Independence as a Goal

The starling is seemingly doing alright, although I am a little worried about her poops – not as solid as I would like them. I think it is diet related – the bird mostly gets dog food mixed with boiled egg, several times a day (probably 10 or so). I tried to determine the sex of the starling, but I think it is too early to do this. Apparently one can tell by the eyes: I took this picture, and I think I can detect a suggestion of a yellow ring around the iris. According to this article, this would suggest she is female, but I am really not confident.

I moved the bird to a bigger 20 gallon container with newspaper in it, keeping the smaller container inside this so she can crawl in it if she is cold, or wants protection. She also got a bath.

Although she is never directly exposed to the dogs, I take her with me in her “nest” when I take the dogs for a walk. Outside the dog park, I found a tree that I can leave her in while I take care of the dogs. The other birds seem very supportive of my attempts to raise her, they come to visit the tree, and I notice that she is much more vocal after spending time there. It’s a berry tree, and she loves the berries off of the tree, as well as the ants that I feed her. She has moved from simply taking food off of the end of a plastic spoon, to wanting my finger to push the food in her throat. I think it is the social interaction that she wants. Anyway, I spend time outside with her in the early morning and late evening everyday when the other birds are out. She practices standing on a perch while I move it through the air,

and also spreading her wings (which builds her back muscles and helps to protect against fungi and bacteria),

and finally, some small unintentional falls from about 4 inches so that she learns balance.
Preparing for release is not trivial.

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