Not too long ago, I woke up one morning to a sound that I could only describe as some very frantic and angry popcorn popping. Utterly confused by the mysterious sound emanating from outside, I did not come to understand the source of the racket until I peered from a downstairs window. A brown bird (a grackle, to be more precise) was standing on our neighbor’s roof, boldly scolding a cat standing on our fence. The cat, who is known to patrol our fence-top from time to time, simply stared at the bird, seeming quite confused by the bird’s sudden rage.
With the sound now explained, I thought that was the end of it until Mother Duck went outside and spotted a baby bird sitting underneath a bush. It was a rather big bird baby, nearly the size of its protective mother. But something about its features, including its scruffy body, made it quite clear that this was a chick that had fallen from its nest. No wonder the mother was so upset.
We wanted to help the baby bird, but we couldn’t really think of anything that would offer it additional protection from the neighborhood cats or the elements. Our only idea was to put it in a shallow cardboard box lined with paper towels so it would at least not have to sit on the ground with the bugs. We went outside with the box in tow, the little bird still sitting underneath the bush. I was just going to put it in the box and leave.
Well, the baby bird started chirping, and at my approach, it started hobbling away at surprisingly high speeds for such a clumsy creature and retreated to the nearby corner of the yard. I knelt down, ready to put it in the box and return it to the shade beneath the bush, but the baby bird fled the other way, jumping into the box, then right out again as it ran back to the safety of the bush. This was when the tree branches overhead exploded with angry bird noises, as apparently the baby bird had far more than just its own mother watching out for it. Mother Duck was even struck with what we assumed was an “attack-poo”.
Our mission a failure, Mother Duck and I retreated inside as birds yelled at us and flew overhead. Days have passed since writing this post, and the baby bird is still safe and sound, even if Mother Duck gets in trouble whenever she goes outside to put out the trash or water the yard. Hopefully, the baby bird will continue to stay safe, and in the meantime, we’ll just have to remember that our yard is apparently not ours anymore….