Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Poor Baby Bird

I came home the other day and spied a black lump on the patio.

It was a baby bird that had fallen from its nest. The nest, alas, is in my gas BBQ grill.

Incredibly ugly baby bird that pulled at my heart strings anyway.

The bird nest is in the bottom, not in the jar hanging down,
but up in the grill itself, in the burner part.

This is one of the baby bird's parents. I think it's a Carolina Wren.

I took a wide piece of mulch and coaxed the baby bird up on the stick, then, stooping over in a very uncomfortable position, I carried it back to the grill. I even opened the grill, expecting a bird to fly out at me, but the nest was not accessible from there.

I left the little baby as close to the grill as I could. I know next to nothing about song birds and I have no idea if they can somehow lure babies back to nests once they fall out. In my head, I had visions of the parent bird somehow placing the baby on its back and flying it home.

One of the parents showed up after I was inside, and while I ate lunch, I listened to it sing and cry and coax its little one to fly home. The little one attempted to comply, and I could see it lifting its tiny wings and occasionally moving around.

The song bird's trill was excited and anxious, and finally I went into the front of the house where I could not hear it.

When I returned a little later, all was quiet. I could not see the baby bird. I went outside and found that it had somehow flopped itself off the patio and landed upside down. Apparently unable to right itself, it died.

I was sad. The world can always use another songbird.

No sound came from the grill, and I came in and researched the bird to see how many eggs the female would have laid. Apparently, wrens lay about 5-6 eggs. But I'd heard no chirping.

Later, though, I saw the parent bird fly back to the nest with a worm. I opened the back door a crack and I could hear the faintest of little chirps. I felt better knowing the birds had not lost their only little one.

In the meantime, I do not have a BBQ grill to use, but we don't use it that often anyway. This one is 20 years old and I have told my husband that when the birds are through with it, I would prefer he take it to the dump rather than try to clean it out. I am not keen to eat burgers or steak on it after it has been infested with birds and lice and whatever else they may bring with them. The grill is quite old and it looks junky so I don't mind if it goes away.

Nature is cruel because it has no choice. Baby birds die because they fall from nests. That's the way it is.

People have a choice, though. They are not birds. They can pick up a human baby if it falls. Instead, people are just cruel because they want to be.

Human babies die because we choose to withhold care via lack of funding or services. Last year, six out of every 1,000 children under the age of one died in the United States. [CIA World Factbook]

They didn't fall out of a nest. They just didn't receive the care they should have.

Bosnia, Guam, Poland, New Zealand, the European Union, Germany, Ireland, Iceland, and Japan, among others, have a lower infant mortality rate than the United States. In fact, 56 countries have lower infant mortality rates than the United States. Monoco, with less than 2 deaths per 1,000 infants under the age of one, has the lowest infant mortality rate in the world.

And we think we have good health care? Just wait until the vile old white guys in the government finish with it, and you'll see how bad it can be.

How many babies will fall out of the nest then?

How many mothers will sing sad, sorrowful songs?

How many of those songs could be prevented, if we only cared about one another, and not about the dollars in our pocket?

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