Sunday, April 14, 2013

An Ordinary Life

Every living creature has worth. It may not be tangible or something you deem valuable, but no matter how commonplace or short lived, that being has a spirit and a purpose and is worth having in your life. Yes, even mosquitoes have worth because they provide nourishment for the birds that wake you each morning with their songs and the frogs that croon you to sleep every night. Sounds make my life more enjoyable, and in spring, one type of sound makes me want to celebrate the season. That sound is the gurgling of the Brown-headed Cowbird.

This isn't a post about the merits of a Cowbird so please, no comments on how they are a threat to other birds, displacing fledglings from a nest. I know the facts about this bird. This is about compassion and a need to help another living creature in distress and the sadness of a life lost. This feathered Cinderella didn't choose to be born a brood parasite after all, orphaned by a neglectful mother in a nest that doesn't quite fit with step siblings to compete with for food.

I had seen this bird the previous evening, struggling to get some lift, precariously perching on the fence. I was able to get quite close before it flew off only to make a hard landing on the ground nearby. When I saw the bird again the next day, poking around the pergola where the sunflower seeds had fallen from messy eaters, I was able to once again get very close. With all the stray cats and other animals that prowl my yard, I decided to interfere and bring the bird into the house for the night, hoping to release it when it was a bit stronger. Though no injuries were apparent, I felt something wasn't quite right.

I often find myself in situations where I need to step in and lend a hand with wildlife. Maybe word has gotten out - go to the The Crooked Little House if you are in need of a meal, a restful night or some loving care. So I keep a bird cage, terrarium and other containers at the ready. I nestled the exhausted bird onto a soft cloth in the cage, adding some wet bread and soaked, dry cat food, placing the cage in the darkened garage so the bird would calm down and rest for the night.

I had hoped to awake to a flutter of a fit and peppy bird, but instead I discovered the bird had died during the night. I was every bit as sad as if it had been a fox or rabbit or one of my beloved Chickadees. But it was just a dull-colored, common Cowbird, considered a nuisance by many. But it was the first sound of spring to me.

Treat yourself to the sound of spring by visiting this site and listening to the wonderful chortles, gurgles and chatter of the Brown-headed Cowbird.

"The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things."
                                                                                             Henry Ward Beecher


  1. Not dull at all! I think they're a beautiful little bird.

  2. I agree. I am so happy and proud to have you as my son!!!