Overnight guest

Last night Tammy was working in her office and heard a bird in the entryway. This time it was a tiny sparrow fledgling. It easily fit in the palm of my hand when I picked it up. (Tammy isn’t comfortable handling wild birds.) The blackbird fledgling we removed earlier in the summer was larger and quite lively. It willingly gobbled down bits of Atticus’ Fromm’s Small Breed kibble. This little sparrow didn’t seem interested in feeding. Discovered that it was unable to use its right foot, but it was able to move around with the assistance of its wings. The foot itself looked OK but saw what appeared to be a healing injury on its right thigh. It was also missing some feathers on the top of its head.

I brought it inside and put it in a small box with a soft cloth for bedding, then covered the box with a dark cloth so it would have a quiet, snug place to stay until morning.

We have a lively flock of sparrows here. Their chirps are often the first sounds I hear in the morning. When I heard them outside around 7 am, I checked the little sparrow, which was still alive and had a couple droppings in the box, so looks like it wasn’t starving. It looked more alert and greeted me with chirps. I put the box on its side outdoors in a fairly open area and watched. Within minutes sparrows noticed it and gathered, even perched on the top of the box. I saw a couple adults going in and out of the box, hopefully feeding the little one. One also seemed to be trying to coax it out.

I then moved the box to a more protected area near where the sparrows like to perch — between a large arbor vitae and a light pole with a convenient wire. For the past few hours there has never been a time that I didn’t see at least one sparrow keeping watch. When I checked a few minutes ago, the fledgling was not in the box but the other sparrows are still around.

So, looks like the little sparrow has its own kind to care for it. I hope that it continues to heal and can adapt to perching with one leg and be able join its flock in flight.

Update: 30 Aug 2017 8 am

Yesterday afternoon when I returned from my class at the YMCA and running errands, decided to bring in the box after I unloaded the car. It was occupied! When I went out later it was empty again, then again and saw little sparrow on the ground near the tree. So I am leaving the box out for the little sparrow to use as needed.

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email subscriptions

Been immersed in MailChimp for about a week now. There was a learning curve, but I’m feeling confident and it seems to be well designed.

Sign up HERE.

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quest for email subscriber system

Still looking at a Feedburner replacement.

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Facebook angst

This morning someone I know and respect was taken in by a hoax (urban myth). I recalled first reading it in a text-only context, that is before the World Wide Web! The only major “improvement” in all those years was adding some photos.


(Cute rat photo shamelessly stolen from Hoax Slayer.)

Of course there is always an element of truth in a good hoax. For the soda/pop cans, that the contents are high in sugar (which can screw up your metabolism), phosphoric acid (cola beverages, can rob your bones of calcium), artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, etc.

The one about the death due to a bite from a spider that was hiding under a toilet (outhouse) seat appeals in the same way that we find watching scary movies entertaining. Others use emotional appeals: sending a card to the child with cancer, posting in solidarity with Blackhorse Marines for an action in 2010.

A relative also got taken in by one of those “Facebook has removed this post! Share it before it gets removed again!” posts.

Disclosure time. I have managed databases and web sites for many years. There are commands in languages that have been around since the 1960s that can handle stuff like that nicely:

DELETE FROM table name WHERE column ...

You can build filters to keep such posts from appearing or schedule automatic cleanup runs. If you look at the text below the photograph, there are several giveaways.

Marsha Steele Lowry with Wendy Dial Mann and 33 others.
July 12, 2015 ·
Facebook has removed this post! Share it before it gets removed again!

THIS IS WHAT THE CONFEDERATE FLAG IS ALL ABOUT! HONOR AND RESPECT!
HERITAGE! NOT HATRED!
Can I get an Amen?
#StopTheHate

  1. If the post has been removed, how are you able to see it?
  2. The date is July 2015 — that means that the post has been up for over two years!
  3. Come on, what about “dog whistle” phrases do you not get?

I guess that means that the person who has been taken in and shared it assumes that the Facebook staff are really stupid (they are NOT) or careless.

So they tricked an ethical person into feeling righteous and spreading symbols of hate and racism.

Sad, very sad.

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r.i.p. Feedburner

Because Feedburner seems to have become the unwanted stepchild at Google, I am looking at some other options for email subscribers. Check out the Subscribe section in the right column (Widget) or below the Contact Form — uses a shortlink.

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