It just happened a little while ago.
I was sitting at my laptop, responding to folks on social media and my husband was on the phone, talking to his mom. Now, to be clear, my laptop setup faces out toward the sliding glass doors that lead out to our backyard and birdfeeders. I enjoy watching the activity out there as the critters feed.
The rain was lightly falling and the was a lot of activity at the feeders with Chickadees, Sparrows, Mourning Doves and Quail having their mid-morning snack when something – probably the neighbor’s cat – spooked the them! Birds went a-flying in ALL directions!
The next thing I know is I hear this loud WHUMP! Looking out the slider, I spot a little sparrow laying awkwardly on the wet back deck, trembling!
Instinctively, I jump into action! There is no way a little bird is going to lay dying on my wet back deck like that! So, the first thing I grab is a length of soft paper towels to go cradle the little bird, gently, and take it to my studio which I had already opened up and had the little space heater going.
I also had a sudden realization that some things never change with people. I did this as a child; always bringing home the injured and sick little critters I’d find on my way home from school. Always tearfully, I brought them home, much to my mother’s dismay, but she understood and we worked together to help them until they recovered or died.
They usually died and we’d end up burying them in the backyard.
I did have one little sparrow recover once. We kept it on a heating pad in a shoe box. I fed it water from a dropper and mushed millet seed. I thought the little sparrow had a broken wing because it hadn’t flown yet. So, it stayed in its box, taking what I fed it and growing strong. I didn’t realize how much until one Sunday when we went off to church. Upon returning, I discovered my little sparrow, whom I’d named Tweet Tweet, was not in its box!
Then, I heard my mom and dad talking downstairs in low tones. Following their voices, I found them at the sliding glass door that leads to the backyard looking at my little bird, laying on the floor by the glass. I could see that its neck was broken but at that point, it was still alive. I was around eleven years old then, and in my “save everything in the world” stage. So naturally, I was bawling and cradling that little bird. It died in my hands and I buried it. I must have mourned that bird for a few weeks!
Well, getting back to today, there I was feeling those old feelings again, crying and telling this little bird over and over that if it was going to die, I wasn’t going to let it die alone. I was bound and determined to stay with it, keep it as comfortable as humanly possible until it passes. It may sound silly to you, but it is what it is.
I went back into the house to round up a little bit of water, my iPod and a cool little basket to put it in. Out in the studio, I put on some calming Soundscapes music, gently put the sparrow in the basket with soft towels around it and even held a piece of water-soaked paper towel by its mouth. It did take a little water and then started to close its eyes. I just sat there, quietly watching….and watching.
The playlist was playing a number from Tom Coletti’s “Yoga Is Union” that had some bird sounds embedded in the background and the dozing little bird perked up to that. With me watching, it suddenly crawls out of the towels and flies! My studio is NOT a place safe for birds to be flying around in. There are tools hanging off the peg boards, a lawn mower in the back corner and lots of places a feathered critter can get caught in! The bird flies toward the peg board on the back wall. Now, I have to find it. I’m delighted because the bird has recovered! But, concerned, I’m hell bent of finding the bird because I don’t want it to further injure itself.
I finally locate it and carefully take it outside. It flies away. I feel a wave of bittersweet satisfaction. The little time I spent with the sparrow had created a little bond for me, but still, I was grateful it was able to fly away.