Saturday, May 3, 2008

No No. . . It's Stunned!

Look Matey, It's not pining for the Fjords. It's not resting. (well, actually it probably is resting.) But it hasn't gone and joined the choir invisible. It's not tired and shagged out following a prolonged squawk either. And I think a nice kettle of fish wouldn't have helped a bit. . . (remember Monty Python's Dead Parrot routine?)

Yesterday around 5:30 a.m. I was outside enjoying the morning bird symphony when a loud thunder clap and lightening flash startled me and suddenly silenced the chorus. Moments later this little guy startled me when I saw him sitting very still at the edge of our garden a few feet from the picture window in our den. I think it's a hermit thrush, but please correct me if I'm wrong.

I got down close and could see the poor little thing was in distress. His right eye was closed and his right leg seemed to be semi-paralyzed. I picked him up to see if his leg might be broken. It wasn't, but it was weak. He was kind of floppy on his right side and couldn't perch on my finger. I wasn't sure what was wrong, didn't want to intervene too much, at least not at first, but didn't want to leave him in distress, defenseless, unable to fly, and soaked to the bone in the impending thunderstorm. So I grabbed a gallon nursery pot, turned it on its side, put a little mulch and some leaves in it, and gently put the little thrush into his makeshift shelter where he stayed, waited out the brief cloudburst, and recovered.
Before I left for the nursery, I went back outside to check on him. The sound of the storm door startled him. Thankfully he'd recovered from what I later realized was a tough encounter with the den window, and off he flew from his storm shelter into the mulberry tree way back in the corner of our yard, where he landed and perched effortlessly. Later, after work I showed my husband the pictures and told him what had happened. He confirmed my theory that the little thrush had flown into the picture window. He'd seen the evidence earlier in the day as he was enjoying his mini-vacation from the daily grind:I just love a happy ending. I'm so glad this little guy was able to take off, and I hope he'll fare well following his painful encounter with our window.


  1. I think that you definitely helped his healing process along with your kindness, Garden Girl. I have had two casualties this year from my picture window... I really need to figure out a way to prevent this while still letting in the maximum amount of light and not junking up the view. *sigh*

    Glad to see your little guy was okay. :)

  2. I'm glad your thrush survived. You were very quick-thinking to come up with such an ingenious shelter for him.

    Just read Friday's post--great post on the Bradford pear. Twenty years ago they were all the rage in new subdivisions going up locally. But in the last couple years people have found that they don't age well and they don't hold up to storms, so arborists are discouraging planting them.
    Re your discussion of photo enhancement, I'll have to read the original post that prompted this, but I, too, don't see anything wrong with some enhancement. As you say, the photo often can't capture the true beauty of the subject (at least mine don't!).

  3. Oh, how sweet of you! I wish we had more people who would take the time you did to help out a little, helpless bird. Good for you, girl! Thanks to you, we have a healthy little friend back to the skies again.

  4. I just love to read about happy endings. Thank you for sharing one and making my day.

  5. I'm sure that thrush was a lucky bird to have had his encounter with YOUR window. Maybe if it was someone else's window he wouldn't have been so well taken care of. Good job. I thank you for him.

  6. Darn windows. Yet another reason not to keep them so clean. Alright, I'm joking, but it happens here often enough.

    My birds have never been stunned enough to need any intervention from me. Good for you being so quick thinking!

  7. Blackswamp Girl, I've heard birds thunk into our windows before, but I think this one hit harder than most. Usually they're able to keep going.

    Rose, I'm glad too. I hope he's (or she's?) still ok. I'm glad you enjoyed the Bradford Pear post. Our neighborhood is about 40 years old, and I don't think I'd ever seen a Bradford Pear that old before I lived here. The young ones are pretty, the old ones. . . not so much! If I plant a tree, I want it to be one that gets more beautiful with age, and one that will last more than my lifetime. That doesn't seem to describe a Bradford Pear.

    Brenda, thank you. I really hope he's ok. I'm still thinking about him (her?) I feel conflicted about interfering with nature. There are times a bit of protection seems called for. This poor little guy was already struggling as it was. He didn't need to get rained on to boot.

    I think my up-close-and-personal experiences with birds run about 50/50 in favor of survival. I do try not to interfere with nature. Compassion always prevails if I feel I can help, even if it's just providing shelter from the storm.

    Jane Marie, I'm glad I was able to help that poor little guy. Glad I was around, glad I saw him. He really kind of blended in with the mulch, and he wasn't very big - just a little bigger than a sparrow. I'd never seen a hermit thrush before, but if I ever do, now I'll know what it is.

    It warmed my heart to see him fly away. It's been awhile since I've had a bird adventure. They are the kind of experiences ones remembers for a long time. I feel a weird kinship with birds. Maybe it's all those flying dreams I had as a kid.

  8. Cinj, oh, did the windows look clean? I'm sorry! Maybe it was the focus on the feathers that made the dirt blur into the background. Trust me, the windows weren't clean! We've been doing a lot of outside clean-up this spring, but the windows are still down the list.

    Usually I hear them thud, but they just keep on going. This one must have hit pretty hard. He probably won't make that mistake twice, at least not on that window. He seemed miserable enough as it was. I didn't want him to get rained on to boot.

  9. The poor little bird sure looked dazed and confused! So glad you were able to help, and hopefully he is doing fine on his own now.

    My neighbor lost 2 Bradford Pears during a huge wind storm we had here in VA about a month ago. They are so pretty, but once they get to a certain height and width they are kind of 'top heavy' and just don'thold up. Take care!

  10. Jan, I hope he's ok too. I was happy to meet a a hermit thrush - I've never seen one before. Hopefully next time I see one it will be under happier circumstances.

    We had our Bradford Pear limbed up a couple of years ago because there were branches rubbing on roof and gutter. So far this tree seems to be in remarkably good health for a 40-year old. The arborist who pruned it for us was impressed with what good shape it's in (well, good health that is, it's shape is decidedly poor, which is the case with most old Bradfords.)

  11. Thank you for the visit. I say I'm a sucker for good endings lovely post and what a great photo the last one, one cannot see what it is but WOW it looks great ' freedom'.


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