June 22, 2011

The Fledgling Sparrow

Yesterday evening we found a small sparrow, a fledgling to be more precise, a few steps from our front door.  I had seen it earlier hopping the steps that lead down to our apartment door.  I thought she was just playing because it was extremely hot yesterday.  Then I noticed that its small legs were stuck with something.  I wanted to help her. But last time I tried to help a small featherless baby bird it died.  I thought I was rescuing it and clearly its parents were just trying to get her back in the nest.  So this time, I just stood there watching and praying that no one stepped on her. 

When my husband came home he brought a box to help her inside and make sure her legs were free to move.  He discovered she had a twig stuck in her feet and removed it.  Then he placed her outside again and then I watched how two other sparrows descended on her and tried to feed her.  She was still a baby, needing to be mouth-to-mouth fed.  We had no clue what was going on, then my clever husband searched online, thank God for the age of flash information, and realized that it was a "fledgling" that was clearly learning how to fly.  It takes them about two days to master this skill and their parents don't abandon them completely.  So the thing was to keep her away from night predators while she spent the night outside.  When night came and I had finished putting Emilu to bed around midnight I went to check on her.  She was on the small landing on our neighbor's door, tucked in the corner, sleeping peacefully.  What a sight!  So I wrote our neighbor a note and slipped it inside her door to be careful when stepping out early in the morning because the fledgling had taken refuge at her doorstep.

And this morning when I woke up around 7 a.m. I went out to check on her.  She had visitors, her parents I assume, and she was chirping and hopping her way through the front yard of our building.  How sweet was that!  She had reached a milestone and her parents had helped achieved that.

Lesson learned here:  We all have to go through our milestones and at the start of life our parents' help is paramount in achieving this.  Emilu, my soon-to-be fledgling, I hope we can be a great toolbox for your early achievements.  

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