When Susan Hickman first found a cracked bird egg lying on the ground, she didn't think anything of it. Then she picked it up - and the tiniest baby starling emerged.
That was the moment that changed both Hickman's and the bird's lives forever.
Hickman was unable to find a nest where the baby bird could have came from, and she knew his chances of survival were slim no matter what. So she took the tiny bird home and named him Klinger.
Hickman's friends who were experienced in bird rescue warned her that Klinger would probably not make it. The bird was so incredibly small, and needed to be fed every 20 to 30 minutes for the first two weeks. Hickman made him a makeshift incubator, and hoped for the best.
Somehow Klinger survived the first night ...
... and then another ...
... and soon, the tiny survivor was growing feathers.
Eventually he opened his eyes ...
... and after that, there was no turning back.
Klinger grew and grew, until he could feed himself and fly, just like a regular bird.
He also learned how to take baths, which he LOVED ...
... and even how to play with toys and talk.
While Hickman had every intention of releasing Klinger back into the wild once he was old enough, she soon realized that wouldn't be possible. Because Klinger was raised as the only bird among humans and imprinted on Hickman, he lacked the survival skills he would need to make it in the wild.
Instead, Klinger has found a forever home with Hickman. While it's not a normal life for a starling, Klinger looks like he's as happy as can be, and that's what counts.
Check out the full video of Klinger's rescue and rehabilitation below: