Chapter 3

The Rose & the Birds

(Prince Charles)

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   The last bird Rose raised was one that Rose and Sher found while picking blackberries. They both heard a baby bird chirping in the briers and they followed the sound until they seen a baby bird with no feathers sitting on the ground in the briers. It was too far in to reach and they looked up to see if they could see a nest that it may have fallen out of but there were no trees close but there in a tall bush was a nest about 5 foot off of the ground. In the nest was a dead baby bird and ants were all over it.

   Sher went back up to the house and put on an old pair of motocross boots I had for motorcycle trail riding years before and she put on an old coat and a pair of my work gloves and took a shovel with her to beat some of the blackberry briers down so she could reach the baby bird. As soon as she picked up the bird, it quieted down and went to sleep in her warm hands.

   Again it was not identifiable with no feathers. We assumed it must be a finch of some kind. As the baby grew and feathered out we got a surprise. It was an Indigo Bunting. The prettiest little bird we had seen in a long time and it was a male because of the color.  

   We decided his color was a royal blue and since Prince Charles was visiting the US, we decided to name him “Charles” as his official name and “Charlie Bird” as his nickname. Charles learned to fly in the house and was not taken outside, except in his cage. Charles was let out every day to exercise and did he exercise. He flew figure “8”s  over and under the beams and did it so fast it scared us that he would hit something.


   Charles, like the quail, took to some people and hid from others and we never figured out how he made his decisions as to who to trust. He would hid behind a beam and just peek around the beam at times to keep an eye on a person that he didn’t trust. While others he would fly down and land on their shoulder. Charles made this decision right away so some times it would startle someone new as he would land on them before we had a chance to warn them that he was up in the rafters.  Charles did not like to be held or even to be touched. When he was in the cage on his perch Rose would put her hand in the cage and put one finger under his breast and he would hop up on her finger and she could lift him out that way. She never had to put him back in the cage because when Charles got his fill of flying he would go get in his cage and up on his perch by himself.

   Rose always let him out first thing in the morning for his morning flight and I would get a bowel of cereal and a cup of coffee for breakfast. One morning Charles stopped his flying routine and landed on the table and hopped over to see what I was doing. He just hopped around and watched what I was doing eating.

   Some birds don’t drink water from a puddle or container. They get their water from the edge of a leaf or anything that would have water drip off of so we installed a drip feeder in his pen. While on the table I dipped my finger into my coffee and offered Charles a drop on the end of my finger. And to my surprise he took it and flew off. I didn’t think much about until he showed up at the table the next morning again and I offered him another drop and he took it and went up flying his figure “8”s .

    This continued for a week when Rose and I talked about it, we decided that coffee was not a natural drink for a little bird and we were afraid it might harm him, so the next morning I didn’t offer Charles his drop of coffee. He approached my cup and I shooed him away several times until he made a little half fly and half hop over my hand and he landed in my cup. Rose grabbed him and we decided he needed to be cleaned because if we let him clean his feathers he would surely overdose on coffee. Rose washed him in warm water with no soap of any kind as we knew he would be fixing feathers all day now, and that is just what he did.  

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