When you hear the urgent call, “Mom! Help!” You instinctively drop everything and run. This afternoon the call came from my teenage son.
“A baby bird! I almost STEPPED on it!” It had fluttered out from under his foot just in time. He has a kind heart but didn’t know what to do to help the little thing, who was still floundering aimlessly around the yard. He was obviously not capable of flying back up into his home in the Cedar tree in our front yard.
Fortunately for me, I was having flashbacks of last Spring when we rescued an even more helpless fledgling from the results of his rush to leave the safety of his nest. We had searched the internet for advice and followed the steps to create a “nest” and secured it with string as close to the original as we could get it. The parent birds did–as we had hoped–return to continue nurturing their baby until he was able to fly away. We had peeked in on him and saw that he was thriving, and in a week or two he was out on his own. We learned for ourselves that it is a myth that the scent of humans would cause his parents to disown him.
We were hoping for a re-run today. I assured my son that I knew what to do. We worked together to corral the little guy and put him in a bucket he couldn’t fly out of while we prepared the “nest.” I climbed the ladder and secured it between two branches while my son held the bucket close by. I carefully wrapped my hand around him (easier said than done) until he stopped squirming, then I placed him in the nest. The first time we tried it he fluttered right out of the nest again.
For the second time, we crept up to him on the lawn and contained him in a bucket. I climbed the ladder and gently let him down, keeping my hands over the top until he had settled down. My son was standing below with the bucket ready to catch him if he should fall. He seemed calm and comfortable and we hoped that his parents would come for him there.
I checked again an hour or so later and he was gone.
I can’t help thinking there’s a lesson here for me. I guess sometimes you have to just let little birds try their wings, whether you’re ready for them to fly or not. Maybe they just need to be assured that you’ll always drop everything and run to their rescue when they need you. . . every time they need you.