Last Thursday, I just happened to look out on my patio and see a little dark shape on my wall. At first, I thought it was just a dove or a pigeon…
But no… that’s the wrong shape.
I went closer, and realized that we had a small raptor sitting out there. I quietly got the camera and snapped a few photos from inside, but I couldn’t get the lighting right, so I eased open the door and tried again. That’s when I realized that something wasn’t quite right.
Birds can be skittish, even tame birds, and this one looked at me alertly, but barely moved. I walked closer and got a few more photos, and could see that its leg was hurt. It wasn’t breathing hard, acting frightened, or trembling, so I don’t think it was afraid of me. It must have belonged to somebody and become lost. ?Maybe?
When the kids got home from school, both went out to visit, then, animal lover Honor helped me keep an eye on him (her?). We have feral cats and I didn’t want it attacked. I was very concerned about that! We contacted a local shelter, K’s Path, that rescues animals here, and they told me that they might be able to help the bird if we could bring him in the next day. They have vets and the ability to rehabilitate and release, if possible.
For most of the afternoon, Falkie was very alert and would watch us intently. Tilting his head if talked to. Unfortunately, by evening, he wasn’t moving much and was obviously not well. Birds are so very fragile, and he was hurt. I waited until the sun started to go down because birds quiet down in the dark, then I gently slipped a towel over him and put him in a ventilated box. He barely moved. By nightfall, he had quietly passed away.
Honor helped me wrap him up.
Our friend told us that falcons (and this was a kestrel) represent immortality. “A light in the Darkness”. This one definitely picked the right patio on which to spend its last afternoon. Peaceful, shady, and in the presence of a little girl who loves animals and will never forget him.