Injured Bird 

Okay, so the other day, I decided that I was having kind of a bad day. It was already late afternoon, I was tired, but I needed to do much more work to get caught up for the day. It involved reading and writing, and I was already overwhelmed with that. I was also a bit depressed for various personal reasons that I won't go into. Since I had not eaten anything all day, I figured that the least I could do was buy some fast food and go to the local park. Fast food is a bad habit that I am trying to break, but since I needed to really get out of the house and I did not want to cook, I told myself that a burger would be a quick indiscretion.

After purchasing a meal I felt guilty for eating, I drove up to the city park on top of the hill. It is a nice park where you have to walk west for ten minutes to get a tremendous view of the entire city. Although there are some great trees with a lovely canopy, the view is high enough up to see the whole valley in which the town is nestled.

Finding a relatively secluded spot away from the occasional joggers and bicyclists, I sat down, ate, and opened a book. The breeze was cool and the sun was warm, and I was engrossed in my book. After about twenty or thirty minutes, something small jumped out of the tree at my head. I recovered a few seconds later to realize that a bird had just flew over my shoulder by only a couple of feet. And then I noticed that it wasn't a regular park bird, but a yellow and white cockatiel. It was obviously somebody's pet.

Injured Cockatiel

I sat and watched the bird as it watched me in return. Of course, I wondered where it had come from, but I did not see anyone searching the park with a bird cage in hand. Nor did I remember seeing any lost bird signs posted anywhere as I had driven up to the park. It appeared to me that the bird was a little distressed. It was shivering, fluffed up, and it seemed to be trying to gather the courage to dive bomb me again. I stood up and stretched out my arms. After was seemed like another thirty minutes of me looking like a statue, after a couple of more dive bombs by the bird, it glided out of the tree and landed on my shoulder.

My concern for the bird shifted slightly towards myself in that I now wondered what I was going to do next. I figured that I should try to take it back to my car and search for its owner. Slowly I began walking down the hill with the bird perched precariously on my shoulder. A few people, mostly joggers, walked by and gave me odd looks. One person asked me how I had trained my bird to stay on my shoulder outside. I explained the situation and asked if they were missing a bird. The stranger answered no, but his energetic dog frightened the bird back in the trees. At this point, I figured that the bird was not going to come back. But, as I did not try to harm it while we walked down the hill, it trusted me enough to come back to my shoulder after another patient twenty minutes. Taking no chance this second time, I grabbed the bird and walked the rest of the way to my car.

I drove around the neighborhood for an hour trying to locate someone who was missing their bird, but no luck. Long story short: the bird you see in the picture above has been with me for the past five days. It resides in a cage in my living room. A trip to the veterinarian confirmed that the bird had been injured by some other small animal. I think that contributed to the bird's decision to trust me, a total stranger. I will continue to search for the the bird's owner for a while, but so far nothing has turned up. It looks I will be keeping this bird for some time to come. Any suggestions for a name? (She's a female).

24 May 2005
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