After a day of travel and unwinding into the salty air of a far off enclave, we spent the day at the Hope town beach. The crystal sea foam water and white sand was paradise and life was good, but on the way back to the house, on the very few concrete roads of civilization, a tiny creature struggled in the afternoon blazing sun. It felt like fate that I happen to stumble upon a nestling on the street to the local bakery.
With a nest so high on a telephone pole and no mother in site, I felt obligated to help this hopeless bird. What is the right thing to do I asked myself? I know the island is streaming with wandering cats and on the road well taken, I knew this birdie didn't have a chance.
I knew a little about taking care of a baby bird but I am no expert, so maybe it was selfish to take the fate of this bird into my hands, but I did feel like it was the best option at the time. I brought her home and fed her. I fed it probably 12 times a day. The little guy seemed desperate to live. For something just born, vulnerable and dependent, instinct came natural and I had the joy of watching a small life nestle in a bowl of tissue (a makeshift nest) for a week. It's strength for survival amazed me—just watching her flip herself over was incredible. We named her Mongo.
After a night of caring for Mongo, we returned to the nest and saw the mother sitting on it high up on the pole. It was a ring dove. We asked a local if there was an animal rescue on the island and he suggested we talk to Candy Cay, a local lady who kept parrots and other birds—she would be able to help. After talking to her and her schedule being too busy to mother such a baby, she said we could pass the birdie off to her if it survived the week. I was determined to keep this little guy alive so it could one day meet its mother and siblings it once shared its nest with.
The night before I would pass the bird off to a better trained "bird lady", after feeding and keeping it warm for 6 days, I fed Mongo one last time. We watched a movie and I checked on Mongo and he had passed. With no warning or any signs my novice eye could see, the little birdie died.
I wish I was better prepared. I wish I had known more. I wish I had just put her in a basket in a nearby tree in hopes that her real mother would find her. I have so many regrets and in the end I am not sure I did the right thing. Maybe I missed Pico so much and this little bird was a weak replacement. I don't know. In the end it was a lesson for me and I will always remember little birdie Mongo. ox