Sunday, December 7, 2014

Today I Set a Bird Free


I was out for a walk to the ponds with my dog and as we passed a flowerbed on the right I noticed a little ruffle among a few of the brown leaves in the bed. I paused to see a cute little bird flitting about, fly-hopping maybe a couple inches or so to protect itself. I thought it odd that the bird didn't just fly away so I bent down to have a closer look at what its trouble might be. There was a small piece of wood near its foot that followed the bird where it hopped to. When I reached down to see how the wood was attached, the bird hopped away from my hand..taking the wood with it. The wood turned over in one of the bird's futile hops to reveal a mouse trap on the other side. The bird had been caught in a mouse trap!

I still couldn't see if it was the tip of its wing or the bird's foot that was clamped, but I saw what looked to be blood near the edge of the wood where the bird was caught. Of course when I reached down to pick it up the bird hopped away again, this time stranding itself near the plants. Standing in a crouch in the flowerbed now, I lifted the wood up slightly so as not to cause more injury to the bird. I now saw clearly that the bird's foot was caught in the trap and had bled onto the board. Feeling for the bird, I lifted the metal trapping pinning its foot, expecting the bird to fly right off. It was several seconds, however, before the bird took lift. I don't know how a bird's system of recovery works, but I hope that since the feet are so tiny that it will survive the injury and make a complete recovery. The bird will likely need to learn to cope with standing on one foot. Poor bird. I am glad that I heard it fluttering. And to think that the residents of the house were just trying to catch a pestering mouse--or who knows what--but instead injured a little bird. How unfortunate.

I did not capture any of this on video or camera, though I had my phone with me. Yes it would be interesting to view, but I couldn't make the bird suffer any longer for my own pleasure, or the pleasure of others who may be reading this. I'd rather attend to the bird, which I did.

I wonder how many of us are like the little bird, though, and get caught in traps that are intended for other people, or things. It's really sad. (I suppose I have a bias for birds over mice and other vermin. Oh well. Vermin are vermin, and birds are birds. But for the analogy ...) I feel for those who get caught in traps made for other purposes, and I hope that recovery and healing will come to ease the wounds and injuries incurred. I hope that there will be those who will notice the little birds fluttering about in the corner of our eyes, making futile attempts to hop away for safety.