From the archives: What I learned when I witnessed a bird knock himself out

May 21, 2012 | Life in Progress

(Originally posted Sept, 2010)



one of the best things about where we live is that the house behind ours has a really great backyard with trees and bird feeders and water gardens. the dividing fence is low but there’s enough greenery to still give us both privacy. we love that we can hear their water garden and peek at the birdies feed in the feeders. it’s such a morning treat!

so today i was in the kitchen making some tea when i looked up and saw one of the birds crash into our closed kitchen window. he fell straight to the ground. oh no! he wasn’t moving, and i was sure he was dead. i wasn’t sure what to do. to make matters worse (poor little guy), it was drizzling outside. i stood there for a few long minutes considering what i could do when i noticed about 5 other birdies collecting around the surrounding bushes. looking in the fallen bird’s direction, they just squeaked and squeaked some more. loud. it made me tear up as i was sure they were mourning.
a few minutes passed. i was sure the bird was dead.
a few more passed. and he lifted his head. turns out, he we wasn’t dead, he just knocked himself out.
a few more minutes passed and he was still on the ground but with his eyes open and his head up. his fellow birdie friends continued to squeak and squeak and squeak as if they were saying “you can do it! you can do it!” they never stopped squeaking.
i watched the whole thing go down for about 15 minutes.
and then he was off. alive. recovered. reborn. he flew straight to his community of birds who had been rooting for him the whole time. he stayed there in the bushes with them for a few minutes before they all took off. i am not kidding. i got emotional.
the whole thing reminded me of community and friendship – of how we root for one another and call out to one another in times of need. how we look in the direction of one another and stay near. how we gather around in friendship and bear witness. how even when we can’t physically lift one another’s heads up and will spirits to fly, we can squeak and squeak in undying support until we finally muster enough strength to spread our wings and soar.
what a gift.

Sending much love,

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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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