Backyard Birds – July 2012

I’ve been on vacation this week and getting tons of stuff done around the house.  Mostly, I’ve been spending time in the backyard – sanding and staining portions of the deck, weeding, cleaning up the backyard.  Josh has been helping a bit too.  Of course, taking some time to sit patiently and wait for candid bird photos is particularly enjoyable.  I usually post the pictures on Facebook, but today I decided I’d post them here instead.

And here’s one of the roses on the rose-bush I bought from Wal-Mart several years ago.

The Third Bird

It happened Saturday morning.  I was walking from the kitchen to the dining room when I heard the loud bang on the dining room window.  Several expletives escaped from my mouth as I opened the front door and confirmed that there was a bird down.

Another teenage male cardinal lay dazed on the porch.  It wasn’t dead; it was just stunned.  I got my gloves and picked it up.  It sat upright and let me stroke its back.  Jamie came out and checked the bird too.  He suggested getting some water, so we took it to the deck and set in it Buddy’s water bowl (Jamie put only enough water to cover the bottom of the bowl).  After several minutes, it seemed much better, perkier.  We tried to pick it up but it flew (albeit slightly) down to the patio chair.  It stood there for a couple of minutes and as we tried to approach it, it flew to the corner of the deck.  Again, it stood there and when we moved toward it after a minute or two, it flew away.

I went downstairs and checked out back to make sure it hadn’t flown away just to drop again, but it was nowhere in sight.  That made me happy.

What is it with these birds that cause them to fly into glass?  The reflection?  I wish they’d stop!  But at least this one survived the crash.

Two Dead Birds in Two Days

I posted on Facebook on Tuesday that when I let Buddy (my dachshund) out that morning I noticed a dead bird on the concrete pad outside the basement door.  I’m guessing it rammed headfirst into the glass door and immediately died.  It was a gray bird – not sure what species.  This is not the first time this has happened.  Sometimes the birds fly into the windows and survive; sometimes they don’t.  The last time I had to remove a dead bird was last year sometime, and that was a female cardinal.  That bothered me – I love cardinals (much like my mom).

Things usually come in 3’s, right?

Wednesday after work when I let Buddy out, I heard a lot of anxious wing flapping on the ground under a forsythia bush near the corner of the house.  I looked and sure enough, a bird was desperately trying to get up.  I got my garden gloves and pruner because I had to cut back a few branches to get to the poor bird.  By the time I did, which was only a matter of a few minutes, the teenage male cardinal was almost gone.  I picked it up gingerly and coddled it in my hand.  Its eyelids moved so slowly, and I watched as it expired in my hand.  I got emotional – it just didn’t feel right that two birds in two days died in my backyard.  Especially one dying in my hand.  It’s hard for a mom to deal with.

Jamie had just gotten home at the point I discovered the bird under the bush.  Upon determining the bird was dead, he told me to fling it over the fence.

What?

Fling the bird that just died in my hand over the fence?

I couldn’t do that.  I rested the bird (with what I think may have been a broken neck) on the stones under the little bridge in my backyard.  I figured nature would do its thing – whatever that was going to be – and the bird would be gone when I checked the next day.

Wrong.

It was still there Thursday evening.  A handful of ants were crawling on its underside.  This time I decided it was better to put the bird on the other side of the fence (not fling it, but put it there).

I will not climb over the fence to check on it after work today.

But I’m wondering when and where I’ll find the third bird.

Although Josh let me know this afternoon that while he was cutting the grass he found a dead mouse under the picnic table under the deck.  Does that count as the third occurrence of dead things in the backyard?

Maybe I should write to Stephen King and ask him … he may know.