Ickle Pickle

This is Pickle, a nestling blackbird, so named because she was in a proper pickle when next door's kitten Crystal took her in to my neighbour's bedroom from her nest when she was just about 10 days only, unable to even hop around. My neighbour thought she was dead & was just about to put her in a plastic bag when her little eyelids fluttered so she called me to ask for my help. I never expected her to last the night but made her a little nest in a large storage box & fed her every hour until sunset. The following morning at sunrise I went in to check on her dreading what I might find. Imagine my surprise & delight when I was greeted with her chirping away opening her mouth wide to be fed.
Pickle continued to develop daily. Within a couple of days she developed into a fledgling, hopping around her storage box & flapping her wings trying to fly. She gradually started to lose her little tufts of baby feathers and feeding then reduced from hourly from sunrise to sunset to every 2-3 hours.
After another week when she was desperate to fly I made the big decision to release Pickle into my garden so she could venture into the woods & try to feed herself but at night she came back & was housed in next door's shed where my neighbour had put some branches as perches. She still wasn't feeding herself & was coming down into the lower branches of the trees in my garden for me to hand feed her.
Pickle started to feed herself after a few more days but still liked an occasional hand feed & loved to sit in the bowl of mealworms on the ground chatting away to me as she fed herself. Whenever I went out into the garden she always came down singing & chatting away to me & if she didn't hear me come out I would call her name & she would come flying to see me. She loved to enjoy her mealworms which she fed herself & suet pellets which she liked me to hand feed her then she would hop over to one of my bird baths & have a drink then hope over to another & have a bath before hopping into the woods tossing around fallen leaves looking for insects. I used to stay near her to make sure she was safe from Crystal, next door's kitten, until she became aware of predators & would fly off into the safety of the woods. Then a few days ago I went out into the garden to see Crystal jumping out of the tree & I could hear Pickle but she didn't sound her chirpy self, she sounded weak. I went to my lilac tree & she flew down to me but, to my dismay her left wing was hanging down & she was missing lots of feathers from her back & had blood on her head & back. I took her to the vet by which time she seemed to be much better & was given great news that her wing wasn't broken & was told to keep her inside & he gave me some antiseptic to bathe her wounds with twice a day. It was a difficult decision as I'd become so attached to Pickle as she had to me but she had to be relocated so, after discussions with my neighbour, it was decided that she would take her to her brother's mobile home in Stafford which had a huge garden & was right by a river, a canal & woodland so perfect for Pickle to hopefully establish her new territory. I was going to buy an aviary for him to keep her in in the meantime until she got used to her new surroundings & her feathers had grown back properly although they were growing fast. He decided he would build an aviary for her as the ones to buy were very small & he wanted to make it safe so that she could get back in to safety with no predators able to get inside. Yesterday I sobbed my heart out as I said goodbye to my Ickle Pickle but it was bittersweet as I knew she would be taken care of & hopefully have a wonderful life safe away from Crystal who seemed to be obsessed with her & would never leave her alone. My neighbour's brother is making the aviary but, in the meantime, he has taken the glass out of his greenhouse & put aviary mesh around it & my neighbour & her sister brought lots of branches & leaves to make it more like a home for Pickle. Hop

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Comment by lizd31 on August 4, 2019 at 16:31

Sorry the full story was too long, here is the end...or not...I'm hoping that the story will continue to be a happy one with no more traumas for poor Ickle Pickle who has gone through so much in her short life. She's a real fighter & very resilient so fingers crossed. Here is the final bit of the story...so far!

Hopefully she will soon be able to be released but I feel that she may always be quite tame & if she stays around her new territory my neighbour says she will take me to visit her. I wonder if she will remember me & get as excited as she did the last few weeks whenever she saw me.

Comment by lizd31 on August 7, 2019 at 12:26

I am absolutely devasted I am absolutely devastated & heartbroken. My Ickle Pickle sadly died during the night at her new home in Stafford. She must have got an infection from the attack by Crystal last Wednesday morning. She seemed to be doing so well, her feathers were growing back quickly & she was chirping away wanting to be fed by her new carer, Steven & his son but she slowly just seemed to fade away like she'd lost all her energy, bless her. She was a very special little blackbird who I never expected to survive her first night but she went from a nestling to a fledgling then a juvenile and was the happiest little bird ever, singing all the time when she saw me. I can't stop crying. I know some people will think she's only a blackbird but she came through so much & had a happy life although a short one & it was a pleasure taking care of her even though it was such hard work. Rest in peace Ickle Pickle xxx

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