Showed up early to my Wednesday night run today, and one of the runners was by the pool, bag in hand, seemingly picking up something. My first thought was that there were dead birds and he was helping clean up. He looked up at me, seeming dumbfounded. “Amy, what do we do? This little bird is hurt.”
Down next to his foot was a small bird still growing out it’s first set of feathers. It had no down left and, in fact, had plenty of bare skin on its body. One leg was bent completely behind it. I knew it was bad, and I wondered if it was somehow deformed. I knelt down low, putting my head near the ground, to see the leg, and the thigh looked clean of skin. I think it was from dragging it on the ground…I didn’t know what to do, if anything. If you touch it, others might reject it. If you take it, you both run the risk of frightening the crap out of it and of not being able to feed it. I heard another bird on the other side of the aquatic center, and sure enough a sibling was under the bench hopping around. It seemed fine, albeit lost and confused.
I called the Animal Humane Society, but they were closed. I helped ease the bird to the grass so that it wasn’t hurting itself on the concrete…and then I went for my run. Just attempting to scoot it scared it so bad, that I knew picking it up would probably cause it to hurt something else. It was a situation where I didn’t know that taking it home would actually help it, and the sibling had already moved on by this point.
I hated not knowing how to handle a bird, or how to know when it’s okay to take it, or what to feed it. I didn’t know what to do, which meant I did nothing, and that makes me sad.