Tuesday, September 2, 2014

In With A Bang

The calendar might say the New Year starts on January 1, but a calendar is a soulless being. It's never opened a new box of crayons, put on a new "starting school" outfit, or tried to keep from using a new eraser so it wouldn't get marred by pencil lead. I might be long past my childhood days of starting school right after Labour Day, and a few years past the start of a new homeschool year with my own children, but the sense of the the proper New Year starting at the beginning of September has lingered.

This year the first day of September rolled in with a bang. Quite literally. Early in the morning as I was sitting at my computer, cup of tea in hand, there was a huge thud. A bird had hit the French doors leading onto our patio, and judging by the sound it was going at full speed. I went over to the doors, almost afraid to look. There was no way a bird could have hit with that much force and still be alive. At first glance it seemed as if my worst fears were confirmed.


The little bird was splayed, with one wing sticking out at a funny angle and its legs stuck straight out. It was also struggling for breath. Almost sadder than seeing the little bird suffering like that, was seeing its mom sitting there waiting for it to get up and fly off with her.

I stayed inside, watching and hoping and despairing. There was no way the baby bird was going to make it, and I wondered if I should do the kind thing and put it out of its misery, but knowing that deep down I was too big of a coward to actually carry through with it. Then something amazing happened. The little bird sat up.


A few minutes later the mom flew off, leaving the baby bird stranded on our patio. She must have thought it would follow her, but it just sat there, looking quite lost. I decided to go out and see if I could encourage it, but it didn't help. That's when I noticed the Purple Poop. These birds had clearly been snacking in one of the nearby patches of blackberries. 


I thought it was a good sign that the bird's digestive system was working, and sure enough, a few minutes later it flew away and joined its mom. After hitting the glass so hard, I'm sure this little bird will never be the brightest one in the flock. I'm also sure we will never get the stains out of our deck. 

As long as I'm on the subject of birds, I might as well show you the swallows that have taken up residence in the rafters above the garbage dumpsters. Every time I go there I'm greeted by the sounds of their gentle chirping. I especially love how they all sit tightly bunched together, like best friends having a visit. 

Happy September!

35 comments:

  1. When a bird hits out doors (even with the black stick on bird outlines that are supposed to tell them there is a door there....) they are stunned and I usually go out and put a shoe box over them....with holes in it of course....it protects them and gives them some convalescent time before they fly off......this is especially good in winter.....because the box acts as insulation.......poor little bird! Love the swallows too!

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    1. We've rescued many birds doing a similar thing, Anne, but this time it was different because the mother bird was sitting there waiting. Plus the bird looked too young to make it on its own. By the time the incident was finished there were three piles of purple poop decorating my deck. Sadder still was the fact that I actually looked at the deep purple colour and had the thought it would be a beautiful colour to dye some yarn. :-)

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  2. Swallows remind me of childhood memories of holidays in our family house in Italy. They were nesting there under the roof. I am glad the little bird recovered. I know what you mean by being too cowardly to put the little creature out of its memory. Our cats often bring life mice in and leave them for me, usually injured. I usually lock the cat and mouse in a room and hope the problem gets resolved without my intervention. Purple poop, amazing. Reminds of the red poop babies produce when fed beetroot :-)

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    1. Ha! I like your cat/mouse solution, Christina. I'm guessing the cat comes out the winner every time.

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  3. Thank goodness that little one survived that big impact, you must have been shaking a bit with all the worry.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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    1. I'm a coward, Meredith. I really didn't want to have to put the bird out of its misery. :-)

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  4. Oh, poor little bird. It's nice to know that his story ends happily!

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    1. I just hope he found his mom after he flew away. I'm fairly certain she was hanging around waiting.

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  5. It is amazing how birds can fly into windows and suchlike and still get up and fly away isn't it. xx

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    1. I've seen it go both ways - when they get up and fly away, and when they don't. When my kids were little my youngest daughter was always trying to rescue birds that flew into the window, and she was always so sad when they died. The ones that didn't make it would get buried in the "cemetery" they had at the bottom of the hill.

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  6. That happens at my house too and I think it could be because the sky is usually so clear, they just don't see the difference between the reflected sky and the real one. Or maybe I'm keeping my windows too clean...yes, I'm sure that must be it. :)

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    1. I think you're right - it's because you keep your windows too clean. :-)

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  7. Poor little thing it must have been so scared, I'm glad it was ok in the end.

