Songbird rehab

Warbler in distress On May 8 as I was leaving my office building, I saw a beautiful little bird sitting on the ground. Olive feathers, yellow breast and smaller than a sparrow, it didn’t fly away when it saw me walking out, like I thought it would. It just stayed put, looking at me from the corner of its beady eye, on guard. I bent down for a closer look–something was not quite right with the bird’s right leg/wing. I’m guessing it hurt itself when it flew into the glass, mistaking the reflected tree for a real one.

Hotline help Thanks to a refrigerator magnet picked up at a public library event, I have in my cell phone the DFW Wildlife Coalition hotline number. The coalition seeks “to reduce, through public outreach and education, the incidence of orphaned or euthanized native wildlife in the Dallas / Fort Worth area.” When I called the volunteer-staffed hotline, I was asked to leave a message with the assurance that calls would be returned within an hour. Sure enough, a volunteer called back, asked a couple questions about the bird I’d found, then gave me the phone number of a bird rehab-er who lives not 10 miles from my place. The rehab-er instructed me to bring the injured bird to her in a shoebox lined with paper towels and holes punched in it for air.

Toaster box bird transporter 30 minutes later, I was at the rehab-er’s place with the birdie in the box my toaster came in. Bit of a struggle getting the bird in the box–all it probably saw was a cardboard cage being held open for it, and it made a valiant effort to fly, managing to take off and land 3 feet away, with all the smoothness of a poorly aimed paper plane. I gave it a few minutes, thinking–if you fly away, you’re really okay and I won’t have to take you to this lady who’ll help you heal. But it just sat there. I gently grasped its tiny body (all of one or two ounces), put it in the box and taped the box shut.

In good hands The rehab-er pulled the bird out of the box with one swift motion, looked it in the eye and declared: “Don’t worry, little guy! We’re gonna have you flying again in no time.” So sweet! Hope the bird is now all healed and flying again.

***

PS This is my first post with no pictures, but what can I say–getting the bird to the rehab-er was foremost on my mind. Only click on this excellent likeness of my feathered friend if you want to overdose on cuteness. Tweet!

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