At odd angles the down stood out amongst newly emerging grey feathers. His mouth was so huge that when he opened it, his head and eyes disappeared. The dogs were intrigued with this creature. Their curious barks at this thing on the ground drew me close. I thought it might be a snake.
No, merely a toddler robin who had fallen out of the nest a mite too early. He could fly, but with no altitude or distance. I picked him up, gingerly, and placed him in the honeysuckle bush. Mother and father robin stopped their raucous cries.
Later, the dogs again sent out an alarm. Out the back door I could see the yellow and white cat on the other side of the fence. Oh no, I thought, I hope the little robin has stayed put. But as I watched, the cat sauntered out into the neighbor’s yard and picked up the baby robin, holding his feline head high with a mouth full of bounty as he disappeared into another yard.
It is not easy being a bird. If you are a bird watcher of any type you have seen this spring’s newly hatched, fluttering their wings, demanding sustenance from their parents who diligently feed them. It is uncommon to see four blue jays together. But today, they were lined up on the fence. Two matched their parents exactly, except in size. Ah, a family! Even the blue jay adolescents knew the wing fluttering begging technique.
Bird stories abound. If you wish to read and learn, go to flashPress, and view a post there on the blog, Pumpkin Run Pulse. The post is titled, Diatomaceous Earth Dusting.
My friend, the author and publisher, tells a bird rescue story. You will also learn about diatomaceous powder. There is a wealth of information in that weekly publication.
Recently I put an old apple, sliced in half, in the suet feeder. The mockingbird loves it as well as the few bran flake crumbs put in the feeder when birdseed ran scarce. It is a never-ending process—feeding the birds. Last spring the grackles had not discovered the feeders. But they are here now and always have a sentry on duty to report to their cousins when the feeders are refilled. What gluttons!
I often wonder why everything that brings us pleasure also has its element of danger. Histoplasmosis is a disease that humans can catch from wild birds. It is a respiratory disease resulting from inhalation of dust spores from the dried droppings of wild birds. Shortness of breath is common. It is serious and can infect the eyes. The many symptoms mimic other diseases.
These descendents of dinosaurs are our best combat against insects. Because of this, the bird feeders stand empty quite often. Then I see a little chickadee desperately searching for a sunflower seed. You know what I am impelled to do.
©Ann Rains June, 2017
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