It is right around the corner from two homeless shelters and above a Second Cup coffeee shop. It is my eye on the world of the deranged and drunk.
I usually take only passing notice of what happens outside my window. Today, someone was yelling “Help! Help!” repeatedly so I looked out to see a tall, obviously demented man flailing his arms… and holding a bird.
He suddenly threw the bird down onto the gravel of a large planter beside the bus shelter and lurched away. Then he came back and pushed the bird around and walked away.
I immediately ran down found that is was a baby Starling, a fledgling.
They had been just doing work on a tree above the planter but the tree hasn’t had a nest in it. It was more likely to have fallen from a niche in the wall of a building or an awning or something. I looked to see if I could see either a nest or a mother but even if I had, I wouldn’t have wanted (as you are supposed to do) either put the bird back in the nest (the old wives tale the parents can “smell you on the baby and will abandon it” is wrong!) or leave the bird and watch to see if the mother comes around before taking it in.
I brought it upstairs immediately because I knew it wouldn’t last long where it was. It was just a fledgling and probably couldn’t fly, at least fly well enough to get out of danger. And there are crazies all around there…. When I brought it up, one of the girls in the reception told me that she had seen a man with a bird yesterday at McDonalds, almost two blocks away. If it was the same man and the same bird, I was sure I did the right thing.
I called Mom to come and pick me up and we drove it out to the Ottawa Wild Bird Centre. I will check in a few days to see if it is okay. It was very weak. I don’t have high hopes but it has a better chance there than it would have stood at Rideau and Dalhousie in a cement planter with drunks and crazies.
The Wild Bird Centre has an amazing record of wild rescues, including… true story… a wayward Flamingo, named Elisha who migrated north for the winter (sensible if she had been living in Chile where she was originally from, not New England where she was living).