Well, this is another bird story.
A couple of weeks ago,
around midnight,
we came home from the city to find a note from our dad
on the kitchen counter:
“Live bird in jar.”
He had rescued a beautiful Painted Bunting
who had flown into the window.
(See our May 15 post, Flying Colors)

Last week,
when I went to Hughes County for the Blue Thumb training,
a high school science teacher and her family
were in attendance.
In fact, much of the training was in her science classroom.
Her daughters were carrying a baby bird on their fingers
during the two-day training.
It was brown
with a longish, bumpy beak.

They had found it the day before.
It had fallen from a nest and couldn’t fly yet.
Their mom, the science teacher,
had once worked with birds professionally.
She knew to feed it soaked cat food.
It sat in a basket when it wasn’t sitting on their fingers.
But most of the time it was on their fingers,
as they played around the classroom.

This sort of thing amazes me.
I thought baby birds would be afraid
and delicate
and sure to die
if I presumed to rescue them.
And here these little girls were bopping around
with this baby bird on their finger.
Mom wasn’t sure what kind of bird it was.
She thought perhaps a Mockingbird,
but this little bird was chirping
in a way that baby Mockingbirds don’t,
she said.

I came home and the next afternoon
went out to mow the yard
and under the Pecan Tree,
where I’ve been watching the Scissored-tail Flycatchers
build a nest,
was a baby brown bird
flapping its wings
and running,
but not flying.
My sister arrived about that time
and we caught it
and it sat in my hand quietly.
I got out some dog food to soak.

brown bird - in hand

This baby bird is brown
with a longish bumpy beak
and a white tail feather.
I think it’s a Mockingbird
because there’s been one singing
from the top of the Pecan Tree.

baby brown bird

How does this happen?
How does a beautiful Painted Bunting,
unseen in these parts,
end up on our kitchen counter?
How does a baby brown bird with a bumpy beak
hang out on a little girl’s finger?
How does it happen
that the very next day
I discover a baby brown bird with a bumpy beak
and need to rescue it
and know, just in time,
that it likes soaked cat food
and that
it will sit in my hand?

brown bird closeup

Postscript, August 2015:
Giselle writes:
If there is any way you can change your post to show it is a mourning dove, and people should contact a rehabilitator about care, it would be beneficial.