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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Bird in my livingroom

This morning I had an interesting visitor in my home.

Robin left the house before me and called to say that she had an injured songbird near the subway (she always seems to find them). I grabbed a bag and ran four blocks to meet her. When I arrived she had a tiny Golden-crowned Kinglet cupped in her hands. I held the bag opened and she carefully placed him inside. I assumed that he had hit a window and was stunned so I brought him home to recuperate. At home I looked up the website for "Project Safe Flight" and read that collision victims should be kept in the bag, in a quiet location for about 1 hour. Then, if they appear uninjured, released into a park.

Golden-crowned Kinglet (click images to enlarge)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

After an hour it sounded like he was beginning to get active in the bag so I decided to let him go. Before taking him out of the bag I opened our fire escape window and pushed up the screen. I had looked online for the proper way to handle a bird so that I wouldn't inadvertently injure him. Once out of the bag he struggled to get free. That seemed like a good sign. When I was certain that he was alright and he could fly to the trees next to the fire escape I released my hold on him. I expected him to immediately rush to the tree branches about 8 feet from my window. I guess he liked my company because he just sat there on my hand, looking around or closing his eye for brief moments. A couple of times he bit me. Maybe he was hungry. His bill is so tiny, though, I barely felt it.

(Photo credit - Rob J)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

We keep our bicycles on a rack near the window and, when I'm not using my bike's padded pack, I keep it on the window sill. I couldn't stand at the window all morning so I prodded him off of my hand and onto the pack. I went back to working on my computer but, so that I could keep an eye on him, I removed our hallway mirror and propped it up on a chair next to me. He promptly fell asleep but would ocassionally wake up and preen his feathers. At 9:56am he hopped up to the very edge of the pack. He sat and looked all around for a couple of minutes. Then, without warning, he flew onto the fire escape railing then into the London Planetree in front of our building.

(Photo credit - Rob J)

(Photo credit - Rob J)

I'm glad that he wasn't seriously injured but I already miss the sight of a Golden-crowned Kinglet sitting five feet away while I work.


Daniel said...

Thank you, Rob. We insulate ourselves from the natural world. Sharing such transcendent experiences helps us to notice, realize, and taste that which we exchange for shelter and comfort.

Yojimbot said...

Similar thing happened to me just yesterday. GCK was asleep in the grass sunning himself, golden crown shining in the sun! I was able to get close and get some great shots...I just figgered he was pooped out after flying through all that weather. In about 15 min, he popped up and returned to his normal hyperactive self! I'll post on my bloggy later.

ld50 said...

As a volunteer of Project Safe Flight, it's great to know there are other people out there rescuing injured birds! Your rescue sounds particularly wonderful, getting to hold and watch the kinglet like that. I'm curious to know exactly where it was found, if possible. It's always useful to find out what buildings could use monitoring. At any rate, thanks for the lovely story & pix!

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