When Ales and Janja rescued a baby sparrow they didn’t know at the time that she would become a big part of her family. A friend of theirs found the fledgling all alone in a town in Slovenia. Their friend asked for help, so they brought the small and fragile baby home to try and save her. They hand-fed her wet cat food (a recommended food for baby birds) and kept her warm in a shoebox.
As “Chibi” grew, they slowly built a sparrow habitat for her in their living room. They learned Chibi loved to eat. She grew up fast but slowly built up to learning to fly.
As soon as she was confident in her flying, Ales and Janja realized it was time to set her free. They knew this didn’t want to let her go in their neighborhood, which had many cats around. So they arranged to release Chibi in a friend’s large garden. The night before the couple were emotional, both concerned and sad to say goodbye to their feathered friend.
They put her little house in their friend’s garden and readied to say goodbye. She sat on their shoulders and flew into the tree. But she kept coming back to them. They repeated the process a few days and realized Chibi didn’t want to leave them.
They also realized that if she could fly around but would come back to them, they could keep Chibi at their home and make her life as free as possible. They felt it was a reasonable compromise because she seems happy with them and her routine is quite different from wild birds.
So now Chibi has become family and they travel to the beach and she sits on their shoulder or rides on their backpack while they take her on adventures.
She will take baths in the water and poke around in the shells and pebbles at the beach. And she is content in her unique sparrow habitat – their home.