I discovered a small sparrow sitting in the grass today as I was pushing a wheelbarrow full of blackberry roots down to the burn pile. It obviously was distressed since it wasn't where birds are supposed to be (in trees, in the air, in nests), and it wasn't even using its wee little legs to hop around. So I bent down and scooped up the little bird. It released one short, staccato chirp just to let me know that it wasn't on the same page with me in my bird rescue plan. I really didn't have a plan, but I knew it couldn't just sit in the lawn out in the open.
I placed it on a mound under the big Douglas Fir tree on the edge of the property. It would be sheltered there and have a better chance of surviving, I imagined. Feeling downright kindhearted, I continued on with my yard work; weeding, watering, digging.
Hours passed and I didn't give the little bird the slightest thought. But as I was coiling up the hose by the side of the house there was the bird again, in the middle of the lawn. For a moment I thought it was another bird, but as I approached it, I recognized it as the bird I had rescued earlier in the day. It had successfully "un-rescued" itself into the great wide open. Crazy little bugger.
I, again, knelt down and gently lifted it up and placed it under the fir tree (what I thought to be a perfect little recuperation habitat for the little guy). I grabbed my camera to take a picture of it so I could remember the little bird that I rescued...twice. As I bent down to snap a picture Bailey aroused from her lounging in the shade and wandered over, curious as to what I was doing. I could tell she was interested so I told her to stay back, but I wasn't really too worried. Bailey is the kind of dog who ignores rabbits and birds, and barely acknowledges people. So much for having her keep the rabbits out of the yard.
She inched a little closer and sniffed at the little bird who was attempting to hop along, but was more or less falling head first each time it hopped. And then in a flash the bird was gone and Bailey was backing up quickly. I was horrified! From beneath Bailey's closed lips I could see a wing protruding. I commanded Bailey to "drop it"! But we all know how well she does that. Instead she shifted the position of the bird in her mouth, and the wing that was hanging out, disappeared. A minute later, and a few chomps, and that was it for the little bird.
I have, without hesitation, fired myself as a bird rescuer. I can not imagine what could be a worse offense in bird rescue than allowing and watching the gruesome and untimely death of a defenseless and not to mention, injured bird.