Mourning the Mourning Dove

IMGP3890Yesterday 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?

About Patsye

I am an older woman and artist. I love to craft. I love to sew and knit and crochet and needlepoint. I love to paint and draw and make art with my hands. Being creative is what gets me up in the morning. Art is my tea, my fresh air, my good book, and my cats all rolled into one. I have much to share and hope you'll visit often.
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7 Responses to Mourning the Mourning Dove

  1. Pingback: Two Hours Later | whimseytopia

  2. Jill says:

    Awww… sorry to hear this sad story. We just witnessed a dog getting hit on our road this weekend. Ted saw it in our yard and ran outside with a leash to try and catch her, but she took off. She was too fast and flew down the road. The only thing to be grateful is she didn’t cause a car accident as all the cars were breaking hard to miss her.

    • Well, son of a gun. Look who’s back. I think of you often and have wondered if you’d start up again. I need to go visit to see what’s been happening. Sorry about the dog thing. I saw two dogs on US40 the other day. One had already been hit, and the other was guarding it, and was soon to be a goner as well. A car had stopped to help so I went on. So sad.

  3. Max says:

    Hi Patsye … we often have birds hit our windows, especially in the spring. You will have other occasions to visit the ‘bird healer’ so it’s good you have made her acquaintance. I envy you being able to plant things outdoors now. Snow is still on the ground here in the mountains of PA but the calendar says we will soon warm up.

    • Hi Max: I think of you often and wonder how the job is going. You’re right, I’m afraid, and I’m glad to have the lady’s number now so I can move more quickly. It has been beautiful here, and great weather for having small adventures in these quaint little towns. I need to stop spending money on all the quaint meals and antiques I find though. That or get a job myself.

  4. starrystez says:

    How very sad but at the same time a beautiful story. I don’t believe kindness is ever wasted. The bird will be aware that you tried to help.

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