Herman Is Thankful

This is Herman:

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He's a young Hermit Thrush. He and his friends and family live in our shrubbery during the winter, so I'm used to catching glimpses of them from time to time, but yesterday I got a very good look at him indeed because he was sitting in the driveway behind our Subaru.

The driveway is not a typical thrush habitat, and Herman's failure to quickly skulk off into deep cover led me to believe that he wasn't feeling his best. Having had experience with birds flying into car windows before (see: The Verb 'To Bird,' Chapter 1), I speculated that Herman had encountered the rear window of the Subaru in mid-flight and was taking a few moments to compose himself.

Since Dixon and I needed to head out to Richmond to pick up Ian, however, the driveway was not going to be a safe habitat for long, so I delicately encouraged Herman to find a new location. When encouragement didn't work, nudging him into our snow shovel with a toy lacrosse stick seemed to do the job. (I don't like to handle young birds, as I worry about the effect my scent may have on them. Herman's an adult, though on the smallish side, but my gut response is always to use tools if I can.) I then deposited him on the grass beside the driveway, where he sprawled in a rather uncomfortable-looking fashion. I tried to move him to a more comfortable position, at which point he finally seemed to wake up: he spread his wings and fluttered into the branches of the nearby maple tree, safe (I hoped) from the local Cooper's hawks as well as the tires of the Forester.

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He was gone when we got back from Richmond, so I hope he's out there today having a prodigious meal of grubs, slugs, and worms, feeling grateful about his narrow escape. As for the four of us, we're grateful for each other, for our extended family, our friends, and of course the wonders of the natural world, even when they turn up in the most mundane places.


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This page contains a single entry by Peter Cashwell published on November 26, 2009 8:55 AM.

27 8X10 Colored Glossy Pictures with the Circles and Arrows and a Paragraph on the Back of Each One Explaining What Each One Was to Be Used As Evidence Against Them was the previous entry in this blog.

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