Thursday, February 05, 2009

redpoll rescue

Just when I thought I had absolutely nothing to blog about, except for whining about the 24 hour flu bug that kept me in bed all day yesterday with Sally and Bloof--and you really didn't want to hear the details of that now did you?--something amazing happens.

It was time to leave for work and school with Mr. Attitude. He hasn't been too keen on waking up for the 6:50 bus lately, so I let him sleep in until 7:10 and drop him off on my way to work. Just as he was getting his socks on by the woodstove, I heard:

"Mom, there's a bird on the ground outside the window!"

I ran to take a look. There was indeed a common redpoll that looked like it had flown into the window. We haven't had too many bird/window collisions here; our feeders are far enough away from the patio door that birds tend not to mistake window reflections for open space.

I went outside to check on it. As I gently picked it up, it made a loud, complaining noise I've never heard from a redpoll. That was a good sign. Its neck, wings and legs looked like they were supposed to, and its eyes were open. It was just stunned, and it would probably be okay after resting up a bit.

My camera just happened to be in the car, a few steps away, and of course I thought: "Bloggable moment!"

I was amazed at how tiny this bird was; no more than a golf ball sized bit of feathers with wings, head and tail. I've seen huge flocks of common redpolls at the feeders lately, but never had the chance to examine one up close. This is a female; she does not have any pink on her breast like the males.

I could have left the bird by the seed tray in the first rays of morning sun and it may have been all right, but there was one problem. We have a few outdoor cats that hang around here, and one of them would likely have made a meal of a sluggish bird. Mr. Attitude and The Hermit insisted that they did not want that to happen, so I found a shoe box, lined it with some paper towels, and put the bird inside. Mr. Attitude carried the box on his lap on the way to school, all the while checking on it while I told him about redpolls. The little bird was alert and sitting up by the time we got to school.

When I got to work I found a spot near the edge of the parking lot where there were trees nearby. I set the box on the ground, opened it up, and the redpoll took one look and flew into the trees. More than likely there are a few flocks of redpolls at feeders in town here, and I hope this bird finds them. I think it will; these birds are wired to hang out in groups.

A redpoll by itself isn't really significant. Or is it? The great words of our times carry a message:

That which you do unto the least of these, you have done unto me. -Jesus

No act of kindness, however small, is ever forgotten. -Aesop

I am proud of Mr. Attitude for his kind heart.


forest wisdom said...

Something ordinary, something wonderful and beautiful. And just the lift I needed this morning. Good one, Deb!

Carolyn H said...

Deb, Nice one. I was lucky to have my camera around for a red-bellied woodpecker bloggable moment, too. I'm not sure mine ran into a window first, though.

Carolyn H.

Floridacracker said...

Nice rescue and way to go raising children who care.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

A life saved is a life given, and I can think of no more worthy a goal for any of us, ever. Good job, and a lovely blog.

Hope you're feeling better.

pablo said...

A nice story, and exactly the kind of outcome I'd expect on this blog. (And when Mr. Attitude has his own blog, I expect he'll have similar stories of his own to tell!)

robin andrea said...

What a pretty little redpoll and a grand story of its rescue. Isn't it nice when you can be delighted by your kids.

Lynne said...

This is a great story Deb and I'm so glad you grabbed your camera to share it with us. It's such a special thing to hold a wild creature. I'll bet Mr. Attitude will remember this for a long time.

barefoot gardener said...

Oh, what a wonderful thing! I love that picture.

Jayne said...

Awwww.... so glad all ended well Deb. What a sweet story.

Deb said...

Forest Wisdom- It was a rare treat. Thank you.

Carolyn- I saw that- amazing!

FC- I must be doing something right. Sometimes I wonder.

Grizzled- Thank you. I am feeling much better!

Pablo- Oh the stories he'll tell...

Robin Andrea- It was nice to be able to see an individual up close. Usually they're in a flock of 50+ birds and they don't stand still.

Lynne- I was glad I'd already put my bag with the camera in the car that morning.

Barefoot- Thanks. I've only held a few birds in my hand in my life.

Jayne- Thanks!

cindy said...

Mr. Attitude has one great Mom!

RuthieJ said...

I loved this redpoll rescue story!
Way to go Mr. Attitude!!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Kids have good eyes, attitude or not: good eye and good rescue.