Thursday, March 13, 2008

Running Late

I had already made my rounds--a loop out through the back woods with a hurried check for any changes in the two vernal pools, and weaving back across the field, to the house.
A short walk.
Then, off to work.

Pleased that I was, for once, ahead of schedule, and excited that I might actually walk casually in the front door, instead of the more usual scurrying and apologies to my coworkers—I gathered my lunch bucket and purse, grabbed jacket, phone and keys…and stepped out.
Almost in the same moment as I was pulling the outer door closed behind me, a loud “TICK” stopped me in my tracks.

My first thought...bird hit window.

But as I circled the house, checking beneath each and finding no one, I reconsidered. Maybe a branch had dropped onto the skylight, for it sounded less like a feathered object than other strikes.

Scanning, finally, to the herb garden just outside the kitchen, I found him.
A Hairy Woodpecker, mired in the one remaining pile of icy snow beneath the east-facing window.

I would be late for work.
Again.




Stumble Upon Toolbar

24 comments:

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Aaaaawwwwwwwwwww Poor little fellow. I hope he flew away later.

mon@rch said...

Feel bad for the little thing! Many times they stun themselves and once they dizzyness is over they are able to fly better! It is amazing seeing these guys up close like this! Probably back to normal by morning!

Chris said...

Oh he is sooooo adorable!!! Too bad he got hurt, but great opportunity to be able to hold him! Wow, neat!

nina said...

He ended up flying off after a rest--and as much as I cringe whenever I hear something hit, we find very few die from the impact--more often, rest, collect themselves, and fly away.
When I picked him up, his feet weren't working (nerve injury?) and he held them curled beneath himself, unable to stand. He just needed some time to regain his composure and rest, warm and dry.
He was very alert, though, so I propped him on the log, out of the snow.
I don't consider this "rehab", but we've released countless birds after giving them just 45 minutes' quiet, warm and dark.
To have one and be able to see it with such detail looking back at you, is really indescribable.

Anna said...

Hi Nina, oh poor little guy, however it was good to have you around. These are really nice photos of the woodpecker. Anna :)

Carolyn H said...

Ah, such a beauty. I'm always sorry and scared for a bird when one hits one of my windows, but the chance to hold one, even for a few seconds, is a wonder.

Carolyn H.

dguzman said...

Holy moly, Nina. I would've been VERY late to work that day, because I wouldn't have been able to take my eyes off that bird. I've only had one window strike that I know of, and I only figured it out when I found a dead B-C Chickadee under my living room window.

I'm still freaking out at the idea of holding a woodpecker.... wow.

Richard said...

Nina Nightingale...good reason for being late.

Dave Coulter said...

I'm glad the bird recovered! I had a similar encounter with a warbler last spring...

Mary said...

Nina, I'm so glad he made it through. A window strike would make me late for work, too. We've had plenty...unfortunately, most of them were fatal.

I envy your opportunity to hold a male Downy. Your photos are beautiful. You made a connection with a bird that needed you. wow.

T.R. said...

Nurse Nina to the rescue. I like your priorities! I was late to work today because of a sunrise. Some things we must bare witness to - even at a cost. Thanks for finding that bird. Come visit soon.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Most birbs when hitting glass do so with their beaks first. The shock to the system causers a safty shutdown.. which give time retures... much the same as I P.C. rebooting in safe mode... one step at a time. All Wood Peakers beaks have a built in shock absorber which would have help the little fellow. Placed in a safe warm place most birds do recover just like this one.
Beautiful pictures.

cestoady said...

So the Hairy WP looked back at you --as you comment above -- I wonder what i IT was thinking ( and it certainly must be thinking something ) about the morning events . You were late for work -- but how did the strike affect the HWP's day ??

Kathiesbirds said...

Nina, the bird strikes always break my heart. Like you, I have pciked up the pour things and sheltered them from heat or cold, depending on conditions. Most do fly off, but sometimes they die. I had a mourning dove do that last week. It broke my heart. But a couple days later a litte goldfinch hit and I picked it up off the cold cement and cradled it loosly in my palms. After a while it flew off. Amazing! what beautiful photos!

Sonia said...

So beautiful!

Mary C said...

Nina, did you have your camera in hand? Or did you grab the camera before/after you found that beautiful Hairy? Those are fantastic photos. Thanks for sharing.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Very cool opportunity to get a closer look at the woodpecker. I'm glad that he is doing OK.

I had taken the winter off from blogging- glad to see that you have faithfully continued. Great site! Nature is cool!

Q said...

Dear Nina,
Helping Hairy out was very kind of you. I also have had a few woodpeckers hit my windows. Good thing they have hard heads!
So sweet.
Sherry

Cathy said...

'Late again.' Too beautiful, Nina.

pineyflatwoodsgirl said...

Nina, I've noticed you holding other birds. How does one do that? Do they have to be stunned by something and resting on the ground? Are they frightened by being held?

I have a cardinal at my office who comes every day several times a day and pecks on the window as though he wants to get in. He has been doing this for several weeks. Why do you suppose this happens? I've just assumed it was my late friend tie dye Mark visiting me in a form we both loved....

Sandpiper said...

I hate it when they hit the windows. I've had some hit and survive, but also have lost a few. Beautiful pictures. Amazing to hold them in your hands. Only then do you realize how small and fragile they really are under all those feathers.

Texas Travelers said...

Glad both of you are doing fine.

Mel said...

That's something worth of being late ;)

wolf21m said...

What a great story that you were able to help out. Great photos as well! I'm glad he turned out ok. If I wa syour boss I would forgive your tardiness!