chickenshoot (chickenshoot) wrote,

The Birds


Saw another giant gathering of birds today...


A long time ago I lived on the top floor of a "fourplex," which was part of a really old house. My bed was perfectly even with a window that was almost perfectly even with the roof, and the edge of the roof met a giant tree. If I propped my head up just a bit I could watch birds and squirrels just a couple feet away on the shingles.

One day when I looked outside there was a baby bird sprawled just on the other side of the window. It was really new, no feathers at all. Definitely dead. I wanted to maybe bury the bird, but when I grabbed the window I realized it couldn't be opened. So then I had to just let nature work it out, ya know: rain would wash him away or bugs would eventually find him or a critter would finish him off.

(well, I didn't want to put a picture of a dead bird)

Somehow "nature" couldn't reach him there on the second floor, as he remained perfectly preserved for several days. I tried not to look at him, but every day I checked.  And he'd fallen during what felt like a spring day, but by day three or so it was blistering hot, and he began to change colors. 

Well, he was ... browning.  
He was actually roasting out there like a tiny Thanksgiving turkey on the black shingles. 

Eventually he was just a little piece of bird jerky that haunted me every time I wanted to look outside.

I kinda think he already got the shit-end of the stick just as soon as he got into the world, so I wish things hadn't dragged on like that.


Frisbee:  An unlikely weapon...

An even longer time ago I was watching my two cousins play frisbee in my yard. During one toss a bird (a robin) with awful timing swooped in and was smacked right out of the air. He landed on the ground and got right back up, but he didn't seem to be able to fly. I told the boys not to worry about it, and I grabbed the bird to take inside. I wrapped him in a towel up to his chest, and I placed him on his back in a small box. His head was elevated by some other rag or whatever, and in the end he looked like he was in a coffin. 

But really I was just trying to keep him still so that he wouldn't hurt his wing, and I had also put him in a position where I thought it would be easier to feed him. I thought he needed to be fed and watered immediately, ya know, and as much as possible to get well.

I didn't know what to feed him. I found a bug and tried it out, but he wouldn't open his mouth. Kept turning away. So I tried bread. No.
Oh my God, he's going to die immediately if he doesn't eat something.

So I figured I'd better move on the the water, at least. I found an eyedropper and filled it, dangled a loose drop on the bird's beak. He began to open and shut his beak, so I got excited and kept squirting. He took the whole dropper, but he was very awkward about it, like he was choking. Gosh, look how thirsty he is!

Then I decide the bird should rest, so I hid the box under my bed. One of the adults had told me before that a bird with a broken wing will die, so there's no sense in trying to save it. Knowing that an adult might throw the bird back outside, I decided I wouldn't tell anyone I was taking care of it. 

I came back a couple more times that evening, pulled the box out from under the bed, and gave the bird water.  He just kept taking it, so I knew he must really need it. On probably a fourth time or so, the bird was in the middle of drinking, and he gurgled the water, and his head just fell over. Eyes-open-limp-neck-dead. It was an ugly sight.

It only occurred to me RIGHT THAT SECOND that perhaps the bird didn't need an endless supply of water, and that perhaps he was only opening his mouth to accept the water because he didn't know what else to do with this giant stupid human girl looming over him with the evil eye dropper. 

I felt like such a stupid jerk. 
I was probably only about eight or nine, but probably a little bit stupid even for that age.

"I sure hope if I ever become injured I'm not found by a total dumbass."


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