Saturday, January 9, 2016

Helping Hands


yellow-shafted flicker at birdbath



The birdbath outside our kitchen window had several visitors this morning that we don't often see. Two fat Robins drank opposite each other; the water droplets on their beaks sparkling like diamonds in the early sun. They were joined by a Flicker and a small flock of Cedar Waxwings. Waxwings are such beautiful birds, and aptly named. I had the impression this morning, that before they left the shelter of the cedars, they had dipped the tips of their feathers in large pots of hot red and yellow wax. They came as a group, eating a few winterberries from the branches propped by the birdbath, and they left together, moving in one long, synchronized formation.  

Our birdbath has a small device that prevents it from freezing in the winter, and when the pond is frozen over, as it is now, the birdbath becomes a magnet for birds. Eight bluebirds came next and lined up close around the rim, enjoying each other's company.  

A loud thump scattered the birds, and we saw a Flicker that had just crashed into a window, flopping on the cold bricks. It didn't look good. Don was out the door in a flash, scooped the poor bird up, then cradled it in his warm hands. Before long, the Flicker raised her head and life seemed to surge back into her body. Then she lifted off and flew away.  Woodpeckers seem to have a pretty good recovery from such mishaps; their heads must be tough considering all the jackhammering they do.

Don and I have both held a number of birds over the years, cheering them on, and when they make a recovery, we feel like we've gained a friend. We'll keep watching the sky, and the next time we see a Flicker, we won't be surprised if she tips her wings in our direction.

First posted on January 9, 2011



yellow-shafted flicker in man's hands





21 comments:

eileeninmd said...

Hello, sounds like a fun time watching the birds at your birdbath. Cool captures of the Flicker, I am glad it was ok.
Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Have a happy weekend!

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Lovely bird.. Happy weekend!

Ranten said...

Beautiful pictures!

pattisjarrett said...

What a beauty! It's a nice feeling to think in some small way we are able to help our feathered friends.

Lisa Gordon said...

What beautiful creatures they are, and I am so glad the Flicker was okay.

Have a wonderful weekend, Connie!

Brian King said...

Gorgeous bird! Glad he recovered!

Kathy said...

A nice post with a great story and wonderful bird portraits.

Lea said...

Wonderful story and photos!

Breathtaking said...

Hello!:) Great images of the beautiful and colourful birds at your feeder.The flicker was grateful I'm sure for a little tenderness after the crash. I hate it when this happens!

Marie C said...

What a perfect winter birdbath! Your pictures are awesome and I loved the narrative! Have a great week!

Margaret Adamson said...

Superb shots. Glad it is OK

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

That is a lovely post Connie! Such wonderful examples of kindness!

Silver Parrot said...

Such a beautiful bird - glad it was able to fly away (with your help!)

Gayle atMuldoon said...

So glad it rallied.
We recently saw the movie Concussion in which they said in some woodpeckers the tongue wraps around the brain as a cushion.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

Beautiful photos!

edenhills said...

Beautiful bird! So glad she recovered.

Liz Needle said...

I love the shot of the Cedar Waxwing. A most attractive fellow. So glad the woodpecker survived. We have the same problem with birds hitting our windows. Many of them do not recover. So sad.

Mary Cromer said...

Thankful heart for your being there and able to help the Flicker. We have had so many birds hit our windows over the years and most of the time a warmth of a cupped hand and a couple of minutes, they are ready to go about their day. I have described it as in touching the hand of God, when this happens~

Marco Luijken said...

Hello Connie,
What a great pictures. So very wonderful.

Many greetings,
Marco

June Caedmon said...

Glad your story ended well, Connie. We have this same problem with our windows. I lost a cuckoo this year because of it. I have purchased some window clings made specifically for distracting the birds. I'm hopeful we'll have no more casualties! Have a blessed week!

Felicia said...

Awwww I'm glad she was ok. love that second image.