This summer, it seems the birds have fledged a bit later than usual–not by much, but enough for me to notice. And this crop of birds seems to be a reckless bunch of adolescents. At least twice a day I hear a soft, feathered body thud against a windowpane.
We have taken a few of the actions recommended by the Humane Society (see page here if you want some advice), but some of our windows are quite high off the ground and we haven’t been able to bird-proof all of them. Most summers we hear just a few thuds, find the occasional body of a casualty or rescue a stunned survivor before a neighborhood cat gets it.
This year? I think I’ve heard two dozen thuds during the past 10 days. I am surprised at how many of the injured simply recover from their brief concussion, sit dazed for a few seconds, or continue to fly; but youth is resilient.
This woodpecker, for example, was more dazed than most. But it gradually calmed itself into a recuperated state and hopped off my hand and into the hedgerow.
I always come away amazed at such encounters with “wild animals.” There is so much I don’t know about them. They are gorgeous. I find myself spending long minutes just examining the details of a feather, a toenail (claw-nail?), a tongue, an eye.
It seems a privilege to hold one, and a privilege to let it go.
Even though this bird will no doubt repay me by tearing more holes in the wooden siding of our house.
Well, the birds were here first.
Not as lucky, this poor beauty was, alas, “maximally bent and broken.” Like the language of poetry.