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    1. I'm glad too. I wasn't sure what I was going to do if it didn't recover. When the kids were young they would put the hurt birds in a shoe box and keep them in the garage, but we don't have any place here that's suitable as a bird hospital.

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  8. Your description of the last photo made me smile. Add a few more birds and it's like book club at my house. :)

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    1. Ha! Actually, sometimes there are four of the birds sitting together. Closer yet to your book club!

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  9. What a beautiful ending to such a tale of woe. poor thing. The swallows made a great picture would make a great page for a calendar.

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    1. Aren't the swallows fun? Sometimes there are four of them grouped together like that, but three is the most I've managed to capture on my camera. You're right - they would make an awesome calendar picture. :-)

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  10. I'm so pleased for the bird! A blackbird hit one of our windows a couple of years ago, but didn't make it. I was so upset.
    Leanne xx

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    1. It is upsetting, Leanne. There's not much that can be done about it though. Some people put decals in their windows so the birds realize they can't fly through, but with mixed success. We've had a few hummingbirds fly into this window, but this is the first larger bird to do so. I think the mother was teaching it to fly, and it was a lesson gone wrong.

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  11. Beautiful pics of the birds. I have learnt to leave the little ones that hit the window for an hour or more and seen them recover after that time even though they lay like death for ages. Baby birds often hit windows- sadly it's the only way some of them seem to learn about glass. I hate that noise. Glad yours had a happy ending x

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    1. Yes, the mother was out teaching this one the finer points of flying. Either she was a bad teacher or the little bird was a slow pupil. :-)

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  12. Kristie, I needed an animal story with a happy ending. Last night as we drove home in the dark in the rain on I-70, a major Interstate that runs across our entire country, a rabbit decided to cross the 3-lane highway right in front of our vehicle that was going 70 mph. It did not make it across.

    I agree with you that the start of school always felt like the new year to me. Now I always feel a bit of nostalgia and notice that since my husband retired, in addition to not feeling any great change in my life just because it's September, I no longer can distinguish the week from the weekend for the most part. It's only the little routines we've established for ourselves that give us the clue.

    You'll always have that stain on your deck to remind you of the folly of youth. You can point at it with your grandchildren and tell them they should listen to their mother or else! :-)

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    1. I"m sorry about the rabbit, Cathy. It's always such a sick feeling to run over an animal. I fear you're right about the stain. I think it will be there for many years, reminding me of those birds and all the blackberries they consumed. :-)

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  13. January does seem like the worst of the 4 quarters to be the start of a new year, followed by June. September or March would be much more meaningful.

    I'm glad the bird was able to carry on. It's always sad when one hits a window or door. Someone told me it happens more often in the fall because birds eat berries that have fermented. I don't know if that's true. I had to bury a young cardinal the first September we moved into our current home. The swallows are very cute--it's always nice to see such togetherness!

    PS - Re your response above, we had a "cemetary" as well. Glad it wasn't just us. :)

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    1. We need to start a petition. Although, maybe it's better to leave things as they are. This way, for all of us who feel like this is the beginning of the year, we are left in peace. If it was ever officially changed, commercialism would soon ruin it for us. I would hate to have the start of fall marketed.

      Did your kids perform funerals? Mine did. :-)

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  14. I was dreading reading on, thank goodness it was a happy ending. Fabulous photos. Those little swallows are so cute.

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  15. I love the photos including the vibrancy of the purple bird poop which evidently literally got knocked out of him. Birds are amazingly resilient little creatures, aren't they? I am so glad you didn't gather your courage and do away with him. Happy Endings!!

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    1. The mother bird pooped on the deck, too. :-( But it was definitely a happy ending. Those are the only kind I like!

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  16. Gorgeous bird photos, Kristie. I always hate it when a bird collides with any of our windows, but thankfully none of the collisions have ever been fatal.

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    1. Thanks Perpetua! We have had so many birds hit our windows over the years, and I'm sad to say quite a few of them have died. It was nice this collision had a good ending!

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  17. I so glad the bird was only stunned. The first photos looked as if there was no hope. Sarah x

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    1. That's what I thought, Sarah. The little bird was in bad shape. But thankfully it turned out okay!

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  18. What a lucky escape for the little bird. Here's hoping you don't encounter that bear and I find myself needing to write about a lucky escape in that context!!

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