moonwise: (amalthea)
[personal profile] moonwise
My husband and I have a fairly pleasant back yard. It's not large, but it is very green, and we have many bird nests all around the property. There is a pair of robins, and possibly a pair of cardinals, and some house sparrows in the front and the back.

On Saturday, we spent a lot of time outside, because all JP wants to do these days is run around outdoors and whack his golf balls. We can't complain about this, because little children need fresh air, and it's better than watching Cars for the millionth time. To keep my son from wandering out into the busy intersection that's catty-corner to the house, we have an arched three-foot high ornamental fence blocking off the gaps in the trees and in our larger privacy fence (we can't fence the whole back yard because of multiple easements.)

I kept seeing something fluttering in the fence, but I didn't think a whole lot of it. My husband had been cleaning up the patio and releasing dry brown pin oak leaves, and they were blowing all over the back yard. Since we also have a feeder, we have birds perching here and there for short periods. But, later on, I looked out the back door at the fence and saw that the fluttering thing was still there. Hoping it was a leaf, I went over to look.

It wasn't a leaf. It was a partially-fledged baby bird, caught by the neck between two of the arches. if it had been bigger or heavier, it would have choked to death or broken its neck. I gently eased the little fellow out of the arch, and it was so tired it didn't even try to get away. Some of the small feathers on the leading edge of one wing had been stripped away, but it didn't appear hurt besides that. We brought it inside and put it in a shoebox, and my husband and I were very relieved to see it settle its wings properly. Once safe, it promptly put its head behind its wing and went to sleep.

My husband was great - he called around and found out what to do with the baby. We weren't even sure what species the bird was - I thought it might be a sparrow, but the bird expert my husband was talking to thought it might be a robin. Luckily for us, Biscuit was hiding upstairs, because JP was around (and naturally quite interested in our visitor.) We told him it was a little bird, like Peter's friend in Peter and the Wolf, and we had to help it. First we looked for the nest, but we couldn't find any accessible nests. JP was very concerned about the bird's mommy and daddy, but if you can't find the mommy and daddy, there's not much else you can do. We were then told that we could take our foundling to a wildlife rescue in Mercer County, and it wasn't too far away. We had to hustle, though, because it was about 3 PM and the place closed at 4.

We got in the car and made tracks to the Mercer County Wildlife Center, where we dropped off the little bird along with a donation. The ranger told us that we had found a baby sparrow that was about 3-4 days from leaving the nest, but its mother would have been continuing to feed it until then. The wind was so high that the bird rescues had been getting many instances of babies being blown from their nests. They told us to check back in a few days to find out how the sparrow was doing.

The wildlife rescue was very close to the cities of Lambertville and New Hope, so I said I wanted to go get ice cream at Gerenser's (caramel pecan praline, yum.) Then we dooted around for a while, JP got to see the locomotive at the New Hope and Ivyland train station, and we had dinner at Triumph. Really a lovely evening, and all thanks to our feathered friend.

Here is our foundling, in all its downy glory:

sparrow

My MIL hates sparrows, they are greedy-guts at the feeder and messy to boot, but I'm happy we saved this little guy.
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