Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Fledgling's Tale

While I was in Phoenix at my parents' house, this baby bird caused a bit of a ruckus. (Not sure what kind of bird it actually is--probably a starling or blackbird?)
My mom spotted him/her in the swimming pool, huddled in that indented bit with the flapper (I don't know what it's really called!). He/she was just sitting there, rather calmly, but also rather wetly. I reached in, gingerly, and got it out; I was initially afraid that it was injured and so couldn't fly. It sat for a moment, then hopped over behind some bushes.
Love its little grumpy face! It was clearly a fledgling...a fledgling who was a bit unclear on the concept. I left it alone after I took this photo, went inside, went back out to check on it a few minutes later, and it was gone. Good, I thought, it has figured the flying thing out and has flown somewhere for the night. Alas, mom saw it fly into the same flappy pool place AGAIN, a few minutes later. I got it out again, put it on the pavement, and it sorta flew--its wings were clearly wet and not working properly--and landed on the hose of the pool-sweeping thingy that was floating in the middle of the pool. It perched there on the hose, seeming rather bummed out. So I carefully reeled the hose in, over to the side of the pool, and got the bird again.

We were concerned because it was the end of the day, and we worried that it would get too cold, be left on the ground in a vulnerable position, etc. I know you're supposed to let fledglings figure it all out for themselves, but this little guy/gal seemed to need our help.
We got a paper towel and carefully patted it dry, and I held it cupped in my hands for at least twenty minutes. It never tried to get away...occasionally it would spread its damp wings and shiver. I stroked it and talked to it, and it was perfectly calm. Then it flew/hopped over to the edge of the porch swing... ...where it proceeded to dry itself/preen/fluff up its feathers. It kept closing its little eyes and having a rest...finally, it looked up at me--I kid you not--cheeped loudly, three times, and then flew up into an orange tree at the back of the yard. Yay! Fly, baby bird, fly! And my parents have not seen it since, which is a very good thing!

The (happy!) end.


Anonymous said...

I repeat, St. Sherri of Assisi: lover and protectress of all animalia. Our Queen.


JuJu said...

What a wonderful story. That bird was lucky to have found your mom's pool and your family to help him back on his feet. (wings?)

vivi said...

I am glad you were the one to get the poor little thing out. I would probably have squeezed it too hard. Here's to St. Sherri.
Love you, hugs & kisses