (though I know this will not stop you) you should feel guilty about – nothing. You simply did not know and after all – you are not a Starling, Mom or otherwise. You did and will continue to do the very best for Bardy that you can. He would not have gotten a 1/3 of this way without you and he’s known nothing but the very best.

    On to something slightly different —- what is the one pony doing in the photo right below “I have neglected them” (you haven’t but rather you’ve left them on their own to handle a more important-at-the-time problem)? It look like he’s either jumping in the air or gone over the stone to the other side. Just can’t tell.

    Honestly, I hardly ever leave comments on anyone’s site and I feel I’ve overdone it here. Will do better.

  2. Beth Heath

    Oh Frances, I am so sorry for you. You have done the best you could, despite being a beginner. The best part is that you sought help when you realized you needed it, followed through on the advice, and are much more aware of Bardy’s needs. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Sometimes, despite doing everything right, you still don’t win. Sending good thoughts.

  3. Vicki

    I’m sorry Bardy isn’t bouncing back, and now that you’re armed with more info, maybe his recovery will take wing. I think you’re doing your best by the little guy. I ran across this website (ok, I googled “pet starling”), maybe it’ll be useful.

  4. Judith Garbutt

    Frances there’s every likelihood that that little bird would have been dead long ago if it wasn’t for you. We all learn as we go along and we do the best we can in any given moment. As Beth said, you sought advice when you realised you needed it and you’ve acted upon it so please don’t expend energy feeling guilty.

    The ponies look happy and very ponyish!

  5. Terry Golson

    Do not be too hard on yourself. Wild bird fledglings are notoriously difficult to rehab and raise. If Bardy didn’t fall, something else could easily have gone wrong. Or something was already wrong and that contributed to the fall. This is why birds have such large clutches, and often have more than one during a season – the mortality rate is very high, even when raised by their own parents who know what they’re doing!

  6. Elva

    Baby wild birds are very difficult to help, and it is obvious that you have been trying your absolute hardest. I am sorry that you have had this setback, and I hope, hope that things will turn out well. It is a huge challenge.

  7. Terri

    I echo the above comments — you are doing your best, and you are not neglectful to Bardy or any of your other animals. Fledglings or injured birds are extremely difficult to raise. Even when things seem to be going well, sometimes there’s a turn for the worse, and you feel so helpless. Healing energy/thoughts/vibes/prayers being sent to that tiny little bird in Shetland!

  8. Louise Stopford

    It is very hard to raise wild birds, I know because I have done it. I sometimes wonder how my little pigeon survived (we fed him on porridge oats!!!). He certainly didn’t get the best diet for a young baby but he turned out just fine. This makes me wonder if there is an underlying issue with Bardy. Whatever, you have given him a chance and are doing your best and really no-one could ask any more of you. I will keep everything crossed for him and hopefully we will get some good news next week on his progress.

  9. Shelley

    You have some awfully nice followers Frances. I like what everyone said but my favorite is “you are not a Starling”. And even so you’ve done so well with Bardy. I loved watching him get excited watching the murmuration!

  10. Deb

    Sending healing vibes. But don’t blame yourself, Bardy would have been dead long ago if it wasn’t for you.


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