A couple weekends ago, Marilyn and I came back from the morning walk. I saw a bird was sitting on the door mat. "Oh no, he's dead." He was not moving. Naturally, I thought he was dead. That was a downy woodpecker. They are regular to my bird feeders. They are so small to fit in your palm.
We found out he was alive as we got closer. He moved his head, but didn't even try to fly away even though we were only a couple feet away from him. Something was wrong with him. I couldn't leave him there. Cats walk around the neighborhood. I picked him up and took him into the house.
He was still. I couldn't tell if he was sick or not, but he was not wounded. I tried to warm him up. I lightly held him in my hand and gave him a little massage on his back. He didn't even try to escape. One time, Doug told me that it is very hard to save little birds because they are very delicate. But, I still wanted to try.
I left him on the bar table to find a container to make him comfortable or at least keep him warm. When I got back to the table, he was gone.
Either he felt better when his body warmed up in the house, he thought this was more dangerous situation than sitting outside on the porch where any predators could get him, or both, he was hanging on the light fixture.
He must have been scared to death. He had no idea I was trying to help him. This is the moment I wish I was Dr. Dolittle. Alas, communication and trust are always important. I could sense his tention. How could I make him understand we wouldn't eat him?
At that point, the worst thing to happen was that he would hurt himself, or get worn out trying to find a way to get out, then would get back to outside. I needed to be very careful to guide him to the way out. I opened the door to the outside and closed ones to other rooms. I stood at the door to other room. You would think he could find a way out. Oh well, it was not so easy.
It is a natural instinct to find a safe area by going far away from our enemies. That makes sense. In this case, to him, his safe area was somewhere upward. The problem is there is no way out on the ceiling. He didn't want to take a chance to come down to find an exit.
He flew from one window to another. He saw outside over the glass, but always landed on the moldings above them. Once he thought he found a way out, but ended up getting lost to make sure he was away from me. This was not working.
I felt time was running out. He shouldn't have wasted his stamina by doing this. It could hurt him. I decided to grab him, then take him outside. It was even harder. I was not tall enough to reach him even with a step stool. Finally, Chad came in and caught him and released him outside.
I'm still not sure what is the best thing I could do in this situation. Some people would say we should leave them alone. We shouldn't screw up the nature. That doesn't seem to be humane. But, being humane could be against the nature's rules. We just cannot do things just because we believe we are right and we can. If we don't think through, we would face a big penalty from the nature that could affect other species as well. It is hard to leave them alone if you think you could save them. I cannot reach my conclusion.