1010 WINS — Every night, a little sparrow named Sandy flies home to the people who rescued her and nursed her back to health.

Sierra Neal and her boyfriend, Doug, had recently moved to a new home near Burbank, California, when they noticed baby birds kept falling out of a nest.

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While most of them didn’t make it, Doug found a live one on the ground near their garage. The sparrow was just a few days old and had fallen out of her nest, so the pair quickly decided to care for her.

Sierra tells 1010 WINS, “It was sort of the first pet that we had had together as a couple. We just moved here. It was sort of exciting.”

They decided to do their research on caring for Sandy because they were afraid neighborhood cats would get to her if they put her back outside, and the nest was up too high to reach.

So the pair gave her food and made her a home out of a berry carton, and it wasn’t long before Sandy bonded with her new family. Only a day or two after starting to fly around the room, she began to perch on their hands and shoulders.

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More than two months after they took her in, Sierra and Doug felt she was healthy enough to experience the outside world.

Credit: Sierra Neal

Sierra says the first day was really scary, explaining, “She was gone for a few hours, and we weren’t sure if she was going to be able to find her way back.”

But she did, and since then, Sandy has been going out flying with her bird friends in the neighborhood all day long, before heading back home each night.

Sierra is ready for the day that Sandy is ready to fend for herself, and they’re even prepared to take in a new baby bird next spring.

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But for now, she and Doug are thrilled Sandy continues to return home to the only parents she’s ever known.