Saturday, August 21, 2010

Magical Moment 198, "Felicity"

Felicity is the name I gave to the robin I found in the yard today. When I walk Joy in the enclosed grassy area near our apartment building, I often let her off the leash so she can chase and bark at the birds as they scatter to the sky. She’s never come close to catching one.

Today from afar, Joy and I spotted one lonely robin digging in the grass for worms. “Ready Joy?” I asked. As soon as Joy’s eyes were locked on the bird, I unclipped her leash and watched her shoot like a rocket straight towards the robin. But I instantly felt something was wrong when after a few seconds, the robin made no effort to fly away. I hollered at Joy who was overcome with excitement at the prospect of catching her very first illusive, flying creature. As I always suspected, when Joy was near enough to the bird to actually do something, she froze, stunned at the sight of the helpless little creature who was only inches away from her nose. I rushed to the scene and restrained Joy from the bird who was no doubt reeling with terror. She hopped to the safety of a near by bush as I tried to discern just what her injury could be.

A few hours later, I went back to check on Felicity, this time with a box and a towel. She was still there. Eddie and I cornered her against the fence where I scooped her up into the towel and placed her gently in the shoe box. I made several phone calls to wildlife rehabilitation centers from 4 nearby counties, but couldn’t get a hold of anyone. As I wondered what to do next, my neighbor, Barbara, came home. She is one of only a few people I know other than myself who would lose sleep over an injured or orphaned critter. We spent the next few minutes peeking into the box and tossing peanuts to Felicity, thinking if pigeons eat them, maybe robins do too.

Finally, I got a hold of a professional who told me that because we saw the robin open and close its beak, it’s most likely a fledgling. Fledglings are no longer babies, but not quite adults. They’re still learning how to fly and catch food on their own, but its parents are mostly likely nearby ready to feed it if necessary. I was relieved that it looked like Felicity would be okay after all. No broken wing, broken leg, or sickness. She would be soaring the skies in a matter of days. And next time she sees Joy charging towards her with a crazed look of determination, she won’t hesitate flying away for even a moment.

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