The back of my house faces east, which means the sun rises over my backyard. One of my favorite things to do is to eat breakfast on the patio, facing the sun, and allowing its warmth and light to wash over me as the wind rustles through the leaves of the trees and I listen to the birds sing. This morning, as I was sitting down with my omelet and a cup of coffee, a little goldfinch fell out of the honeysuckle and creeper vines that grow on a trellis next to the table on my patio. The little guy or gal was just sitting there on the ground under my chair, and seemed a little stunned and wiped out. Baby bird was new enough that it still had some of the fuzzy feathers that little baby birds are born with wisping out from between it’s more mature feathers that are built for flying.
I was worried that baby bird would be harassed by my curious whippets should it move. They are gentle dogs, but they have an instinct to chase, catch, and kill small things that move, and I, in an effort to avoid potential carnage, I scooped little baby bird up very carefully in my cupped hands. Baby was scared, of course, and I was worried about the additional trauma I was causing. Knowing what I do about energy, I shifted my energy as best I could to send what I hoped were supportive and safe messages to the baby bird’s circuitry. But I could feel it trembling, and I could picture its little heart beating far too hard and fast for good health. Being an energy worker and healer, I shifted to allow Reiki to flow through my palms in an effort to comfort the little being there. She calmed down after a few moments, partially due to exhaustion, I’m sure. She didn’t try to fly away, however, but instead gripped onto the skin of my hands with her little baby bird feet. She was clearly feeling dazed, but my hands felt safe to hold onto. I decided to place her over my heart to see what might happen, and to my surprise she rested there gently and her little eyes began to close.
My abandoned breakfast was calling to me, and so was my coffee, so after a little, while I decided to move baby bird from my chest to some sort of soft and safe place next to me on the table. I carried the baby into the house and picked up a dishtowel to place her on outside.
She rested there, looking sleepy, while I ate a little more breakfast and sipped a little more coffee. She opened her little mouth, like she was hoping to be fed. It was hot on the patio, and I wondered if she was thirsty. Her little mouth was open long enough that it started to look dry inside. Not being a bird myself, I’m not built in a way to feed her the way her momma does, but that little mouth was pleading with me. I left the bird on the table, and went to find a bottle cap that I put water in, and set it down next to her little beak. She didn’t seem to know what to do with the water at all. I realized I was going to have to put it in her mouth somehow.
I decided to use my finger and see what happened. It was awkward because even my smallest finger was huge compared to that little mouth, and I felt clumsy as I tried to drip water into her mouth. Her beak was at the wrong angle to just drip water into, and I ended up putting it on top of her beak. She instinctively swallowed it, her little tongue working, and the water seemed to revive her. She became more alert, and she started peeping softly, but she still rested there, opening her little mouth, hopefully. I picked her up again, and she gripped my fingers with her feet, made little peeping noises, and looked right at me with her little baby bird eyes. I wondered what she must be thinking and feeling. She seemed totally content to remain there on my hand and made no effort to fly away.
By this time, it had been an hour or more since we first started this interaction, and I wondered what was going to happen. It was such an unusual thing to happen that I thought surely something must be terribly wrong with this little bird, and I began to worry that it was dying because it was not acting like birds normally act around human beings.
My dogs just watched all this, they didn’t seem surprised at all that their mom was interacting with another animal in nature, and they treated it like this sort of thing was completely normal and natural, even to be expected. They didn’t seem jealous of the attention that this little creature was getting, and they didn’t interfere at all. It was pretty interesting, they just seemed to be supportive.
With the bird still on my hand, I went back inside and got a camera to take pictures. The little bird stayed on my hand, totally content where she was, not feeling any urge to go and explore my house, and seemingly not worried or afraid. Amazing. But things needed to shift back to normal. I wasn’t going to be able to take care of a little bird in my home along with two sight hounds who, although perfectly behaved so far, would eventually feel the need to capture this little baby bird, and besides, there would be bird poop everywhere.
I placed the bird on a branch in the vines beside the table. I had to place her little feet on the branches, she wasn’t eager to leave me at all, and once in the vines, she remained there with me in her sight. She was looking right at me as if she understood the communion we had had at a more basic level than I did. For another hour while I sat out there reading, she stayed in the vines above me. Eventually she began to sing in a little baby bird voice, and after a while, I realized that now there were about four goldfinches in my yard, all of them singing. It was actually quite loud. I wondered if one of them was baby’s real mommy hoping to guide her home. None of them seemed worried, though, they seemed encouraging; their voices were happy. For a moment, I felt a part of the goldfinch community in honor of my role as a goldfinch mommy during the previous few hours. It was cool, but also a little weird.
She stayed there until I went into the house to do the dishes. When I came back out, I couldn’t find her. I hope that she made it safely to her next branch, that she lives a long happy goldfinch life singing happy goldfinch songs. And, each time I see a goldfinch in my yard, I will wonder if it’s her coming home to check on me.