Note: Since publishing this post, I’ve learned that our feathered visitor is a House Finch not a House Wren. I’ve made changes accordingly.
As I walked up the garden path this morning I noticed a house finch sitting on the ground. Mouse the cat was just a few yards away so I had to think fast. I waited for the bird to take flight. Instead he fluffed his feathers and bobbed his head, but made no effort to move.
In a flash, Mouse shot through the bushes, aiming straight for the bird. In one fell swoop I scooped the bird in to my hands and lifted him off the ground to safety.
I loosely cradled the finch in my hands, its soft wings fluttering against my skin.
The next five minutes are a bit of a blur, but I somehow managed to get Mike’s attention through the kitchen window and he came to assist. He secured the cat, assembled a cardboard box from the recycle bin and even managed a few pics from a safe distance.
I opened my hands to see if the bird would fly. He climbed on my finger and calmly perched to survey his surroundings. It was then I noticed that he couldn’t open one of his eyes. It didn’t look damaged, but it may have been what grounded him in the first place.
He eventually hopped from my hands to a low bush but leaving him there would mean certain death. I caged the little fellow in a cat carrier (oh the irony) and drove to the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley. How lucky we are to have a place like this that will rescue, rehab and return animals and birds to the wild whenever possible.
Later in the day when I had time to think I wondered if the injured finch might be my nightly visitor. Over the past thirty days, a male house finch returns at dusk and spends the night on the cord under the eaves.
I lingered outside till 5:20 willing my nightly visitor to return. I came inside with a heavy heart assuming the two finches were one and the same. Then moments later, I glanced out the kitchen window into the dark corner of the eaves and spotted his tail feathers under the eaves!
I’ll learn tomorrow the fate of the bird in the care of WCSV.