MacKenzie’s Big Adventure!

Hi, my name is MacKenzie and I am a baby American Robin. This is the story of my big adventure.

I was named MacKenzie by a nice person from Facebook. When I first hatched, I lived in a nest with my two brothers, my sister, and my mom and dad. Our nest was on a window-ledge of the Canadian Museum of Nature’s research and collections facility. Below is a nice picture of me and my siblings.

The American Robin (Turdus migratorius) nest with four eggs.

I'm the one on the right. Aren't I cute? Image: Russ Brooks © Canadian Museum of Nature

Everything was going great until the day I fell from my nest.

I really don’t remember what happened. All I know is that one minute I was in my nest, and the next minute I was falling.

When I fell, it really hurt a lot! My leg was really sore and I was scared because I couldn’t get back to my home and my family. Luckily, Pierre happened to pass by and saw me on the ground. Pierre Poirier is the nice man who was taking photos and video of my family.

Here’s a link to our family photo album if you are interested in seeing it: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150687962110125.699735.23627040124

Pierre called a friend of his at the museum named Michel Gosselin. Michel knows a lot about birds, and he put me into a safe box with some nice soft cotton batting. I was more comfortable, but I was still hurt, hungry, alone and scared! Here is a picture of me in the box that Michel gave me.

The young American Robin in its box on the ground beside the building.

I wonder why mom and dad didn't make our nest out of cotton... it's soft! Image: Russ Brooks © Canadian Museum of Nature

My mom and dad were so busy feeding my brothers Jack and J-Bird, and my sister Dot, that they weren’t able to take care of me any longer. That is when I met Russ, another friend of Pierre’s from the museum. Russ picked me up and took me on my very first bike ride. He knew of a great place to take me, where I would be taken care of. Russ and his friend Melanie fed me that night and made sure that I was warm and safe. Lucky for me, Melanie knows a lot about taking care of birds. Here’s a picture of me being fed!

The young American Robin being fed using a feeding-syringe.

More, more, more! Image: Russ Brooks © Canadian Museum of Nature

And here’s another picture of me after enjoying a good meal. I guess I look a little grumpy because my leg was still hurting.

The young American Robin in the cotton-lined box.

Time for bed—please close my lid. Image: Russ Brooks © Canadian Museum of Nature

The next morning I got to take my first ride in a car. We were on our way to the Wild Bird Care Centre. I was very happy in the car; I was tweeting along with the music. I really liked Supertramp and Queen. I was quiet during Billy Idol… just not my style of music I guess.

Before I knew it, we were at the Wild Bird Care Centre in Nepean, Ontario. When we got there, we met a really nice man who gave me a check-up. I was still really sore and had these annoying mites all over me, but I knew that I was in a place that was going to take good care of me. Here is a picture of me with Sana; he’s the nice man who gave me my check-up.

Sana holding the young American Robin.

Sana… he took very good care of me. Image: Russ Brooks © Canadian Museum of Nature

The people at the Wild Bird Care Centre gave me medicine to get rid of those annoying mites. Yuck! They also helped me regain my strength. Once I was ready, I was introduced to a whole new family. I got spent a few days with other fledglings just like me. That was really fun because I was finally able to fly with other birds. Here is a picture of the Wild Bird Care Centre… I was inside. :)

The exterior of the Wild Bird Care Centre.

I loved it at the Wild Bird Care Centre. They were sooooo nice to me! Image: Russ Brooks © Canadian Museum of Nature

Then, just a couple of days later, my new brothers and sisters and I were released back into nature.

Thank you to everyone who helped me along the way on my great adventure!

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8 Responses to MacKenzie’s Big Adventure!

  1. Hi MacKenzie! It was nice to have met you even though you must not have been entirely thrilled to suddenly be stuck hanging with us humans for a bit instead of your wonderful parents and siblings. I am very glad everything worked out for you and your family! All the best and hope to spot you back again happy and healthy and all grown up next spring. Melanie

  2. trishymouse says:

    Thanks for sharing your story with us, MacKenzie. You are one lucky bird! :)

    Another story about a bird being helped by people is one I told recently, about my rooster, Rudy – http://billswoman.blogspot.com/2011/07/four-days-later.html

    • MacKenzie Robin says:

      I am very lucky :) Glad you enjoyed my story Trishymouse… Rudy’s story is also very remarkable!

