It was a rainy Tuesday in New Jersey. The air was cool and the wet drops falling from the clouds lent a hand to the daily watering of our garden. I ran some morning errands and made a couple phone calls I had been meaning to make. It was a pretty average day in the life.
It was some time after lunch that I decided to throw on a raincoat and head outside to take in the trash cans. I hardly noticed the the tiny, wet creature at first. There it sat looking cold and helpless–a little baby robin. It looked up at me. I looked down at it and smiled questioningly. “Whatcha doing there, little guy?”
I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to birds. This wouldn’t be the first time my heart felt crushed looking at a helpless feathered friend. There was once a sparrow found in a neighbor’s yard with a broken wing. Another time there was a mourning dove I desperately wanted to save and tried my hardest to care for until nature finally had its way with it. It was buried in my parents’ backyard in an empty Pop Tarts box. My heart broke and I cried over the loss of that little bird. I remember my mother reassuring me that I did my best and I helped to prolong its life.
Tuesday wasn’t any different. Worried about the poor little fellow, I called my parents in…a bit of a panic, actually. I asked what I should do to help it. My parents both told me there wasn’t really anything I could do except move it out of harm’s way. Nature had to take its course. I was so worried about the other birds attacking it or it dying out in that puddle at the end of the driveway.
My neighbors became curious, probably asking themselves, “Why is our crazy neighbor outside in the rain, staring into a puddle?” Together we all become concerned for this little creature’s life and ultimately devised a plan. We were going to move the bird by a bush on the side of the neighbor’s house. They had found a nest there and were pretty sure this baby robin came from it. I had told my neighbors that I saw an adult robin come feed the baby and that two adult robins chased off some blackbirds. The baby was being watched, but it seemed stunned.
We placed a big bucket in front of my driveway so no one could pull into it and crush the little bird (we live on a dead end so we have people turning around all the time). We went back inside our homes and waited a little while to see if it would move on its own. Sure enough, the next time I looked outside (I was doing frequent checks on my tiny friend) the bird was gone from the puddle. As I went outside to check where it went, I found it hopping up our driveway. It was gone by the time my husband got home from work.
It made me feel so good to see it hopping off, becoming mobile after sitting so still in the rain. I even had my husband check under my car to see if it was hiding underneath it. It wasn’t. I don’t know the fate of that little bird, but I can only hope it made it to wherever it was venturing okay. I may have become the “crazy bird lady” on the block, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Someone’s got to watch out for the little guys!