Monday, August 10, 2020

Another Day in the Woods (Or the Hairy Incident)

If you've been around here long enough, you might know that I regularly rescue birds who've slammed themselves into my front window.  Probably 99% of the time, they're savable.  The other 1% never had a chance, so I do what I can to make their last seconds calm and quiet before I lay them to rest in one of my gardens.

So, yesterday, I was in here playing poker - on a particularly awesome hot streak by the way - when I hear something SLAM into the front window.  I sat myself out of the game and walked up front to see if any bird needed help.  Sure enough, there was an either female or immature hairy woodpecker sitting on one of the porch chairs, looking dazed.

I call back to Hubs that I'm headed out, slip on my shoes, and out I go. 

Now, usually, I scoop them into my hands, hold them and pet them until they're well enough to fly off on their own.  It usually takes a few minutes.  Sometimes, more.  One particularly loopy red-headed woodpecker took about 20 minutes of care before he flew off.  Occasionally, they recover enough to fly off when they see my hands approaching.

This one looked like a minimal care hit.  Still, I reached for it.  And it promptly flew onto my leg.

If you don't know much about woodpeckers, they have rather long and pointy talons made for gripping the bark of trees.  And it was using those long and pointy talons to grip onto my leg.  Only for a second or two.  Then it fluttered onto the porch and hopped over behind the chairs.

Still, not 100% back to normal bird behavior, so I followed it, grabbed it up, and sought to provide aid and comfort.  I know, I know, scaring the hell out of it so I can comfort it.  I get that, but it's necessary.  Basically, I want these birds to be able to fly off on their own like normal birds, so they don't get eaten by one of the neighbors' cats.  This one wasn't making it off the ground yet, so there you go.

And there we were, I was holding it and beginning my routine check to make sure there are no broken bones in the wings and that its eyes are both working, when suddenly its head flopped over like it had died.  Oh, noes!  I opened my loose grip to try and revive it.  As soon as my fingers unwrapped from it, it turned its head, looked at me, and flew off as fast as its wings could carry it. 

I had no clue birds could play possum, but I sweat that's what it did. 

Anyway, it was well enough to fly away and the scratches on my leg aren't that bad.  Way better than that hawk who scratched up my arm last year.  I applied plenty of antiseptic and stuff to keep the scratches clean and will continue to monitor them. 

Another day in the woods. 

Oh, and by the time I got back to my poker, it had removed me from the room where I was so lucky.  Damn it.  And oh well.  It was time to start dinner anyway.  ;o)


  1. Woodpeckers are weird. Just sayin'...

    And I do the same thing. I had a young blue jay wrapped in a light towel and tucked into a box for almost an hour before it passed. It's buried in the back next to Adidas and Cooper. I just can't throw one in the trash, whether I find it already expired or try to nurse it back.

    In a different life, I might have studied to be a wildlife rehabilitator.

    Sorry about the poker game. Do you ever get to do anything with all those virtual winnings?

    It's Monday. All day. Time to get to it. Later, tater.

    1. Aww, poor baby jay. Yeah, I can't throw them in the trash either. And I probably could've been a wildlife rehabber, too, but I don't have the time or patience for it now. Love the shows about them, though.

      The only thing I can do with the winnings is play more poker. I could play for bigger stakes with the amounts I have, but I prefer to stay where I am, slowly amassing virtual wealth like am internet dragon. Hehee.

  2. I didn't know birds could play possum. I'm amazed!

    I haven't had a bird fly into a window in this house, maybe because I have blinds on all the windows. Even partway tilted, it's obvious that it's a flight hazard.

    1. I still don't know if they do play possum, but that one did. Ugh, birds and windows.

  3. Who knew? Yay for being OK to fly - and to you for being such a caring individual!

    Partridges are known to wander around with what looks like a broken lure predators away from the nest or young ones. I had only heard of this up north - but the other day, as I stood in the window watching Ron and Zoe walk back up the driveway from their morning walk, out comes a partridge with what looks like a broken wing. It hops away, hops closer, dragging this poor wing...and driving Zoe nuts. Sure enough, it gets further up the driveway and flies off, nothing wrong! Not sure if she was protecting a nest or young ones, but it was fascinating to watch. (I did, however, think I might have to call the wildlife people until I remembered the 'Broken Wing Syndrome'). LOL

    1. Thanks, Janet. I can't just leave them there looking all dazed and fair game to the predators.

      Killdeer do that, too! It's fascinating. Cool that you got to see a partridge doing it at your house.