Okay, as promised, and as an exercise in sharing, here it is: the story of my interaction with a baby bird, and how I probably failed to save its life.
So, here’s the scene: I walk every day, and during one of my walks, I was listening to music and going along, when, out of the corner of my eye, I saw what looked like a colorful blob with eyes.
Now, and I must warn any people who are triggered by bad stuff happening to animals, stop right the heck here, because this will only get worse.
Because, during my walks, it’s not uncommon for me to come across dead birds or squirrels. Most of the time it’s not even obvious what exactly killed them—they’re just ripped open in the grass.
But, in this case, the eyes of this little creature I assumed was dead, followed my motion. With a jolt, I said aloud, “Oh, you’re alive!”
It was, I think, a bluebird (it was blue feathered, and I’d seen bluebirds around the area before), but a super young one with not even a properly formed beak. It was around the edge of a residential street, and well within range that if any car came by, it would be a smear on the road—I’d seen similar aftereffects enough to know.
But, thankfully, I chose the area I walk in because the traffic is super light, and barely any cars come or go during the middle of the day. I could walk in the center of the street for up to ten minutes, and would likely not have much of an issue.
So, I had time to try to save it, but just leaning down to look at the little thing made my germaphobe brain ring all the warning bells. A fly landed on its face and went around the eye/nose (I can’t recall), and it was barely even reacting to me, a giant, being there. Something was for sure wrong.
However, and I guess this makes me a massive softy, even when I repeatedly thought I needed to get going, thought I couldn’t do anything, that mother nature had chosen to take this one…
I could not leave it.
I mean, for Christ sake, it was a baby. What kind of human would I be if I at least didn’t try to help?
But, still, damn did I not want to touch it. I played with the idea of calling animal control or running up to the closest house and seeing if the people inside could handle the problem. But, I did none of that.
Instead, I thought, “Okay, fine, just get it to the grass. You have no idea what’s wrong, why it’s there. No clue if the mommy bird will come back even. So, just give it a sporting chance, and not leave it to become roadkill.”
This thought, was, of course, also followed by “seriously though, Brandon, do not touch it.”
So, for a few minutes, I tried to push it along with my water bottle. This was as effective as you would assume it would be.
In short order, I learned that 1.) it had a broken leg and 2.) it would not move on its own.
And, oh, how I waffled on this next part. I had my jacket with me, and I could have wrapped it up or something, but nope—with great concern—I disobeyed my one rule and picked the bird up with my bare hands. The baby kicked out a tad with its good foot, fidgeted a bit, but otherwise did little to stop me.
It was so light and soft. Weighed almost nothing. Hollow bones I guess.
After a few cautious steps, as gentle as I could, I placed it down in the tallish grass, and frowned, unsure if I was making the right decision. Worrying that I had further doomed it by getting a human scent on it. But, I, ultimately, just walked on to my house. And then sanitized my hands and everything I was wearing.
I checked back the next day, though, and the day after that, but still found no sign of the baby. Nothing dead or alive. No feathers or blood or any indication that the event had even happened.
Nowadays, I like to think someone found it who could care for it better, or its parents came back, or some other happy ending. But, honestly, a fox/dog/rat probably ate it.
Nature man, she’s a bitch sometimes.