I apologize for bumming y’all out. And, I have much more fun posts in the pipeline here. But I feel the need to share.
This morning, while walking my dog, I saw what looked like a bird’s nest. Only, I was looking down when I spotted it; i.e., it was on the ground, specifically on my neighbor’s walkway, under the tree. Something is wrong with this picture, I thought. I crept closer to investigate, cautiously so as not to frighten any birds. A non-injured bird did fly away from next to the nest, and I suspect that this bird did not belong to that nest and was just checking things out as I was. When I got closer, I realized there was a bird there, but it had apparently landed upside down, so that its head ended up between the walkway and the grass edge. It was breathing, steadily, in and out, as if it were sleeping.
It so happens that we have a wildlife rescue place really close to us. We found this out after some inquiries when a bird was sitting on our porch, and we deduced that it had flown into our front door and stunned itself. The nice people at Second Chance Wildlife Center tried, but our porch bird didn’t make it through the night. It had too much brain damage. Anyway, I checked the site and discovered that Second Chance doesn’t open until 9:00 a.m. which was still 2 hours away at that point. I decided I’d go to work, then call my neighbor and clue her into the existence of Second Chance (you really wouldn’t know it was there unless you knew it was there) in case she wanted to take it there. Her kids would probably love to go, I reasoned, because they have skunks and turtles and other things you don’t see all the time, getting all better so they can be released. She wasn’t home. I left a message.
My husband, upon hearing this story said I could have woken him up. I wish I had. Even if my neighbor got the message, there’s a good chance the bird would have expired on its own, or had become an easy target for a feral cat.
I failed you, little birdie. I hope where you are now there’s endless clear blue sky, gourmet bird seed, and nests that stay put.
Update: I finally spoke to my neighbor, and she did get my message. She said that when she went to check it out, the bird was still belly-up and breathing, as it had been when I saw it. She returned the nest to the tree and placed the bird back in there. She told me that the “Mama bird” came back to feed it, and kept doing so for about a week. After that, the nest was abandoned. We don’t understand why, but at least we know the fallen bird kept going strong for a week, so it wasn’t doomed like I’d thought. So I feel much better about the whole thing.