|Little Bird's World|
I stepped out onto the porch this morning with coffee and newspaper in hand. As we do each day, I went to check the status of the robin's nest, gently lifting it down from its hanger so as to see inside.
This time, to my horror and near panic, just as I touched the branch nestling the nest, there was a frantic flapping of wings and a no longer tiny bird flew past my hand, went briefly airborne, and then dropped to our porch's concrete floor. There was an understandable cacophony of clacking, chirping, screeching, as at least five birds descended on the scene, perhaps better referred to now as the crime scene.
I knew the old wives tale that once a human has touched a bird its family has nothing more to do with it. But without time to check Snopes.com, I chose intervention. I took the bird into my hand and reached up to try to return it to its nest. The small bird again flapped its wings mightily and again escaped my grasp, which was admittedly very gentle because of my desire not to hurt its fragile body. This time it sailed a bit into the air, wings extended, before landing in the yard in front of the house. [Quick Fact Update: According to Snopes, the common assumption that human touch of a baby bird drives mother bird away is false. See the documentation here.]
More sirens from the attending birds. I watched as the little thing hopped its way across the yard, accompanied by its entourage, huddling down for a bit and then venturing forward once again. One of the birds flew close in a circle and then landed on the grass within a few feet of the bird. It chirped away as if giving some last minute flight instructions.