08 November 2008
I was seated at my dining room table this morning, reading the newspaper.
"Stupid Bird", my husband said.
I looked at him puzzled, and turned around towards the window.
As I was turning, there was an enormous crash as a bird slammed into the picture window. I saw two other birds, large, black grackles, turn suddenly upward and fly over the house. At the same time, a big squirrel with a bushy tail jumped several feet, away from the edge of the pond, scampering down the wall. I didn't see the bird that hit.
"I meant the bird looking in the empty feeder. Not that one," my husband said.
I looked for but didn't see the bird that had mistaken my dirty window for clear air. He had hit hard and it would have been about a 15 foot drop to the patio below. I didn't think that he had survived.
I watched the squirrel on the driveway. He looked to see if there was a present danger before scaling the stone wall again to slink near to the edge of the pond. At first he sat on the edge of the skimmer. Then, he slyly edged towards the water. I wasn't sure whether he was wanting a drink or wanted to fish.
Not trusting that he was only thirsty, I cracked open the casement window. Usually the noise from unlatching the window is enough to scare a chipmunk, but this squirrel was brazen. I opened the window further, and leaned out to scream at the squirrel.
"Leave my fish alone", I yelled. He turned, scampered down from the terrace and ran across the drive to a big ash tree. Apparently, only small rodents will listen to me (and not every time).
As I leaned out the window, I saw a bird perched at the other edge of the pond and chirping. I thought it was a pigeon or maybe a catbird. I couldn't be sure. Suddenly, I saw a bunch of feathers on the opposite side of the pond. It wasn't moving and I couldn't see its head.
I ran out to the garage and grabbed the flat, fine-meshed net we use to pull leaves out of the pond and ran to the side of the house. I jumped on the wall, ran along the edge of the rocks, to the side of the pond were the bird was. I fished the bird out as quickly as I could and gently dumped it out of the net onto the ground. "It's a robin!" I shouted to my husband who had now caught up with me outside.
I could tell from its markings that it was a female. She opened her mouth but made no sound. She stared at me. She looked scared.
I wasn't sure that she was going to make it. My husband suggested that I put her back in the net and he'd take her towards the woods. I gently scooped her up, talking to the bird. "We're trying to help you, birdy", I said in a quiet voice. I know it is silly to talk to creatures, but I do. I'd like to think that she sensed that I was trying to help her.
My husband walked toward the edge of the woods and put the bird on the ground. In a few moments, she had recovered from her crash and near-drowning, and flew away.
NOTE: Spouse just informed me that I am not living up to some sort of journalistic integrity, that I misquoted him. He claims that he did not say "Stupid Bird", rather than he felt sorry for the bird on the empty feeder. Not to take liberties with quotations, but I don't remember it that way :)
Note II: He says that I'm really saying that I never admit that I'm wrong!