Later on when I was handling him during a feeding (I'd been trying to avoid a lot of hands on contact to give him a better chance of survival in the wild), I noticed he's got a broken leg. So I contacted the wildlife rehab center again and said that I'd be happy to continue raising him, but would they please take a look at his leg and splint it if need be. It turns out they really don't deal with birds at all, but they directed me to a lady in Stayner who might just be interested. So, after a quick phone call I was in the car for the hour long ride to Stayner. The things I do for this bird! I thought the lady was gonna patch him up and we'd be on our way. Instead, when I showed up she took the bird from me, shoe box and all, and told me that once an animal is "put in her care" she really can't allow it to go back home with average joes such as myself.
I have very mixed feelings right now. I'm glad that he'll be raised with a clutch of other injured starlings which will improve his social skills and make him a better wild bird. I'm glad that she knows how to fix his lil broken leg. I'm even kinda glad to not have somebody to feed every 20 minutes. Just a little bit. I also miss that little bird, I've been his momma for 3 days, and I really got a kick out of watching the lil fella grow. I've just built him a fantastic cage. I've got a whole playlist of starling songs on youtube that I was using to teach him what his kin sounds like. I've got towels cut to fit his box. I've got about 5 kilos of cat food. I thought I was in this for the childhood of the bird, it feels like... well, an empty nest! I'm happy that my birdie's gonna get great care, I'm just kind of sad that it won't be my care.
As a side note, I'm sure that cage would make an awesome grazing pen for a couple chickens, or a few rabbit does. Just sayin'. Mom say no... but mom always says no ;-)