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LIFE WITH BIRDS is a web-comic strip about living with pet birds. The story can be funny, sad or heartwarming. It's a mix between personal experience and wild imagination of my life as an artist and a bird parent. All the characters in my comic are based on the real birds that I have/had. New comic is released once in 2 weeks here. Special bird comics (full page, several pages long) are posted on my Patreon for patrons only.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Feeding a sparrow

Bird comics about life with birds
Some of you who follow me on FB and Tumblr know that I rescued a wild sparrow fledgling last month. His left foot up to 1/3 of his tarsal has dried up (gangrene) and the calf was infected from wound that looks like it was caused by a fiber or something like that wrapped around it. He might have trashed around when his left leg was trapped, dislocated his left knee and tightened the fiber knot in the process, making the blood supply to his left foot cut off and the foot died. His gangrene fell off completely yesterday & his wound is healing nicely. He's bonded with me and will have his forever home here. Once his infection has been 100% healed, I'll introduced him to my finch gang, I bet they'll be amazed looking at him, a tough kid with 1 foot... and more, because he likes eating the green pellets!! Ooh... Petpet will be hysterical...! :D

Back to today comic, I just want to highlight the part of doing whatever it takes to make a sick bird, especially a wild one, to eat his food! Birds that no longer want to eat will have a very small chance to survive. So we have to research what they eat in the wild for basic knowledge. But each bird is a different bird. Each has his own favorite food, his personal choice of color, texture, shape, taste, temperature and presentation of the food. We might have to make a weird voice and feed him while cuddling, or feed him bit by bit with a toothpick from a distance, anything that makes him comfortable and feel safe to eat. It will take a lot of time to help him eat untill his crop full. We need to be highly creative and patient when we take care of a bird who is afraid of us or doesn't have appetite to eat. Consider this long feeding time as a good way to gain his trust. We use food treat to tame birds and other animals anyway, right? :D

Sparrows regurgitate their food for their nestlings, just like parrots. Once the kids grow up into fledglings, they'll feed them insects and other food that they will eat later as an adult. One thing for sure, baby sparrows need higher protein intake from their meals than baby parrots do. But not so much anymore once they are a fledgling since they don't have to double their body size every week and only need a few more feathers to grow here and there. They are weaning and start eating like an adult. I also read lots of articles in the internet related on sparrows and his special condition. Once I've found an interesting idea/method/ingredient, etc to use/help the sparrow, I'll research more on it to read various pro and con opinions about it. I use herbs for oral meds and antibiotic salve for topical treatment on wounds. I'm also lucky to have an avian vet tech friend from U.S. whom I can discuss things with and give me useful tips like peeling off scabs that circling around the calf so that it won't suppress the blood circulation.

And finally....
Here's what everyone has been waiting for! HIS NAME!! :D

It's Pork Chop. <3
Lol, what a weird name! :D It was a nickname for my lovebird, Pocky, actually. He reminds me a lot of Pocky because he is a real fighter just like Pocky was. From various names I said to him, he only turned his head to me when I said Chop-chop! Not sure why, perhaps because it sounds like sarcasm? Lol. :V If you like him, you can follow his story and progress on my FB or Tumblr. :) This is him below.

tamed pet sparrow

This is the current condition of his left foot taken this morning. You can see more of his photos and read more about his treatments on his album HERE.

sparrow with 1 foot

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  1. Ah, his dead foot fell off on it's own. Somehow, I think that's a good sign.
    In Australian slang, to "carry on like a pork chop" is to act crazy or in a silly manner to attract attention. :)

  2. Aww, Pork Chop is a cute name! He looks like he has attitude already LOL

  3. Newest member of the family, welcome Pork chop :D
    Great cartoon Em.

  4. Welcome to the family, Chopchop! :D

  5. I hand raised a wild house Sparrow 5 years ago, he bites now but still steps up. Unfortunately I could not release Little Bird because he broke his wing when he fell and it never healed right. But he's happy in his cage alone with his mirror bells that he attacks

    1. yeah, mine also likes mirror, but he likes out of cage playtime most :)

  6. very funny if we could understand what the birds want, these cartoons are very entertaining and very touching

  7. Sparrow wants his food live and wiggling and not dropped on the ground it gets too dirty


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