I saved a baby robin’s life today.
Actually, it was a fledgling. Big enough to get kicked out of the nest but still can’t quite fly. It’s mostly a lot of flapping and hopping.
We have an old cast iron tub on our porch that we put plants in. It has a wooden pallet cut to fit inside so the plants are raised about six inches off the ground. One of the plants is a small catnip I got to plant when we finally bury Mr. Muggles ashes. It keeps getting knocked over by wind and rain.
And boy have we had a lot of rain. This morning we had another rainstorm, the kind that pounds on the windows and makes it near impossible to hear anything else. Then it stopped as suddenly as it started and the sun came out.
I stepped out onto the porch to right the catnip pot. I heard splashing coming from under the plants. I thought maybe there was a frog or something inside so I peered between the leaves.
It wasn’t a frog. It was a very scared, very stuck, baby robin. I moved two of the plants to get a better look. There was about 3 inches or so of water in the bottom (the drain had gotten clogged during the storm) and this little guy was flapping and hopping as hard as he could.
He couldn’t gain purchase on the smooth sides of the tub. I was a little afraid he might scratch me, but I couldn’t leave him there so I reached inside and closed his little body in my hand.
I lifted him out and he immediately stopped struggling. I looked him over a bit to make sure he hadn’t gotten hurt while he was flailing about. He appeared fine so I set him down on the porch.
The poor little guy curled up on himself and stood still, except for the shivering. He made no effort to move, even let me stroke his little head without budging.
I saw the shadow of a few adult robins flying around so I went inside to see if his parents were going to come around. But right before that, I took a couple pictures of him. (I named him Tom)
After a little while, one of his parents came by and fed him a worm. Then another. And then another. He moved around a little and stopped shivering. Then he pooped, so clearly his digestive system was working properly.
As time passed, his feathers dried out and he appeared to fall asleep. His parents kept returning with food and he continued defecating all over our porch.
It’s been a couple hours and the last time I looked outside he’d finally moved. He was standing at the edge of the porch, next to the wisteria, likely working up the strength and courage to hop onto the vine and make his way in the world.
And he pooped again.