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unbidden opportunities...

Saturday, May 21, 2016
...for animal rescue seem to come into my line of vision, cross  my path at unexpected times. There is a long history of stopping to rescue turtles when those slow moving reptiles are inching across a roadway, dangerously close to becoming small greasy spots. A two thousand pound vehicle traveling at seventy mph makes short work of a supposedly impenetrable turtle shell. If I can stop and pull over or make a U turn I will assist the terrapins in crossing the road, though knowing they will likely turn right around and go back where they came from. Family members have seen me do this over the years, and there has been more than one report here from the Turtle Rescue Squad.

Today: there was a wee mockingbird baby without flight feather. Sitting in all it's downy glory on the asphalt driveway. A comedy of errors ensued, but with a (hopefully) happy ending. We moved it to a sheltered safe spot, so naturally it moved itself back (though we thought it to be not mobile) out into the wide open spaces. Where it could be easily found and eaten by any number of predators who would enjoy a tasty morsel. Info. was gathered (yes, of course we googled!) about how humans could best assist the hapless bird. Even though the parents were nearby and raucous, they were only frantic and not at all helpful.

We determined the best option was to take it to the local zoo, to give to people who were familiar with rescue and willing to stay up all night feeding it 'round the clock. So with the parents hopping from limb to limb and cursing us for our good intentions, we put it in a box and transported it to the zoo. Fortuitously, thankfully relieving us of the weighty responsibility of bird parenting. I once raised a fuzzy, lost squirrel with a baby-doll bottle and canned milk. I have no desire to take on a tiny, unfledged bird that has no more weight than that of a soul.

We would have put it back in a nest, but there was nothing nearby. No apparent place it would have fallen from, so no possibility of returning it to the safe haven where parents could nourish it into maturity. Hopefully it will receive kindness, care, feeding and be set 'free as a bird' when it grows the feathers needed to travel as they are designed to do.

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