Monday, December 26, 2016

A dazed and confused visitor

One Saturday before Christmas, thinking back I believe it was the first Saturday of the month for I was leaving the house, I spotted him on the top step. He was a brilliant red cardinal, and he did not move when I stood looking down at him. Yes, he was alive, but he did not fly away. He just sat there.
I pulled out my cellphone and called my wife. She was just inside the house, of course, but there's a feral cat or two that wander around here, and I didn't want to take the chance of one of them finding him while I went inside to get her. She's the bird expert.
"I've got an emrgency out here," I said.
She came right out.
"What is it?" she said, a little breathlessly.
"Come and look," I said. "He won't move. I guess  he's sick."
She reached down and picked him up. As I said, she's the bird expert.
He didn't try to fly away. She caressed him.
"Maybe he just flew into the window and knocked himself out," she said. "He acts dazed."
"I've got to go," I said, for I had two photo assignments from the local paper that day, a Christmas parade in one town in the morning and in another town in the evening.
I snapped a picture of her hands holding the bird, and I left.
That was mid-morning. When I got back in the middle of the afternoon, the first thing I asked her about was the bird.
"He's all right now, I think," she said. "I hear him moving around in the box. Take him outside and see if he'll fly away."
I took him outside to our bird sanctuary, the space outside the kitchen window where we set several posts to hold bird feeders next to the bird bath. They are between the house and the hedge that separates our side yard from the lot next door. Birds love the sanctuary.
I sat the box on the ground and pulled the flaps apart. He burst out and flew up and landed in the top of the hedge and looked around before flying off.
With some time before I had to go do my evening photo shoot, I filled all the seed feeders and the suet feeders. I put fresh water in the bird bath.
Later, when they came back for the eveining feeding frenzy, I saw several cardinals, both male and female. I presume that one of the brilliant red males was our earlier visitor.

No comments: