Walking from my mother's house to ours, my grandchildren found a young bird hiding in the bushes. It had fallen out of its nest, and although it had feathers and wasn't injured, it couldn't fly. I warned them that it is almost impossible to keep fallen birds alive, and that most likely it would die within a few days, but they brought it home anyway.
We decided that it was a cedar waxwing, and the kids spent a great deal of time finding bugs and berries, including pieces of cherries from our refrigerator.
Remarkably, it did survive the week, somewhat bedraggled, and began to fly around the porch. When I would go outside in the morning, it would be there impatiently waiting. Once, it hopped on to my shoulder. When I tried to wave it off, it hopped on to my yarmulka, and it was in no mood to get off.
Finally, we convinced the kids to let it go, and after a few days of false starts and hops into the neighbor's back yard, they put it into a basket wedged into the crotch of a mulberry tree, and it seemed to settle into its wild life.
This morning, I went outside to clean out the barbecues, and I heard a high pitched warble from above my head. Our waxwing was sitting on the door frame and expecting to be fed. It fluttered down to the barbecue, and my granddaughter came out. It got very excited, fluttering its wings and opening its mouth, and it consumed several cherries. Between the demands of our newest grandchild and this waxwing, it's been lively around here. From other waxwings that I've seen, they're very social birds. I do hope that the bird eventually meets others of its kind and accepts the fact that it's not a human.
After breakfast, it went back to its nest, and had brunch there.