  3. Skye Cameron says:

    Glad to hear you’re doing well, MacKenzie! Pierre and his friends sure are nice and caring people. Your parents couldn’t have chosen a better location for your nest. Make sure you visit Pierre and give him a tweet hello!

  4. Kim Fleury says:

    Hi MacKenzie! My daughter was the nice person on Facebook who chose your name to honor the Canadian Prime Minister. We were so excited when the people at the Canadian Museum of Nature’s research and collections facility agreed it was a good choice.

    Coincidentally, my daughter once rescued a baby robin blown from its nest (we don’t know if it was a girl or boy). There was a sudden wind storm, and some children outside playing were called into the closest apartment for safety. The neighbor had the children phone their mothers to let them know they were safe. As soon as the storm passed, she sent them all home. They ran past a tree, and my daughter saw one of the little boys stop and bend down to look in the grass. His mother told him to get in the house, so he did, but my daughter was curious about what he was looking at.

    She went over to investigate, and found two baby robins and the upside down nest. The parents were beside themselves with worry, constantly calling to their babies. Tragically, the little boy had stepped on one of the babies. The other was alert and didn’t seem to be injured.

    The weather was precarious all that day, so I decided to bring both babies into my apartment. I don’t know much about taking care of birds, but I knew it would be dangerous for the healthy one to be left in the cold rain and wind. As for the injured baby, I was sentimental – couldn’t bear the thought of it suffering more than it already was.

    The poor little thing was severely injured, not likely to survive even with the best medical care. It was heartbreaking. I wasn’t sure if I was making the right decision, if bringing it into the warmth only prolonged its suffering. We lined a small basket with cotton and tried to make it as comfortable as possible. It died after many hours. We stayed by its side until the end.

    The survivor was a pert little thing, very chipper. All I knew about baby birds is that they need to be fed every hour or two round-the-clock. I don’t even remember what we fed it but I remember it had a mega-appetite. My daughter was faithful in her adoptive mothering duties, setting her alarm every two hours that first night. We hoped to be able to put the nest back into the tree the next day, but it wasn’t possible. Baby Robin was given a spot on the windowsill in my daughter’s room, where it sat and cheeped happily in the breeze. Pretty soon the parents began calling, sitting on our roof, trying to figure out a way to get their baby back. They kept making flybys, calling all the while. Their calls grew more desperate, urgent, as the day drew on. And Baby Robin answered cheerfully each time. Finally, in a most desperate move, Papa Robin aimed straight at the screen separating him from his child. Baby Robin was so startled it screeched, jumped, and fell off the windowsill onto my daughter’s bed. Papa hit the screen but recovered and flew away. Baby jibbered at my daughter and snuggled into her neck when she held it close. They became inseparable. (It was early enough in the season that Mama and Papa soon built another nest in the same tree and had more babies; they didn’t try to contact Baby Robin again).

    My daughter had a school mate whose parents did wild rescue (the mother worked for a veterinarian), and we wanted to be sure Baby Robin had the best chance of growing up to be a Robin, so they agreed to give it proper care until it could survive on its own. They kept us updated, so we knew when she was taken out to fledge, and how she went out on experimental excursions on her own until she just never came back to them. Just as it should be.

    Well, MacKenzie, it’s quite a coincidence that you had a great adventure yourself, after being named by the girl who once rescued another like you. I look forward to being a sort of great-grandmother to your own little ones – and I hope they don’t meet with dangerous adventures.

  5. MacKenzie Robin says:

    Kim, thank you for your comment and thank your daughter for naming me! :)
    Also, thank you both for taking care of that other poor baby robin who fell out of the nest… I know that it’s a long scary fall and it’s nice that people like you and your daughter are out there to help us when we need it. Gotta fly!

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