Friday, May 11, 2012

Avery and the Ovenbird

We were in the kitchen when we heard the thud against the window.  It happens at least once a year, some feathered friend knocks himself silly on the window.  My boy Avery walked outside and returned, holding the stunned bird in his hand.  We wrapped him in a towel and went outside to find a quiet spot for the bird to recover.

We set him next to a stump in the sun and Avery (the bat) watched over him.

Eventually the bird started to come around, righting himself with effort.

Avery held him gently in his hands and the little bird just sat.

We admired his beautiful olive plumage and the little patch of russet on his head, the exact shade of the dried-up oak leaves in the yard.  He had very slender legs and a speckled chest.  He was an Ovenbird, named so for the oven-like nest it builds.  It was pretty amazing to see this quiet little bird up close and Avery told me that this was "his best moment yet" and that he was proud to hold that bird and help him feel better, even though he did poop on him.

We sat there for quite a long time watching the bird, feeling the sun on our skin, and listening to the hum of the bees visiting the dandelions around us.  All that waiting makes a guy a little tired though.

In fact it can wear a guy right out.

We sat a while longer and sister got a chance to meet our friend too.

I was amazed at how gentle and calm both of the kids were.

After a while it became clear that the bird was going to need more recovery time than we were able to give him.  By then he was able to hold on to my finger so I placed him on a branch and we let him have some space.

He was still a bit woozy but eventually flew off.  Avery is certain that he'll be back to visit.  He might be right.  He also thinks the bird would love his drawing.  I know he's right about that.

My oldest son had a similar encounter with a goldfinch a few years ago and it's something he's remembered fondly.  I'm quite certain Avery will feel the same way about his little Ovenbird.


x vInTaGe VioLeT x said...

aww that is beautiful story - we found a fledgling a couple days ago, it was soaking wet after heavy heavy rain here in England - we managed to keep the dog away and left it all day in the hope it's parents would rescue it - eventually i brought it in to dry out and tried to feed it - i warned my son it was 99% likely to be dead by morning but it surprised me totally by being alive in the morning - so we set him free and of he flew <3 totally heartwarming moment for us both :) and as you say a forever memory :)

Valerianna said...

Your love and respect for the wild has obviously transfered beautifully to your children, what a pleasure to witness Avery's care and compassion with the bird. I love ovenbirds, they often hop around my moss garden. I've yet to see a nest, would love to.

I've had a lot of those bird-moments. The most memorable was when I was teaching in the university and a bird hit the big sliding glass doors. I went out and continued teaching through the glass with the stunned bird in my hand. It was an odd site, I'm sure, when a tour went by and there I was teaching to my students inside, holding the bird!!

Betz White said...

This could not be any sweeter!

Anonymous said...

Awww, and how wonderful that you have pictures to keep the memory even more alive!

xo Linda

Chrissie said...

The Ovenbird

There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.
He says that leaves are old and that for flowers
Mid-summer is to spring as one to ten.
He says the early petal-fall is past
When pear and cherry bloom went down in showers
On sunny days a moment overcast;
And comes that other fall we name the fall.
He says the highway dust is over all.
The bird would cease and be as other birds
But that he knows in singing not to sing.
The question that he frames in all but words
Is what to make of a diminished thing.

~Robert Frost

I thought you'd like this, Lisa.

Dar Presto said...

Just when I was getting fed up with the internet (what's trending? consumerism! narcissism! bunting!), you share this quiet example of awesome parenting. For it is awesome, mindful parenting that creates such thoughtful, curious, lovely children. Now, invite Avery to pick a bucket full of those dandelion heads, and make some soft yellow dye.

Tumus said...

I think kids underneath all that energy and those tantrums have a deeper understanding of things that are innocent. Obviously they've learned by example too :)

I love how fat the Ovenbird is :) We don't have them here (I don't think) and the Bat hoodie is totally fun.

Marilyn said...

my sons remember all the birds we got to fuss over, as they came to again after hitting the would run to get a towel...something soft...the other would pick up the injured and I would get a bowl or box or bucket for a bed...and we'd watch...happy to say they all righted themselves, and got to do it again in some cases...!!! Your children are so adorable...yes they are...!!! :)

Sonia / COZY MEMORIES said...

What a priceless moment it must have been for the whole of you.
The photos are precious, each one of them. Thanks so much for sharing.

Julie Clay Illustration said...

Wonderful tale of your precious moments there, thanks for the pictures they are so heartwarming. Love the birdy, so pretty, looks like a songthrush a bit.

joanie said...

What a beautiful bird and how special for the children to see such a beauty so close up. We had the window smashing bird episodes too often, that was until I hung your acorns on lace in the window. Now we've moved and don't have that problem. RIght now though I'm watching about 20 swallows flit through the sky to feed their young in the mud nests right above my bedroom windows. I could bird watch all day. I would have loved to sit in the sun and watch Avery's oven bird encounter. His drawing is fantastic too, maybe he should hang it in the window so his oven bird friend can see it when he comes back for visits :)

Heather M. said...

This is a lovely story. I'm glad you are teaching your children to be gentle with wildlife. I've never seen an ovenbird, but they don't come this far west. It's a subtle pretty.

HollyM said...

I loved the story and the pictures. How sweet! I had an occasion when my children were home to raise and release a robin fallen from a nest and abandoned.
It was a wonderful experience

Anastasia said...

I was smiling while reading this :) Thanks for sharing such a wonderful moment!

Els said...

What a lovely story !!! Thanks for letting us in on it !

julochka said...

that is pretty amazing! especially how it stayed there with him. it makes me almost WANT a bird to fly into our terrace doors.

Zdolność-tworzenia said...

To niesamowite. Jaka ufność.


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