little miracle sparrow

on friday i was baking cookies, and in the midst of my rushing around (i was trying to squeeze too many things into a short time frame, once again), a bird flew right into one of our windows. i saw her hit the window and i saw her fall. my stomach sank and i ran outside immediately, afraid of what i might find.

i had good reason to be afraid, because that poor little sparrow was Not Okay. she was sitting on the ground beneath the window, with her wings splayed out, looking enormous. i knew she was in pain and likely terrified. but that’s not the worst of it: her neck appeared to be broken. her head seemed to be on upside-down, like the back of her head was laying on her back at an angle that was totally unnatural and unnerving. her mouth was open and she was panting and appeared to be possibly drooling, maybe bleeding. she was staring at me, panting, and i just froze. her head was on so crazy, i was sure she’d be dead in a minute. i felt so helpless, standing over her, about to cry, not knowing how to make her head go back. *shudder*

i stepped a little closer so that i could pick her up, and amazingly, she flapped her wings something fierce and somehow moved herself over to a set of low-hanging plants (next to our neighbor’s driveway) to hide. i was in shock, because i really believed her neck was broken. i felt bad for scaring her, so i gave her a minute to compose herself in the leaves before walking closer to get a better look. when i got there, i peered in and saw that she was still Not Okay. she was lying on her side, with one of her feet in the air. i could only see her right eye, and she just blinked at me. bleah. i felt so awful.

i ran into the house to call my husband in a hysterical tizzy, all the while running around looking for a box to put her in. all of the wildlife rehab stuff says that they need a quiet calm safe place, and that if they sit in a quiet box for an hour, sometimes that’s all they need. if they don’t fly away after their hour grace-period, you have to get them some help ASAP. i am not really a fan of the one-hour grace period, because the only time i’ve ever used it, the bird died slowly for an hour, but at the same time i wanted to try to follow the rules. i got a box, lined it with newspaper, and got a towel to drape over the top. i was going to bring her inside with me, and put her in a quiet room to wait it out.

i was very afraid of stressing her out even more than she was already. when i went outside i got everything organized so that all i had to do was lift her up and put her in. as i approached the plants where she was hiding, i just kept saying, "please don’t be dead. please don’t be dead." just as i reached the plants, i heard a trememdous scuffle and all of a sudden she came flapping out of there and scooted under the car in our neighbor’s driveway. once again, i was completely shocked. i gave her a minute, and then went into their driveway and peeked under the car.

there she was, perfect as could be, a tiny little now-smooth-feathered sparrow. she was standing not-quite-under the car, and she was just looking at me like, "man, that was weird." i asked her if she was okay, and she just kept looking at me, almost like, "hmmm. don’t know." i wasn’t sure what to do, but i didn’t have to wait long, because she flapped her little wings and flew all the way across the neighbor’s back yard and high up into a tree.

at that point i had the crazy fear that maybe this was a new bird; that i had missed the injured bird and this one was a friend who was checking on her. i went back and poked through the plants. nope, it was her all right. amazing.

i came back in and got back to work on my cookies. a little while later, our neighbor’s cat came stalking through our back yard, and i experienced a new wave of paranoia and chased him away so i could search the plants again. still vacant.

i still can’t believe it. i’m so happy, but wow.

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