On Tuesday afternoon I was cleaning in the kitchen while the kids were napping.  I heard a loud bang in the living room, but when I went and looked, I didn’t see anything.  I went over to pick up a toy that was on the floor near the windows, and when I bent over I saw it: a bird, completely laid out on the deck.  The loud bang was obviously this bird hitting the window.  Her whole body was throbbing, and I was sure I was watching her take her last breaths. Then, I noticed there was another bird sitting upright on the deck, but also not moving.  I thought maybe it had injured a leg.  I couldn’t stand to just do nothing.  Luckily, we had gone to a bird themed kids event, where they gave out little guidebooks called “Arkansas Backyard Birds”.  These two birds were beautiful, and I knew I had never seen them before, so luckily, I found them easily in the book and identified them as Cedar Waxwings.  The back of the guidebook had the phone number for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, so I called them to find out what to do.  They referred me to my “area bird rehabilitator”, whose name is Lee Ann.  I got in touch with Lee Ann on her cell phone and told her about my emergency situation. She explained to me that she rehabs raptors, not small birds, but was still nice enough to give me some advice.  She suggested letting the two birds stay on the deck until night time since they were safe from cats, etc.  and thento put them in a box and bring them inside for the night if they were still there.  Amazingly, while I was talking to Lee Ann, the female bird that was completely crashed suddenly sat upright and shook out her feathers.  I couldn’t beleive it.   So, for the next three hours, I just watched.  Neither bird moved. I didn’t let the kids know that we had visitors because I was afraid they would scare the birds. I did go out on the deck to try to assess the male bird better, and I snapped a couple pictures, and still neither bird moved.  I started looking around the house for bird-sized boxes.  Then, around 5pm, the male bird flew off the deck and into the trees behind the house.  The female bird didn’t move, so I went out and tried to turn her around so that she was facing out toward the trees instead of in toward the windows.  As soon as I got within a few feet of her, she flew away too!  After doing a little research online, I learned that Cedar Waxwings are very bold little birds, that they travel in large flocks, and I read several stories where people had an injured Waxwing in their yard and noticed a second bird waiting for the one that was injured.

I know birds fly into windows every day, but I still think of this event on a regular basis.  I am amazed at the vitality of the female, that she could fully recover after such a hard impact, but I am in even more awe at the fact that the male bird sat there and waited for her for over three hours, without moving a muscle, even when I got right up close to him.  Waxwings really are very beautiful birds.  I hope that the next time I see a pair, it will be on better terms.

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