Saturday, May 30, 2009

Saving Chickadee

This is a picture of a non-injured Chickadee—our little friend was too sad to take pictures of.

In between Crossfit and our ill-fated bike ride this morning, Marc discovered a badly injured Chickadee beneath our plum tree. There is a large hole in the trunk of the tree where some of the chickadees have their nest. They love to sit in the tree and talk to each other and to the chickens, whose house is just below it. Our sad wounded friend was not quite a grown-up bird yet, still between babyhood and adult with soft downy feathers. At first, we thought the only problem was her foot was caught in a mass of string and hair which was stuck to a bit of a plant—likely nest making material. But once we carefully cut her free from the tangle we saw the situation was far worse. Her neck or spine was broken so that she could not hold her head upright, and if perched on a branch was looking at the world upside down. Every time she would try and straighten out, she would just end up spinning upside down and struggling to right herself, all the while cheeping pitifully. We initially took turns carrying her around the yard, which helped because she was more secure with something to perch on than just spinning around. Eventually we put her in a box under her nest to see if the other birds would come for her. They did come to visit and talk to her, but there was nothing they, or we, could do for her. I went online and looked up the closest wildlife rescue and called PAWS in Lynnwood (which also does wildlife rescue), who told me they would be happy to take her. The woman at the desk said it was likely she had crashed into a window or something similar. This seems improbable to me since she was at the far end of our yard, well away from any houses, and she was not at all able to fly or walk. I don’t know if they will be able to help her (the woman told me sometimes they can help this kind of injury, but I was skeptical), but if they can’t at least they will be able to put her out of her misery in a humane way. Sad little birdy!

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