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Bird Tales

Cedar Waxwing in schoolyard

As the last days of school wind down,  I’ve had close encounters with a couple of birds over the past couple of days . Yesterday I saw this lovely Cedar Waxwing in the early morning schoolyard picking at some gauzy material that had somehow found its way into the branch of the tree. It’s been a long time since I’d seen a Cedar Waxwing and it took me a couple of minutes to go through my memory bank of birds I know. Some of our younger staff had never heard of a  Cedar Waxwing.  I had hoped to see it again today, but there was no sign of it.

However, this morning had its own bird drama. Downtown a little not-yet-fledge sparrow had fallen out of its nest. I watched the touching sight of two young men picking up this tiny bird and trying to find a safe spot to place it. They tried the entryway to a Subway shop, but decided it wasn’t the best location and were crossing the street with the sparrow cradled in the palm of one man’s hand when my bus came along. I left, saying a prayer for the little sparrow and its rescuers.

When I arrived at school I told a teacher of the little drama I had witnessed. He had his own story of a Snowbird (Junko) that he found unconscious in his snow-filled backyard one winter, possibly after flying into a window. He could see its tiny chest rising and falling so he scooped it up and brought it indoors to warm it and see if it would revive. He placed it in the cat carrier to contain it and keep it safe from their cat.

An hour or two later, the bird woke up. He could only imagine the bird’s surprise and confusion to find himself in this plastic cage, when his last memory would be flying free. He took the bird outside, opened the carrier and away flew the Snowbird, recovered and restored. He said that every time he sees a Junko he wonders….

I hope the little sparrow downtown does as well.


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