I dashed out the back door yesterday to escort Schmoopy to the front door after her failed attempt at scaling the deck stairs. It’s a sad sight watching her attempt the ascent only to have her back end decide it would really rather park itself immediately, thankyouverymuch.
When we reached the front sidewalk, a bird zipped in front of me and flew into the open garage, banging its wee head on one of the protruding parts on the inside of the door. I thought it seemed a pretty spazzy move for a skilled flyer, but I figured I startled it.
When I peered into the garage to make sure it wasn’t sprawled on the floor unconscious, I saw one very intact fledgling. A baby bird fresh from the nest! I’ve been glued to the Cornell Red-Tailed Hawk cams and their fledglings, and here I had a newbie in my own garage!
I dashed to get my camera to capture the cutie. I wished I had grabbed the telephoto lens so I could have gotten close-up shots from a safe distance.
She didn’t seem too bothered by my presence, but I didn’t want to crowd her. I gingerly walked way around her to get a shot of her from the other side:
When I tried to encourage her to leave the garage, she panicked and jumped under my car and straight up into the undercarriage. It was a perfectly executed vertical leap that looked rehearsed.
Except it wasn’t.
She probably had no idea where she’d gotten to or how she’d gotten there, and she was no longer in sight for me (or her mom!) to make sure she was safe.
Way to mess with nature, Wombat.
I ran back out to the sidewalk and saw one of her parents perched on the roof, food in beak, presumably ready to feed her. My efforts to relay the unfolding drama didn’t move the mom to action.
This was happening at the worst possible time, too, as Mr. Man had an early soccer game and needed to eat soon. That required my presence in the kitchen, so I enlisted the help of The Girlyfor watch duty. She could hear an occasional peep from the undercarriage, but she either didn’t know how to get out or just wasn’t ready.
I eventually had to call in The Girly to
wolf down her meal eat. I worried about my feathery friend as our departure time neared. I checked several times for her under the car, near the car, in the yard, but it was time to go. I wasn’t hearing any peeps either. Maybe she got out. I’d like to think she got out.
As we backed out of the garage, I took one last look over the dash, scanning the floor. I cringed at the thought of the bird’s traveling with us on the highway, and I hoped that wasn’t happening.
I felt awful. She probably wouldn’t have hidden under my car if I hadn’t gotten near her. Now, the car itself might kill her with heat or moving parts, or a tumble onto the highway at high speed. If she survives the ride and hops out at our destination, she’ll be miles from home with no parents to care for her. Either way I felt like I’d doomed this poor bird.
I checked the garage a when we got home and one last time before bed. I peered out the front window and saw a stray cat walk by. I closed the garage door–I kept thinking the cat would get the bird if she were still around, though I was pretty sure she wasn’t.
I looked at the pictures I’d taken of her and wished I’d just left her alone. I wouldn’t be sharing these photos on my blog, because they’d be an account of her demise.
Morning came, and I looked out the front window for evidence of our little friend. None. The Girly missed her bus, so I had to drive her. Again.
Before I hopped into the car, I looked once more at the garage floor.
Who was hiding in the corner next to the door? Birdy!
The Girly stood watch so I could back out without backing over the bird. Once I was out of the garage, she flew onto the top of the car–narrowly missing my open window.
I climbed up to look at her and tell her she couldn’t ride with us, and she flew up into our maple tree! It was a miserable rainy morning here, and I didn’t know if her parents would hear her cries, but the bird chatter has increased as the morning has gone on, so I think she might be safe! I can’t believe she survived all night.
I still don’t know if she was tucked behind something out there or if she went on the ride of her life last night. I also don’t know how long they can go without food at that age, but she must have been famished when she got out!
Regardless of her adventure, I think she proved she’s one tough little bird who will survive just about anything nature throws her way.