Twenty years ago, when I lived in Kentucky, I was visiting
my mom and dad. My dad was putting a new section onto my mom's room. When
he opened the wall there were little birds in a nest with no feathers on
them, they were sparrows. He grabbed one and stepped on it. I started
screaming and grabbed the other little bird. Everyone said that the bird
would die and suffer and it was better that I killed it. But I drove to
Kentucky, about a twelve hour trip. Every two hours the bird would start
crying for food, so I would pull over and feed him bread dipped in milk.
I kept the bird in a box in my living room and fed him every several
hours. I kept him covered up to keep warm at night and the routine went on
day after day. Finally the little bird started to grow feathers. One day
he flew to the edge of the box and the expression on his face was very
interesting. I could see exactly what he was thinking. He was thinking,
"How did I get up here". He really didn't know that he could fly.
He started to grow up and could fly to the curtains or other places in
the house, but he still didn't have the ability to fly very far. He would
come and sit next to my head as I was laying down watching TV and he wanted
to be rubbed. I would rub him for about a half hour straight, every day,
while he squawked very loudly, continuously. It was super interesting to
watch this little bird grow up.
I ended up calling him Aviator and the name stuck. Sometimes I would let
him sit on the railing on the front porch. All of the other sparrows would
come out of the trees and talk to him for hours at a time, but he never flew
away. Finally, I started him on flight lessons. I would take him into the
yard and throw him into the air. He could fly, but would lose altitude
until he landed on the ground. It took almost a week of this before he was
able to fly like a regular bird. So he would fly around all day long and
play with his friends that he met on the porch.
One day I was at my neighbors house, which was about two hundred feet
down the hill, and since it was about time to eat, Aviator came out of the
woods and landed on my shoulder. I was talking to Homer, who was about
ninety years old, and he was totally surprised to see the bird man of
Kentucky standing right in front of him. Aviator was an instant success and
Homer and his wife Silva loved the little bird and would feed him too.
One day I was in Paducah and Aviator was outside
playing. Feeding time came along and I wasn't there. When I got home, he
would come and sit on the rail, but would never let me pick him up or ever
come into the house. He was a wild bird from then on. He was around for
the whole two years that I lived on Kentucky Lake and we could recognize him
because he would walk with the tips of his wings dragging the ground. Also,
when I would walk into the yard, all of the birds would fly away, but
Aviator would just sit in the bush and let me talk to him. I had to move
from Kentucky and that was the last time that I saw the little bird. He was
So that's the story of my bird, Aviator.