Discovering An Injured Bird

Rosebrook Gardens welcomes all to enjoy the beauty; the gardens combine with Mother Nature’s explosion of color and greenery as if to validate my hard work. Many wonderful varieties of animal come to make Rosebrook Gardens their home; everything from squirrels, ducks, bunnies, chipmunks, frogs, to the colorful butterflies and everything in between.

This week Violet and I discovered a beautiful little finch sitting near the back door, resting on the patio. As I got closer, it did not fly away, so I suspected it was hurt and in distress. Growing up in Connecticut I am no stranger to baby birds on my property, so I knew if it was going to have any chance to live I needed to protect it from other animals and find it a better place to recover than out in the open at ground level.

Should you ever be in the same situation, here is what I recommend: Look to see if any other birds are in the area, as perhaps this was part of a flying lesson that did not go so well. If so, leave them be; momma will soon come back if there are no humans around for a while. If you discover that your bird is no doubt on its own, find a shoebox, line it with some tissues, and place the bird inside, then move it to a shaded area. You can also put in a small saucer of water and some bread crumbs if you wish. Wash your hands well before and after handling the bird.

Before you place the lid back on, punch some holes in it for air. The bird, if resting, will panic less if it wakes in a dark space. Check in a couple of hours; by then your bird should be feeling better, thus ready to be released. If your bird seems alert but injured, check your phone directory for local aviaries or bird caretakers; they might be able to determine if the bird can be rehabilitated.

Well, even after following this protocol, sadly enough my friend – after a last poop – checked out. I was sad, but I knew if anything was going to die on my watch I would do the right thing and see it through. I went inside and I found a small orange box (okay it was from Hermes) and transferred my little feathered friend inside. While Violet stood watch by my side, I dug a small hole, interred the makeshift coffin, backfilled, then added several crocus bulbs on top. (In the film Avatar I remembered there was a scene where a character blesses an animal after it dies, thanking it. I thought the crocus bulbs would help honor the bird’s pretty little life. And after all, this is bulb planting season.) I searched for a small rock and found a slate piece perfect for a tombstone. I then laid hydrangea flowers over the grave.

I know, I know, this may be a bit extreme for many people, but I wanted to pause from my busy day and appreciate the wildlife I see here and all the other animals and pets that make us humans so happy.

Bye, bye birdie; new life will come soon when the crocuses arrive next year, and we’ll remember you.