Thursday, June 2, 2011

Teaching a bird to fly

This wasn't on my bucket list, but I'm adding it to my life goals. I can now check off the item that says "Teach a bird to fly."

The almond tree in my backyard was overgrown and I decided to tackle it with a chain saw. I sort of bulled my way into the thick of the tree on a ladder with chain saw in hand. Unfortunately, one of the branches I cut held a dove's nest, and as the nest hit the ground, a tiny bird fell with it.

Amazingly, three cats quickly appeared on the fence and each was thinking that bird was lunch. The bird was scurrying around on the ground, flapping its wings, but not getting close to going airborne. The cats began to move in.

I grabbed the bird and told it to fly. . . Not a chance. For the next 20 minutes or so, I tossed the bird in the air, its wings would flap and it would hit the ground. Finally, though, the bird made some progress and went about 5 feet before hitting the ground. I grabbed it again and tossed it in the air a few more times.

Each time, the bird seemed to get stronger, until finally it flew to the fence and then away. I'm not sure if the bird survived the cats that day, but I figured I did what I could to give it a chance at life.


  1. Your story made me recall the time I saved a baby bird from the jaws of our cat.
    My kids, then aged 3,6 and 9, were thrilled the bird survived. They gathered around as I tossed it into the air, and it started to flutter away. The little bird got about ten feet before there was a tremendous "whoosh" and a hawk streaked out of a tree plucked it out of the air then disappeared with its prize. So much for human intervention!

  2. Thanks for your comment, Gene. It seems your rescus bird was destined to be the hawk's dinner, not matter what you did. Great story.