Saturday, July 4, 2009

Baby bird

The baby sparrow that
fell out of a Blue jay's
beak today
black, yellow, and mauve marker,
charcoal and pink coloured pencil on bond paper
4 x 6 inches
Barbara Muir © 2009

Our little backyard was the scene of high drama today
as a blue jay stole a baby sparrow from the nest under
our eaves and ate it. That would have been high drama
enough, but later in the afternoon it came back to steal
another one, and I told the dog to bark at the jay. The thief
dropped the baby all right, and there we were on the horns
of a dilemma. What to do?

My father raised a baby robin, and so did my niece. I wasn't
around for my Dad's childhood, but watching my niece
raise that bird taught me an important lesson. If you know
where the bird comes from, by all means give it back. Otherwise
be ready to feed it either ground up worms or hamburger
puree every hour or so for a couple of months.
So Sam constructed a kind of crib out of the bottom of
a box of tissues, and paper towels, put on my winter gloves,
lifted the baby into the box.

He hauled our two story ladder out of the garage, and I held
it while he scaled up with baby bird, to try and put it
back. At the top, a very long way up, baby kept trying
to get back out. It had little wings, but did not have all
of its feathers. So Sam put it farther in and climbed down.
Whew. We then read on the net that we'd done exactly
the right thing. Good.

I love blue jays, but we'll have to get the marauding one
some peanuts so it can leave the baby birds alone.

Tonight I saw the movie Demons and Angels -- action
packed, but after the incidents with the birds, it seemed tame.

My drawing is an imperfect rendering of what the bird looked
like. I didn't think to take its picture.

Have a taking-care-of-nature day.


Liza Hirst said...

Oh, so fragile! You captured the helplessness perfectly, Barbara!
What a story - I think its great that you and Sam seemed to have saved him!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Liza,

Well so far there have been no birds on the ground (thank goodness) so we may have averted disaster in the sparrow world.


eldon warren said...

It takes a real big heart to put ones self to the trouble doing what you did to save the sparrow. Let the rest of the world take a lesson, huh?

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Eldon,

I'm not religious but I used to go to Sunday school and sing "God sees the little sparrow fall."

In this case it was me who saw it, and
my kind young son who helped.

Take care,


laura said...

Whew, congratulations on getting the baby back in its nest! Happily, Sam is not afraid of heights!

Barbara Muir said...

Hi Laura,

Yes, Sam is lucky not to be afraid.
It must be very hard to raise a family of birds when everything alive
wants to eat them.

Take care,


Jala Pfaff said...

Wonderful drawing and story! I remember trying so hard to keep one alive when I was a kid, even though my dad tried to dissuade me... alas, it didn't live.

I've come to your blog through Gwen Bell's and am enjoying visiting your blog. Am adding your link to mine...

Portrait Artist

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