May 9th, 2007

thinky tim

Semi-traumatic experience

Some time this morning, I was sitting at my desk and doing some reading when a bird flew into my window. I didn't actually see it happen, just noticed a shadow in my peripheral vision an instant before I heard a thunk right above my head, where my window is located. My brain caught up after the fact, deciding that the shadow was approximately bird-sized and connecting it to the sound.

I stood up and looked out my window, and sure enough, there was a bird on the concrete path between my room (which is on ground-level) and the neighbors' yard. It was actually pretty horrific looking out, because I wasn't sure if I should expect to see a dead or bloody bird. Then I saw that it was actually moving, but I couldn't tell for several seconds whether it was trying to get up off its back or was in some sort of death throes.

Eventually I determined that it was the former, and then I wasn't sure what to do - how does one handle such a situation, anyway? The bird was on its back, but its legs were kicking and its head was moving, so I figured it couldn't be severely injured. I think it was having trouble flipping over with only the power of its legs and without anything to brace itself against, so I decided to try to help. (Imagine me trekking out there in PJs and a robe, keys in one hand and a large piece of cardboard in the other.)

Once I got within about 5 feet of it, though, it managed to right itself. It didn't move, but I also know that some birds freeze up as a defense mechanism, so I figured I should leave. I watched it from inside until it moved - its first hop was really clumsy, but its head was moving fine and it wasn't dragging either of its wings - and eventually it went over to the neighbors' picket fence and crawled between two posts. A few minutes later it was gone.

I'm hoping it was just hiding in the fence while it recovered, and left on its own, because ... well, otherwise I'd be really sad. And guilty, because I had pulled up the blinds on my window, which is a single pane of glass and could easily fool birds. It's not very big, and it's surrounded by the wall of the house, so this hasn't ever happened before. But still.

Yeah. Crazy morning.