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Sunday, November 2, 2008

Close Encounters of the Bird Kind

M came shouting into the room just as I was working on the computer. "Amma, come quick, a bird crashed into the glass window and is lying on the deck!"

I rushed to the scene to see a sad sight. A robin on its side, breathing heavily and strenuously, little legs sticking out under it. "What can we do to help it? Can we put her in the box that I made for injured animals?" M offered eagerly.

As I put on my jacket and shoes to go out the deck, I thought the better of it and decided to check what wisdom the internet has to offer on caring for dazed birds and preventing them from crashing into glass windows in the first place.

"Place it in a safe spot, to prevent cats and dogs from getting to it as it recovers." Fair enough, so we grabbed our gloves in addition to the jacket and I opened the sliding door, which squeaked loudly from the lack of grease on its tracks. The robin startled and stood upright, a tiny drop of blood on the deck near where it had lain.

"Good, at least it can stand up on its own. Maybe we should wait now and it will move away."
M was all ready for action, "When can we pick it up and put it in the box?"
"I don't think that would be a good idea now. Tell you what, let's get some water and seeds for it in bowls. Maybe it will help it build up its strength."
So off we went to fetch it some water and birdseed.
This time as I opened the sliding door, it perked up and flew to the deck railing and stayed there, trembling slightly. I grabbed the bag of seed and the water bowl and stepped outside to refill the bird feeder.
The robin stayed at her post, turning her head ever so slightly as she registered my movements to remove the feeder from the hook. She watched cautiously as I refilled it and placed it back, anxiously hopping two steps away as I cleaned out the bird bath and refilled it with clean water from the other bowl.
The robin remained for a few minutes longer, enough for me to snap a photo of M in the foreground with her, and a couple of zoomed in photos, till she finally mustered the strength to fly off into a neighboring oak, vanishing into the brown leaves.
Hope that you feel better soon, little robin!

(We added Christmas clings to the glass window, assorted carolling snowmen, Christmas trees, sleds, etc. Hopefully, this will keep the local avians from mistaking the glass for a fly-through zone.)

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