Yesterday was an unusual day. There was that deer-in-the-road-thing which turned out to be good. But as the day progressed, and we’d returned from our adventure on Blowing Rock, we felt we had just enough energy to put in a couple more Leyland Cypresses that will comprise our backyard hedge.
We weren’t out there more than a few minutes when I found an adult dove flopping around in the woods. I thought at first it was just picking at food until I realized something was wrong. I couldn’t see anything but a misshapen leg, so I figured it might be broken. What to do? I tried to ignore it, but couldn’t. As time went on, it seemed more in distress. So I looked on the Internet and found a Bird Rescuer in our area and gave her a call. She wanted a report, which I couldn’t provide; like when did the injury happen and what exactly was wrong with the bird. I told her I didn’t know, but would be glad to bring it to her and she could do whatever she does with injured birds.
So I did. I gently placed the now terrified dove into a box on a towel and pet her until she calmed down. When we got there the rescuer turned out to be a nice old lady, very adept at bird physical examinations, and noticed very quickly that the dove’s bill was not just cracked, but broken in two; not a good sign.
I asked if there was hope, adding quickly that a “yes” was the answer I was looking for. She said “yes” and we were on our way. Then I made the big mistake of looking up broken bills on birds, and learned that there was little hope of this bird making it.
You would think that as an ICU nurse none of this would faze me. But as I age I get more empathetic toward helpless creatures like birds, squirrels, and anything that might have to endure what we’re doing to this planet. Probably this dove hit our window, and probably this has happened dozens of times over the years because our windows are very big. But I had a bad night last night, thinking about this poor little creature. My husband helped with his kind words about my doing all I could, and that whatever fate the rescuer had in store for her, it would be better than to die slowly and alone through loss of blood, dehydration or hypothermia. And yes, we did take a picture before we dropped her off at the rescue place. I don’t know why except I wanted to remember her calm and at least appearing comfortable. I wonder if she’ll remember me?