My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Junco 911

So I'm sitting at my computer yesterday, pondering the purchase of a nonstick pan, when a very loud thud on the window sent me rocketing out of my chair. I knew what I'd find, and sure enough... on our patio beneath the window was a poor little Junco, stunned and barely conscious, with one wing spread out on the concrete behind her. I was afraid she'd broken her wing. I picked her up and took her inside and upstairs, all the while yelling orders at BW (he's used to that!) to get a small box and some clean hand towels. We made a nest for her in the box and closed the lid and put it near the pellet stove so she could get warm (the #1 thing a stunned birdie needs!). After awhile, she was awake though still groggy, so I gave her some water with a syringe (the #2 thing a stunned birdie needs!) She was clearly coming out of it, but it was SO cold outside, we kept her in her warm nest for about 15 minutes, at which point she was getting active. So we took her out on the deck and set her on the railing near the bird feeders. She sat there for a minute, looking around and holding her wing in a normal position (thank goodness!), and then she cocked her head to the side and looked up at me with one eye as if to say, "As Beds and Breakfasts go I've stayed in better, but thanks anyway!" and flew off, no worse for the wear.

The only sad part of this story is that I forgot to take a photo, so here is a likeness of her, plucked from the handy-dandy
internest (haha, get it?)...

I'm surprised she hit the window that she did, and full-on, since it has window blinds in it (open but fully deployed) and is shaded by the deck. Birds sometimes hit our windows with glancing blows when they're engaged in air-to-air combat over a particularly scrumptious sunflower seed or something, and we've had to rescue several over the years (including at least one hummingbird) who has flown head-on into one of our windows, and by keeping them warm and giving them water, we've never lost a patient.

But our former neighbors Alberta (Bert) and Larry performed the greatest bird rescue ever a few years ago, when a Red-Tailed Hawk hit their window during a snowstorm! Bert threw on her coat and gloves and ran outside to find the hawk laying flat on his back in the snow. She picked him up (and they are big!!) and tucked him inside her coat! She said his talons kept opening and closing, and she was a LITTLE concerned (you just had to know Bertie!), but her real concern was for the hawk. She ran inside with him and she and Larry wrapped him in a warm towel and put him in a box by the fire. And after a while, when they could hear him rustling around, Bert picked him up and took him outside on their deck, unwrapped the towel and stood back. He looked around, ruffled his wings, and took off. She said it was one of the most thrilling things ever. I have no doubt!

Well, she wasn't a magnificent hawk, but our little Junco girl was sure a sweetie, and I'm glad she's back among her friends... and no doubt back on our feeders, enjoying a nice meal on another cold and snowy day.

So till next time, don't forget to...

(If you never watched Comedy Central's "Reno 911," my lame post title joke might be lost on you). :-)

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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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