Ella The Red Robin

by Roger
(Fresno, Ca)

Caring For Baby Robin

About two years or so ago we found a baby Robin in our yard. It was a nestling that was abruptly pushed out of its nest.

We brought Ella in and fed her, and watched her grow. One day she decided she wanted to fly.

Not so successfully, she attempted a very awkward trial flight from my finger.

After landing abruptly on our carpet, she decided flight was overrated and began hopping. She loved hopping on the carpet.

Ella was treated like our child. She was fed, petted, and watched over as her parents would watch her.

Our son would call her name from his bedroom down the hall and she would hop her way to him from the living room.

As she grew, we moved her home from a box to a cage but left the door open.

She would jump from stick to stick, swing on the swing, and play with her mirror and bell. Inside the cage, she would flap her wings to help her jump.

One day, almost overnight, her wings became too long to flap in the cage and I assumed it was time to let her try to fly from my finger again.

This attempt proved to be more successful.

Ella flew from my finger to the mantle, from the mantle to the fan in the living room.

I stood there with a broad smile until I noticed the den's fan was on.

I ran to the switch and noticed Ella eyeing my movements and the fan in the den.

I hit the switch and reach up to stop the blades from turning, just in time for Ella to land on one.

She flew about the house from that day on. Her cage was merely a resting stop for a short night's sleep.

Early morning was announced by Ella who gleefully met us in the morning with a song.

Her tone was almost demanding as she chirped and whistled us awake, as if to say, "hurry, get up and look how beautiful the day is starting!" Her sheer joy was contagious.

All was not perfect with Ella flying about.

She may have eaten like a bird, but she relieved herself like a drunken sailor, everywhere!

We constantly cleaned up after her as she flew from one room fan to another.

The attention she needed was significant. One day we took her outside and opened the cage door.

She jumped out and stood on top of the cage as if the world was too big, the sky too blue, and the noise too loud.

The noise was other birds, of all species singing joyfully in the trees.

Ella stood there for a long time, looking and listening. She finally got up the nerve and flew 30 feet to the neighbor's shed roof.

Worried something bad might happen, my wife called her name "Ella, Ella come here Ella" and without hesitation, Ella flew back to her cage.

Gail, my wife thought that should be enough adventure for today and brought her back in.

For the rest of the day, Ella sang and flew about the house stopping at everyone's shoulder as if to tell them of the adventure she had that day.

The next day our son Steven and Gail took her outside again. This time Ella stood in the cage for only a minute then flew to the shed once again.

It was familiar territory for her and the flight was short enough for her to build her courage.

This time Ella knew what she had to do, she had to see more of this big world she had just met. Ella flew off.

Thinking Ella was gone for good, Both Gail and Steven went back into the house. They left the cage outside, in case Ella needed a place to stay.

A couple of hours later, Steven and Gail went back outside but Ella was nowhere to be seen. Steven called her name only twice.

Shortly after the second time, Ella proudly flew in, like a dive bomber, and landed on Steven's head.

He reached up and she jumped onto his hand, in a position she had been in for weeks before. Now ever since Ella was found we have pet her.

Every time we pet Ella she would shutter, almost vibrate, and hum, similar to a cat purring.

Steven had Ella in his hand and he pet her, without fail Ella shivered and hummed.

By now Ella was almost fully grown. Her chest was red and her wings were fully developed.

Ella stayed for only one more night. the next day when she was let loose, she flew away.

For the past two springs, we have looked for Ella, and called her name but it wasn't until this past spring that we thought we saw her, An adult female red robin landed on the neighbor's shed roof, sat there, and looked at us.

She sang and we called out to her "Ella", and with only a moment's hesitation the bird we thought might be Ella, flew off to join the rest of the adults in the trees surrounding our home.

Just this afternoon we found another nestling, this time a starling baby. We left her outside to see if her mom will take care of her, if not, we will name her tomorrow.

birds and blooms magazine cover pioneer woman magazine cover people-magazine cover first for women magazine cover
Birds and Blooms Pioneer Woman People Magazine First For Women

Comments for Ella The Red Robin

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May 21, 2017
need help
by: Anonymous

A wonderful story I'm in the same position with a damaged wing. Tell me how to feed this tiny robin esp. in the winter. Mom is feeding her right now Susie at sr591@msn.com Thanks

Mar 10, 2013
by: john a

Wonderful story, I once found a baby jack rabbit and had the same story, beautiful.

Sep 14, 2011
Foe Ella & Poopsie the Robins
by: Anonymous

WOW! What fantastic stories, I am really impressed by both families, and it has really lifted my heart!

I love nature especially little birds, sounded like lots of fun, (messy) I know, but memories you will cherish forever. Lucky You! Robins too.... Thank you for sharing your story, I loved it! :) x

Nov 15, 2010
Poopsie The Robin
by: Aundrea

It was so nice to read your story. In July of this year (2010) my husband found a baby robin on the road and brought her home.

She was very small and could not fly as well. She did the same hoping on the carpet and jumping form one figure to the other for about two weeks until she began to fly.

I totally understand what you mean about the pooping thing. I never knew that a little thing could poop so much!! ?.. LOL in fact we named her Poopsie.

She eats a lot for her size as well. She eats around 8-10 earth worms a day she will also eat dried cranberries, or green peppers or cucumbers through out the day.

In fact she will eat out the whole inside of a large cucumber in a day they are her favorite.

She loves to play! She will run around on the counter chasing my fingers snapping, biting and jumping at me like a cat chasing your hand.

I also will give her a piece of candy that is in plastic and she will pick it up and shake her head like a dog until she opens it.

She doesn't eat the candy she just wants it out of the plastic and then never touches it again.

She loves to sit on our shoulders pull on our close and hair and loves to sit on our fingers pinching and play as much as she can.

Something funny is most birds are very cute and graceful when they take a bath.. LOL not this one, she slashes the water everywhere like a child learning to swim.

She thinks that her whole body must be soaked. In fact most of the time she is so wet that I have to get the hairdryer out because she is so cold.

Who would of know that a bird would love have her feathers blown dry with a hairdryer.

She loves to sing as well and sometimes at the oddest times. Anytime music is on she will sing but she also sings to the vacuum cleaner, and hairdryer.

One thing we don't understand is when we are watching TV anytime someone is screaming on the TV she begins to sing. Very odd!!

But I will say there is nothing like having a bird singing in your house. It brings a smile to your face every time. It's almost like having spring time in your home all the time.

One mystery we have is she began to molt and lose her fathers in August. Her chest went from being white and black to reddish orange, and her wings grew nice new feathers.

Although she lost the feathers on her head and has been bold now for 3 months. We are hoping she grows them back? It's really weird and odd to carry a bold red robin everywhere you go.

She is very spoiled as well she has a cage a home and one at our office.

I take her back and forth in a small pet taxi everyday from home and work. In fact she is so used to being around me anytime I walk out of the room and away from her site she starts screaming like she is afraid I left her.

In the mornings she listens for me to move in the bed and begins to scream from the kitchen to let me know she is ready to get out and see me.

Our family loves her to death but none the less she is a LOT of work!

Jul 25, 2010
by: Marianne

OMG What an absolutely wonderful story. Your adventures with Ella are so very, very special and joyful.

Having Ella in your life was something that you will cherish forever. She was a very special and very lucky bird.

God Bless you and Ella and I sincerely hope you have many more of these adventures. Thank you for sharing!

What Robins Eat and Nest

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