Step outside...an adventure awaits!
You just never know what will happen when you go outside with children!
My family was riding home from the park on Friday night and the kids found a Spotted Dove fledgling that had fallen from its nest. It was still alive, but clearly injured and in some distress. I made a decision to let the kids take charge of the situation, so they brought it home and made it a nest in a box. This was how our adventure started!
It was lovely to step back and see how the kids managed the care of the bird. There was a lot of love, some disagreements and then some compromises. There were also many questions!
- How do you tell if it's a boy or a girl?
- What does it eat?
- What does it need to keep it alive?
- How long will it live?
- When should we release it?
- Does it need a bath?
- Should it sleep inside?
We had some moral dilemmas...
- Should we intervene?
- Does it feel happy?
- What would have happened had we left it at the park?
- Does it miss its Mum?
Many of their questions were open-ended so they created discussion. We found differing opinions on what the "right" answer was, or even if there is a right answer.
Enough of the questions though...we needed to do something!
After much mess-making and failed attempts to feed it breakfast cereal, bird seed, chicken pellets and peas, we decided to give baby formula a go.
It drank some from a spoon (I wasn't expecting that!) before nestling down for a long sleep! When it awoke it must have felt a bit better as it managed to escape from its box! Luckily it hadn't gone far and only took a few minutes to find. The kids decided to keep a closer eye on the bird after this.
Who knows what will happen next? We don't know how this will turn out. It's definitely alive. It's healthier than it was when we picked it up. Both feet can grip our fingers now and it can hold its head up properly.
This experience has reminded me of a time when I rescued a baby bird as a child. It's made me realise that kids really don't need to be taught everything. Adults don't always need to know everything. Sometimes it's fun to explore together and to become immersed in an open-ended adventure!
I wonder what adventures await you and your children outside?...