Friend In Need Knocks On The Door
It was mid morning last Saturday. I was working on my computer upstairs and my wife was busy watering and pruning the plants in the front beds. I heard a sound I couldn’t quite identify and went back to work. In a few minutes, my wife called up to me that I needed to come look on the front porch. When I looked through the storm door I saw a little bird, obviously dazed. I didn’t realize yet this was to be my friend in need.
I walked slowly and carefully out to where the bird was. I visually inspected it for signs of injury. It didn’t appear to be favoring a wing or standing funny so I thought I would just sit a few more minutes with it and see how it did. It seemed to come around a bit so I thought I would very carefully pick it up and see if I could at least get it off the ground and into a nearby tree. Its objections to that convinced me it was doing even better than I thought. It squawked and flew into a nearby bush with apparent ease. Here are the pictures my wife took of it.
We decided to leave it be and give it a small bit of water where it could see it from where it was perched. We left and when I came back to check in 30 minutes or so, it had flown off. My wife and I were happy.
Window Strike Mortality
I should say here that I’m aware of the mortality rate of window strikes. However, I believe this bird was foraging around in one of our patio planters very close to our house when it was startled so I don’t think it hit that hard.
Shortly after this encounter, I consulted my trusty Smithsonian Birds of North America
book and discovered this was a Magnolia Warbler. The range map indicated that it was here on its way south, probably Florida. It also told me it was a female in non-breeding plumage.
My Friend Returns
Fast forward to Monday afternoon. I was downstairs enjoying some tea and a book and heard a familiar sound on my back door. This time I was able to see a bird trying to land on one of the door’s panes and failing. The poor thing was barely able to keep from free falling to the ground but did manage a soft landing.
I peeked through the glass to see-you guessed it-my little friend sitting on my top patio step looking disoriented. Because the door opens in, I stepped out there and sat down next to her. I was really worried because she was panting and just staring at the door. She had no drooping wing or other obvious injury.
After a couple of minutes, the sweetest thing occurred. She turned her head and was looking at me. I got a little water from a nearby bird bath and let it drop off my index finger. She took it thankfully and it really seemed to revive her. She returned to staring at me. I sat still.
In a few more minutes I asked her if she felt well enough to fly. She turned her head, looked at me, and flew off into a nearby tree. I have not seen her since.
Benefit of Paying Attention
It’s amazing what wonderful things we can see when we’re paying attention. I hope and pray that my friend did not sustain any serious injury and that she made it to Florida to be with her friends. I further hope that I was able to assist her (even in a small way) to continue her journey in life.
Over to You
If you’ve had a similar experience with any wildlife, I’d love to hear about it. Also, if you’ve enjoyed this post please share it on social media with the buttons below.