Tuesday, August 19, 2014

On a Wing and a Prayer

We have an injured young sparrow in our back yard flock.  Looks like one of the 2 cats who occasionally invade our property has torn part of a wingtip and some feathers from this wee cutie.  He can fly, barely, but can't gain sufficient height to get into the taller tree branches, so I suppose next time the cat shows up the little bird will be a snack.  Sigh.......  That is life and death among species but it isn't easy to acknowledge for a softy like myself.  

This bird spends a lot of time just sitting on the feeding table looking at the other birds after he has had his fill of seeds and water.  I notice he only flies away when he absolutely has to.  He has lasted more than a week in this condition so he must have managed to avoid kitty at least a few times since the last encounter.  If he manages to survive until this winter I just know he will become a well fed "pet" to be pampered and then sobbed over when he eventually succumbs to the inevitable fate of an injured bird in -40C temperatures.

When we have injured animals and birds around the place I wish I could be a little more hard hearted....or practical, shall we say, instead of an emotional basket case.

One thing I did learn the other night when the big black hunter cat arrived in our yard: he is the reason I have twice found the bird feeder upside down on the table, even though the feeder has to be lifted up in the air to free it from the hook it hangs on.  Kitty has been leaping up over the table and smashing into the feeder in his attempt to get some birds for dinner. We haven't been able to figure out how the feeder could be down on the table without at least one of the hooks having broken.  Well, now we know.  

I love the cats too. They are only hunting birds because that is what cats do, but I am always happy when they lose the battle because they are both well fed pets owned by neighbours in the area and don't need to hunt for food.  They only go after the birds when the mice are fewer in number so it is good to know that is the case.  My husband was out in the yard burning old cardboard the other day, first time the fire pit has been used since last year, but no mice nor rats came barrelling out of there this year when he lit the flame.  Good news!

The local prairie wildlife in our own yard has been my salvation on long lonely days.

No comments: