Monday, September 13, 2004

Another encounter of the wild bird kind

My long term readers know that I'm always having bizarre bird experiences and my trip to the Crystal Coast yielded up yet another one. On Friday night I couldn't sleep so I headed out for one last walk down the beach. I got to the set of double doors leading out of the lobby and there was a guy crouched down flashing a light at something on the ground. I stopped short, not wanting to disrupt him and frankly not certain at first, whether he was just a drunk doing something nutty I didn't want to get involved in. As I crept closer, I saw he was talking to what certainly looked like a wild bird, except that it was completely motionless. I thought maybe he had hypnotized it with his little flashlight, which he was still shining intermmittently into its eyes. I was fascinated by this little tableau and watched for several minutes before he noticed I was standing there. He motioned me into the vesitibule.

I slid in quietly but the bird, although clearly alive, did not so much as as move a feather. It appeared to be a wren of some sort. The man's name was Bill and he told me the bird had hit the glass door as he was walking out and appeared to be stunned but not hurt. He was trying to revive it. I sat on the floor not four inches away from it and it still didn't flinch. It just stared at me. Having had several of these encounters now, I also started talking to it, trying to get it to react. We certainly couldn't leave it there alone with two cats prowling the yard outside, not to mention the huge possum that was also lurking somewhere. This went on for a few more minutes and still the bird didn't move.

I finally decided to try sticking my finger under it's chest to see if it would jump on as the other birds had done. No reaction whatsoever. I waited a few moments and tried again. It let me stroke its chest and didn't move at all. Bill and I continued to discuss the possibilities while the bird looked on with interest but no movement. We continued intermittently to attempt to get a reaction. It even let me stroke it's head.

Finally after about another ten minutes or so, it began to stir. I put my finger under it's chest one last time and still nothing. I finally said we should at least pick it up and put it in the shrubbery when at last, it looked at me, looked at him, turned around and flew out the one door that was propped open. Altogether an amazing experience. I looked it up later and it appears to have in fact have been a Carolina wren.


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