A Little Bird Told Me
Updated: Oct 16
I walked into our barn and saw sticks and leaves scattered on the floor with a baby bird inside the deep well of a broken nest. It had fallen from the rafters, a steep drop.
As I looked closer, the baby was alive and trembling. I found a wool saddle blanket and spread it on the cold concrete floor and scattered hay all over the blanket. I picked up the nest and gently cupped the bird in my hand and placed her on the blanket. I felt her wings flutter and tickle my palm, but she didn’t resist.
I was tempted to put the bird in a box, feed her, give her water and take over her care. I believed since I handled the bird, mama would not return. But, through research and talking to our Wildlife Center I leaned that’s a myth. In fact, my intervention could reduce the chances of the fledgling’s survival. The best thing to do was to create a safe space near the location of the original nest, and let the mama take care of her.
I closed all the doors to the barn to keep predators out and left that morning.
As I fed the horses in the evening, I heard the mama chirping and saw her watching me, from high on the rafters. I felt relieved, maybe I was doing the right thing,even though all my instincts wanted to step in and do something.
When I entered the barn on the second day, I was alarmed the bird was not on the blanket. As I searched, I found her standing on a hay bale chirping at me, as if to say, ‘I got myself up here, aren’t I great?’ I smiled, mama must be feeding her, maybe she’ll be alright.
On the third day, she was hiding behind the garbage pail near a crack in the doors where the light filtered in. A clear sign she wanted to get out, light was her natural habitat.
As I fed the horses on the fourth day, she hopped down the center aisle, spread her wings and took off, flying about 3-4 feet off the ground, across a 10 foot span. I almost opened the sliding barn doors to let her out, but I knew she wasn’t ready. In order for her to be safe she’d have to fly high enough to clear the inside stall doors and soar through the open doors that led to the corral. High enough to avoid predators. I wondered if she’d make it.
On the fifth day, I felt the silence. No chirping. No wings flapping above me.
She was gone. Mama was gone.
I felt happy for her freedom, but sad she was no longer in our barn. I missed the chirps and hops. I loved her spirit, her boldness and her desire to survive.
This little bird and her mama showed me the simple wisdom of how to let go, to not interfere and to follow the flow of life. They taught me to yield and trust the instinctual rhythms of nature. Important lessons from mother nature, my spiritual teacher.