Two Birds

After I picked up Elliot from school today, two birds flew into the side of my car. I couldn’t not know the outcome, although I don’t deal with these things very well.

I decided to drive around the block and park on a side street to check on them. One was dead. The other was dazed. I brought Elliot’s sweatshirt with me and bent down to have a talk with the little guy, the one who survived. He just looked up at me.

Meanwhile, a construction worker saw me bending down and thought I was sick. He walked over to check on me and noticed the bird, who, at that point, had taken refuge on my wrist.

“These two birds flew into the side of my car.” I said teary-eyed. “I love animals and I couldn’t let it go. So I drove around to check on them.”

The construction worker walked over to the other bird. “This one is gone. And that one doesn’t look so good. I’m pretty sure they’re not supposed to do that,” he said pointing to the bird perched on my hand.

“Do you have a box?” I asked.

“I think I do.”

He left me standing on the road with a bird perched on my hand, cars passing wondering what the crazy lady with a red-breasted robin perched on her hand might be doing.

The construction worker showed back up with a box and I tried to place the fellow inside. But the bird crawled up my arm, then up his arm, and then onto the top of his head.

“You’ve got a bird on your head,” I said.

“I do. Don’t I? I have to take a picture of this. Do you mind?”

“Not at all.”

He took a picture and then I slowly cupped my hands and my son’s sweatshirt around the bird, but instead he walked up my arm and onto my shoulder.

“You’ve got a bird on your shoulder,” said the construction worker.

“Do you think he’s ok?” I asked.

“I dunno. I’m pretty sure they’re not supposed to do that.”

We stood there. Not sure what we should do. We exchanged names. And I said my son was in the car and I wasn’t sure if I should take the bird with me for help. Meanwhile the bird stood on my shoulder, tilting his head, listening.

And then, just like that, he flew away.

I thanked the construction worker for being a kind person. And we parted ways.

I’m not sue if he’ll be ok. But the construction worker seemed to think so. And so do I. And I hate that I inadvertently killed the other bird. But I feel compelled to thank nature and this small bird for making today a touch different than every other day in a week, a month, a year. It gave me pause. Life can be both sad and beautiful all at once.


  1. Milissa McGinnis April 8, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I’ve missed you. Don’t stay away so long next time, OK?


  2. I think he’ll be OK. Maybe he was just stunned for a minute. Have you seen this eagle site? My 8 year old son and I are addicted to watching the eagles.


  3. I was once driving down the street when I lived in south Florida and saw a small egret fly right into the side of the car in front of me. We stopped (a$$hat in front of us didn’t), and called a local wildlife sanctuary. The bird was live but probably not going to make it. I remember it looking up at me with its beautiful golden eye. It stays with you. But it’s cool that the other one rested a spell with you and then took off. Maybe he’s okay after all. You and the construction guy are good people.


  4. Glad you’re back


  5. Any chance of the seeing the picture?


    1. I wish! I didn’t get the man’s phone number. I considered combing Instagram for it, but wouldn’t even know where to begin.


  6. Reminds me of the children’s book by Mo Willems. Any chance of seeing the picture?


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